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Covid-19 - help for those trading internationally

Posted on 6th April 2020 - News

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Whilst the government’s focus has been on the impact of Covid-19 on businesses in the UK, the Department of International Trade (DIT) has sought to outline its support for those UK businesses that are trading internationally and may require financial assistance.

Whilst many of the measures announced by the government, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, can be accessed by most businesses, those trading internationally do face their own challenges. This has been recognised by the DIT and they are seeking to provide support to those affected. 

In particular their focus covers:

In country intelligence including business risk

Whilst many businesses operating overseas will have access to in country advice or intelligence concerning the impact of Covid-19, more specific advice is available from the in country or in region UK Embassy or consulate. General advice relating to business risk in a particular country is provided here

Supply chains affected by Covid-19

If your supply chain has been affected by Covid-19, DIT can help you to find alternative suppliers. The department has relationships with a global network of businesses across the world and will be able to advise you on the options available.

Financial support for exporters

UK Export Finance (UKEF) works with banks and insurance brokers to help companies of all sizes fulfil and get paid for export contracts. It provides guarantees, loans and insurance on behalf of the government that can protect UK exporters facing delayed payments or transit restrictions. You can ask for help from UKEF:

  • if your business is facing disruption due to late payments - UKEF can help ease cash flow constraints by guaranteeing bank loans through its Export Working Capital Scheme
  • if you are concerned about getting paid - UKEF offers an export insurance policy that can help you recover the costs of fulfilling an order that is terminated by events outside your control
  • UKEF can also support finance for overseas buyers through the Direct Lending Facility scheme so that they can continue to buy your goods and services
  • UKEF has over £4 billion of capacity to support UK firms exporting to China, as well as significant capacity across other markets affected by the Coronavirus outbreak to help cover these risks.

To find out if UKEF covers your region, email

International business travel

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office offers the latest advice about travelling abroad, including the latest information on Covid-19, safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings. For further details please visit

DIT Covid-19 business support contacts

If you have questions on international trade and Covid-19, further information and dedicated business support is available here

There are DIT offices around the world that can offer advice to businesses specific to your region or country. For further information please visit


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