Barriers to Trade

The Market Access Unit (MAU) of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) provides a range of assistance to UK firms to help them overcome problems when trading in the EU or globally.

With regards to problems exporters face within Europe, the MAU works with authorities in other Member States to seek solutions wherever it can, either through the EU network of “SOLVIT Centres” or through its network of British embassies and their contacts in national governments. More information can be found

SOLVIT is a free service which aims to try and resolve misapplications of EU rules informally and speedily and so remove the need for lengthy, costly and formal procedures. Detailed information on SOLVIT can be found at:

Examples of UK SOLVIT success stories can be viewed here: UK SOLVIT success stories

With regards to market access issues in non-EU countries, the MAU strives to remove market access problems and to keep markets open with the work that UK ministers, UKTI and other parts of government undertake in bilateral contacts with other countries. In addition, the MAU works together with the European Commission and in partnership with business to tackle barriers to trade as part of the EU’s Market Access Strategy initiative. Detailed information on the work of the International Market Access Unit can be found

The MAU has published an information booklet for businesses which outlines the range of services it provides to UK firms. ‘Trading in the Global Marketplace – How BIS can help’ is a simple guide for business, covering subjects such as:

It also signposts further assistance available via BusinessLink and UKTI.

An electronic version of the guide can be found on the BIS website at Hard copies for business contacts can be obtained by emailing Ruchi Nanda on [email protected]