Trade and export support

Expanding into new markets overseas can help businesses of all sizes to reach new customers, generate additional revenue and mitigate market risks.

Exporting can help your business to reach new customers, increase revenue, and lessen risks.  If you have the ambition to grow your business you can trade internationally and export your goods and services.

Many businesses in West Yorkshire already export across the world. But, we want to encourage and support more West Yorkshire businesses to export. 

These resources will help you to understand;

  • how to find new markets and customers through export
  • where to get practical advice and guidance
  • where to find financial support so you can successfully grow your sales overseas.

Not sure where to start?

The Business Support Service can help you find out more about trade and export. Email or call 0113 348 1818 to speak with one of our advisers. You can find more advice and guidance below.

International trade agreements

Trade agreements set out the rules for buying and selling goods and services between 2 or more countries. They reduce restrictions on imports and exports, which can make trading easier and cheaper when they are used. 

As an independent trading nation, the UK now has over 70 trade agreements in place. 

Recent trade agreements that have come into force include: 

The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement treaty covers all UK trade with the EU. 

To see all the trade agreements the UK has: UK trade agreements in effect 

Export finance and getting paid

UK Export Finance is the UK government's export credit agency, supporting exports for any size company and across all industries, from capital goods to services and intangibles like intellectual property.  

Working closely with over 100 private credit insurers and lenders to help UK companies access export finance, the loans, insurance policies or bank guarantees that enable international trade to take place as easily and securely as possible. 

UK Export Finance can help companies manage risk in challenging markets, making sure that they get paid even where the private market is not able to offer insurance.

West Yorkshire Business Boost

The West Yorkshire Business Boost: Export programme provides businesses in West Yorkshire with access to:  

  • A market-leading export diagnostic, providing a detailed assessment of your SME’s needs
  • Export Managers who will facilitate the development and implementation of comprehensive and achievable Export Action Plans
  • Workshops and masterclasses, including Passport to Export (for new exporters), and international geography-specific and sector-specific topics
  • Grants to help fund 50% of consultancy or trade show-related activities to enable the delivery of Export Action Plans (subject to eligibility criteria)

The programme is available for West Yorkshire businesses at any stage in their export journey, providing them with the technical, geographical and sector-specific knowledge needed to find and remove barriers to export, and support to sell their products and services across the globe. 

Register and get more information.

New to export

If you’re new to exporting and want to know how to start selling goods and services abroad, you should speak to the Department for Business and Trade, who can help you to develop an export strategy, access training, and conduct market research. The Department for Business and Trade also has advice for companies looking to grow sales overseas through e-commerce. 

The UK Export Academy can support your business to grow by giving you the confidence and know-how to land your first, or next overseas deal. Over 18,000 businesses across the UK have already joined the free training programme. 

Finding new markets and customers through export

The Department for Business and Trade’s International Market’s Tool can help you get started and get better understanding the market you are looking to enter from the USA to the Nordics. This information will help you tailor your offer to your target market.   

As part of the West Yorkshire Business Boost: Export programme, Chamber International (part of the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce) are running a series of market focused workshops for SMEs in West Yorkshire. Details here: 

Lloyds Banking Group has a free to use International Trade Portal which helps businesses find the right market for their products or services and identify buyers and business opportunities.   

If you have a turnover of £500k+ and an export-ready product or service, you are eligible for the Department for Business and Trade’s Export Support Service International Markets (ESS-IM) offer. 

ESS-IM provides the following, free of charge: 

  • one-to-one guidance on exporting and tailored market insight reports
  • a library of complimentary exporting and sector guides
  • introductions to a network of private sector service providers who can help with commercial issues - the network includes local accountants, legal experts, market research firms, sector specialists and more

To take advantage of the full range of Department for Business and Trade services, connect with the Yorkshire and Humber International Trade Adviser team. International Trade Advisers are global account managers who will work with you to map out your Export Action Plan, determine which markets are appropriate, discuss access to funding, and direct you to digital resources such as the Export Academy. 

Understanding export rules and regulations

The Department for Business and Trade has a step-by-step guide of how to move goods from the UK to international destinations, including the EU. 

Dealing with paperwork and documentation

There are certain admin requirements that need to be correct from the start. HMRC and the UK Embassy of the destination country will help you to understand the requirements for customs registration, forms, and payments. 

Documentation is at the very heart of exporting, without it there is no contract, no transport and no payment. The requirements vary from country to country. 

For businesses based in Calderdale, Kirklees, and Wakefield, the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce can help with export documentation, with up to 50% discount for Chamber members. Expert staff are accredited to certify UK Certificates of Origin, Arab – British Certificates of Origin, UK EUR1s, and a range of other commercial documents 

For businesses across West Yorkshire, Chamber International can complete the paperwork on your behalf – in part or in full depending on your requirements. 

Chamber International certify, legalise, notarise or arrange Foreign and Commonwealth Office Apostille for tens of thousands of documents each year including: 

  • UK Certificates of Origin 
  • EUR1's
  • International Import Certificates 
  • Freight Invoices 
  • Pre-shipment Inspection 
  • Trade Mark Certificates 


Training and skills for selling overseas

Chamber International specialise in delivering bespoke, high quality, import and export training. 

Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce offer a Foundation Award in International Trading programmes accredited by the British Chambers of Commerce. The core curriculum offers a possible ten modules, providing a detailed understanding and covering all angles of exporting.

Finding partners overseas

Innovate UK Business Growth can help innovation-driven businesses to break into new international business markets and adjacent sectors to grow and scale with help from their connections, expertise and targeted global programmes.  

Innovate UK Business Growth’s international business partnerships tool and connections to overseas specialist advisers allows companies to forge business partnerships that cross borders and take their business to new stages of growth. 

The Department for Business and Trade also have international networks of agents, distributors or partners that may be able to help.