Guide

Removing trade barriers for UK exporters

How do I report a trade barrier?

You can report trade barriers if you export goods or services. A trade barrier is something that slows down or stops your company from exporting goods or services to an overseas market. 

Barriers include unnecessary, legal, regulatory or administrative requirements - this could be labelling restrictions, out-of-date regulations and licensing requirements.

UK-based business can report a barrier that is stopping or hindering its trade or investment overseas.  Once a request is submitted, it is shared with the Department for International Trade team who assess trade barriers and work with other governments to resolve these issues.

Report a trade barrier online on great.gov.uk.

Before you report:

  • check that your problem is a trade barrier - see examples of barriers to goods and barriers to services
  • be ready to include as much information as you can about the barrier

If you need urgent help with a trade barrier

Consider contacting your local British embassy, consulate or high commission if your barrier requires urgent resolution, for example, because of:

  • perishable goods or livestock blocked in transit
  • the immediate risk of missing a commercial opportunity
  • the immediate risk of not fulfilling a contract

They may be better placed to help you because they understand local business practices and have the same local working hours.

What happens next

You’ll get an email from the Department for International Trade (DIT) within 5 working days of reporting a trade barrier. You may be asked for more information.

DIT might be able to help resolve your barrier. For example, overseas staff could use their relationships with local governments and organisations to find and resolve the cause of the delay.

For longer-term, more complex barriers, DIT may decide to:

  • explore a diplomatic resolution
  • discuss strategic barriers at overseas ministerial visits
  • start government-to-government talks
  • raise the barrier with the World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • feed into Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations