Export Advice and Support for UK Businesses

A range of organisations offer export guidance and support for UK businesses, but the landscape of support that exists at a national and devolved level is complex. We’ve collated the information below to help businesses navigate this. It includes a summary of the support we can provide as well as information on other organisations and links to further information. We hope it will be useful for businesses interested in starting to export and those looking for additional advice or support.

Guidance from Seafish

General export guidance: We offer export guidance and support for businesses across the UK. We can provide information on markets and business development, legislation covering seafood exports, organisations that issue seafood health certificates in the UK and food safety and health procedures and documentation required by importing countries. 
Visit our Export Guidance webpage for further details.

Country specific information: We’ve also commissioned a series of Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) reports, or export guides, which provide information and data on a number of key global seafood importing nations. These documents contain general economic overviews and information on trade environment and business culture, supply structure, key regulations, tariffs and labelling requirements as well as tips and useful links. 
Visit our Export Guides webpage to download these resources.

Brexit: If you’re looking for information relating to Brexit, our online guide has general overview information and sections on traceability and labelling, importing and exporting, as well as further guidance with links to other information and resources available. 
Visit our Preparing your business for EU Exit webpage for full details.

Trade and tariff information: If you’re looking for UK seafood trade and tariff data you can access this via our Trade and Tariff Tool in Tableau (T4). It gives businesses easy access to seafood trade data for human consumption based on HMRC data – including data on weight, value and country. Information can be displayed year by year, making comparisons easy and allowing businesses to identify trends and opportunities.
Visit our Trade & Tariff Tool in Tableau webpage to find out more and access the tool.

Events: We also deliver a range of regional, national and international events, including our UK and Scottish Seafood Summits. Visit our Seafish events webpage or contact your local regional team representative to find out more about events in your area.

UK-wide Guidance

UK Government

The UK Government provides information through the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Her Majesty's Revenue and Custom (HMRC), and has an international trade focus through the Department for International Trade (DIT).

General export guidance: Their guidance covers how to move goods within the EU, export outside the EU and export licences and special rules. Visit their website for information on Exporting and doing business abroad.

Exporting is Great: This campaign from central government and the DIT contains market guides and information on routes to market, logistics, finance and insurance. It also has information on how to create an export plan, and risk analysis for corruption, human rights and modern slavery. Visit the Great Gov website.

Brexit guidance: The UK Government has produced a guide on Exporting after Brexit if there’s no deal - country by country and Defra has produced a guide on how to Prepare your food and drink business for a no-deal Brexit.

Other resources: View details of the DIT offices around the world and view the DIT’s Calendar of Events.

Food and Drink Federation

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is a membership organisation that represents and advises UK food and drink manufacturers. They cover the whole of the UK with an autonomous Scottish Division (SFDF) and separate membership for FDF Wales (Cymru). They have worked with the Food & Drink Exporters Association (FDEA) to produce a ‘Five steps to sustainable Export success’ guide. The also provide data to highlight information and trends from UK Export Statistics and have a calendar of events.

Visit the FDF website for further details.

Food & Drink Exporters Association

The Food & Drink Exporters Association (FDEA) is a not-for-profit members association which represents UK food and drink companies both to the international buying community and to the UK government. They have worked with the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) to produce a ‘Five Steps to Food and Drink export success’ guide. FDEA also organises UK pavilions at international food and drink trade shows and provides direct advice on export requirements and planning to members on request.

View the FDEA website for further information.

British Chamber of Commerce

The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) is a UK-wide business network accessed through membership. There are accredited Chambers of Commerce in every region of the UK, with 53 accredited chambers in total. They provide training, support with trade documentation and international market access and run events, including an international trade summit. 

Visit their International Trade online hub for further details or contact a local chamber.

Institute of Export & International Trade

The Institute of Export & International Trade is a professional membership body representing and supporting the interests of everyone involved in importing, exporting and international trade. They offer training, qualifications and consultancy services. Members can also access a dedicated helpline enquiry service for export advice.

Visit the Institute of Export & International Trade website to find out more.

Guidance for Scotland

The Scottish Government

The Scottish Government website has information for fish and shellfish exporters on trade within the EU and with third countries. Visit their importing and exporting fish and shellfish webpage for further details.

Brexit guidance: View Brexit specific information on marine and fisheries on the Scottish Government website and visit the mygov.scot website for Fisheries after Brexit (commercial fishing, landing and exporting).

Scottish Enterprise

Scottish Enterprise is Scotland's national economic development agency and a non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government. They aim to deliver a significant, lasting effect on the Scottish economy, by working effectively with partners in the public and private sectors to identify and exploit the best opportunities. They organise visits and pavilions and offer businesses support to develop an export plan, an opportunity to tap their global market expertise and identify new opportunities to boost international sales.

Visit the Export and International Markets page on their website for further details.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is an agency funded by the Scottish Government which aims to integrate economic and community development. Their region extends from Shetland to Argyll, and from the Outer Hebrides to Moray. They offer expert advisers to provide impartial advice to help businesses understand overseas business practices and make the most of the services and support available.

Visit the Export Advisory Service page on their website for further details.

Scotland Food & Drink

Scotland Food & Drink is the industry leadership organisation tasked with driving responsible growth for the sector and building Scotland’s global food and drink reputation. Their market development team helps business to access new routes to retail and foodservice markets, opens doors to buyers and new sales opportunities and provides general support through information and training.

Visit their Market Development webpage to find out more.

Seafood Scotland

Seafood Scotland is the national trade and marketing body for the Scottish seafood industry. They offer free services to all the industry, inclusive of any size, scale or part of the supply chain. Their export development team can help businesses to consolidate existing business and pursue new sales, understand consumer and buying demands, showcase products on exhibition stands, meet and network with buyers, introduce new species to the market and gain PR exposure.

Visit their Export Development webpage to find out more.

Scottish Chambers of Commerce

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce offers businesses support to identify new markets and opportunities or start an exporting journey. Through their global network they can also provide market research, share practical advice and help businesses make new business connections.

Visit their International Trade & Exporting webpage to find out more.

Scottish Development International

Scottish Development International is Scotland’s foreign direct investment agency. It aims to encourage more overseas businesses to set up a location here, invest in Scottish businesses or buy Scottish products. They have a global office network of staff based in over 50 offices around the world and provide information and stats on Scottish exports.

Visit the Exporting and Access to Markets page on their website for further details.

Business Gateway

Business Gateway is a publicly funded service contributing to the economic well-being of Scotland by providing access to free business support services delivered by local authorities. Business Gateway has a network of advisors based in 57 offices across Scotland who offer one-to-one advice and guidance.

Visit the Business Gateway website to find out more.

Guidance for Wales

The Welsh Government

The International Trade Development Programme from Food and Drink Wales provides support on developing an export strategy, researching and qualifying the best markets, defining a route to market or in market partner. They also have information available on financial considerations such as pricing, payments, currency and tax and export procedures, regulations and logistics. Visit their Exporting webpage for further information on support available and links to export statistics.

Brexit guidance: There is a Brexit page on the Food and Drink Wales website and the Welsh Government has created a Fishing export checklist which outlines necessary action for the fishing and food industries if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Guidance for Northern Ireland

Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA)

DAERA provides information on movements to other areas of the EU, exports to third countries and Inspections of exports. Visit their Exports of fish webpage for further information

Brexit guidance: DAERA have also produced a series of leaflets providing advice and guidance to the NI Fishing and Seafood Sector in relation to importing & exporting fish in the event of a No-Deal Brexit – visit their website for details.

Invest Northern Ireland

Invest NI is the economic development agency for Northern Ireland. They signpost businesses to information and resources so they know what’s involved, offer advice on how to get started and provide information about markets around the world. They also run an export events programme.

Visit their Thinking about exporting webpage to find out more.

NI Business Info

NI Business Info is a free service offered by Invest NI, the official online channel for business advice and guidance in Northern Ireland. They offer information on a range of topics including exporting basics to choosing a market, procedures and licences, sector overview and regulations, moving goods and customs declarations.

Visit their Importing and Exporting webpage to find out more.

InterTrade Ireland

InterTradeIreland is a cross-border trade and business development body, funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland (DBEI) and the Department for the Economy (DFE) in Northern Ireland. It provides sales and funding, support and advice as well as a guide to cross-border trade.

Visit their How We Support Sales Growth webpage for further information.

Enterprise Northern Ireland

Enterprise Northern Ireland is the representative body for the region's largest network of business parks and advice centres. They signposts to local Enterprise Agencies that can provide support organisations seeking to grow their business including export guidance.

Visit their Business Growth webpage to find out more.

Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce

The Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce helps businesses with networking opportunities, promotion, business advice, trade contacts and local issues. Their international division can help businesses grow internationally and their export documentation team offer an extensive range of services to help exporters maintain their competitive edge in the global market place.

Visit the International Hub and Export Documentation pages on their website to find out more.

Further info

Read our Export Guidance
View and download Export Guides by Country
View our Brexit Guide
View our Trade and Tariff Tool
View details of Seafish events

The full content from this webpage is available to download as a pdf here


For further information contact:

Dr Lynn Gilmore, Head of International Trade and Regions
e: Lynn.Gilmore@seafish.co.uk
t: +44 (0) 7966 585 816

Or contact your local regional team representative – find contact details for team members here.

For regulatory enquires you can contact the Seafish Regulation team on regulation@seafish.co.uk