Businesses are being asked to respond to a consultation from SITPRO, the UK trade facilitation body, looking at the costs they incur complying with international trade regulations. It is part of a Government work programme responding to the challenges facing businesses in the current economic downturn, which is being led by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and HM Revenue and Customs.
Trade policy minister, Gareth Thomas, said, "International trade is vital not just for the global economy but for our domestic prosperity. To help UK firms thrive in the competitive global marketplace we want it to be as simple as possible for them to comply with trade rules."
The Government is drawing up an action plan of steps that they can take to reduce the international trade compliance burden. SITPRO is working to ensure that this action plan reflects the real problems faced by the business community.
SITPRO’s Chairman, Norman Rose, said, “This review is of vital importance to ensure the continued success of British businesses internationally. We need to target and break down the barriers identified by traders if our efforts are to result in real reductions in the cost of doing business.”
Alongside the consultation, SITPRO is also meeting with a range of businesses. Its trade procedures experts will be discussing the current practices of these traders and how they tackle the existing procedures in more detail.
Notes for Editors
The Chancellor’s Pre-Budget Report said, “international trade represents a significant proportion of GDP and it is crucial that domestic trade regulation is as easy to comply with as possible, in order for UK based firms to remain internationally competitive. The Government is taking forward a Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform and HMRC led work programme to review the cost to business of complying with international trade regulation and put forward an action plan alongside the 2009 Pre-Budget Report setting out how it will reduce costs to business.”
Further information about the project can be found at http://www.sitpro.org.uk/regreview/. The consultation document can be completed online or downloaded from http://www.sitpro.org.uk/regreview/consultation.html. Businesses that wish to invite SITPRO to meet with them in person should contact Shondeep Banerji, Senior Policy Adviser, (Tel: 020 7215 8126; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Further information about the assistance available for traders from the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform can be found in the publication Trading in the Global Marketplace: How BERR Can Help, which is available from http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file50559.pdf.
SITPRO, the UK’s Trade Facilitation Agency, was established in 1970 to simplify international trade and much of its work has focussed upon improving the procedures at ports and borders, looking at issues such as improving the arrangements for inspecting goods at the border and streamlining the submission of data to government.
SITPRO is a non-departmental public body funded by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and undertakes policy work at national, European and international levels. For further information, visit SITPRO’s website at http://www.sitpro.org.uk/.
SITPRO News Release - 8 April 2009