New service to tackle trade barriers launched – open to all

Thu 16 Jan 20

A trade barrier is something that slows down, limits or prevents a UK business exporting to or investing in an overseas market. After the UK’s exit from the EU we can expect new, more and more valuable barriers for Scotland’s exporters. Trade barriers make imported goods and services less competitive than those produced locally, e.g.:


· tariffs and taxes imposed to protect, or favour, local producers

· unfair use of state help or subsidies

· excessive labelling rules or burdensome customs procedures

· restrictive government procurement rules and practices

· technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures that are not in line with the WTO’s Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement

· poor protection of intellectual property rights and geographical indicators

· misuse of sanitary and phytosanitary measures (food safety, plant/ animal health)

· restrictions on access to raw materials

· barriers to trade in services and investment, such as unjustified foreign ownership caps, joint venture obligations and discriminatory treatment


Tell us if you find a barrier to exporting. We’ll help try to resolve it.


Last year the UK Government’s trade team launched a UK-wide tool. Businesses, representative organisations and industry bodies can access the tool to log any barriers.


The Scottish Government is now part of the UK-wide team which receives information on trade barriers from businesses in the UK, focusing on those impacting Scotland.

Report a trade barrier at


Before you fill in the brief, simple request form –

· check that your problem is a trade barrier – barriers to goods and barriers to services

· be ready to include as much information as you can about the barrier and impacts

· be sure to indicate that your business is located in Scotland so the SG is made aware


1. Tell us about your business - including your location in Scotland

What are your business details? How can we contact you?


2. Describe your problem

What’s stopping your exports? Is the problem still affecting your business?


3. Tell us more about your problem

Add any other details you think are relevant to your problem.


4. What happens next

Each request is shared with the UK Department for International Trade’s global team of trade experts who assess trade barriers and work with other governments to resolve these issues. The DIT team will aim to email you within 5 working days to let you know if and how they can help. The SG will work closely with trade experts in Scotland and in-country specialists around the world to help influence the removal of barriers which impact on Scotland’s exporting sectors and businesses.

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