April 23, 2020

Coronavirus – Support is here for companies and businesses trading internationally

There are many ways in which businesses trading overseas are affected by the COVID-19 crisis. These include

1. breakdown of supply chains;
2. business partners and/or employees not being able to interact as normal because of local rules on social distancing, lockdown etc.;
3. non-payment of invoices
4. financial collapse of business partners abroad.

Therefore, the Department for International Trade (DIT) has issued published a guidance for UK businesses trading internationally, which have been affected by COVID-19. The link to the guidance can be found here.

In terms of practical support the DIT can amongst other things in the event of supply chains being affected offer to assist in finding alternative suppliers. The DIT can also help to ensure smooth clearance of products through customs, and advise on intellectual property and other issues relating to business continuity.

In addition to the financial support available to UK exporters under the government's general business support measures as mentioned above, UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK government’s export credit agency, may be able to:

  • assist UK exporters facing disruption due to late payments, by guaranteeing bank loans, through its Export Working Capital Scheme
  • assist UK exporters recover the costs of fulfilling an order terminated by events beyond their control, through its export insurance scheme
  • enable overseas buyers to continue buying goods and services, by providing them with support finance through the Direct Lending Facility scheme.


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