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Digitally de-risking international trade

11 December 2020

THE LARGEST trade associations in the UK have collaborated to launch an innovative platform to help SMEs understand the potential risks they may face as an international trader.

Open Borders Direct has been developed with the International Chamber of Commerce, Make UK, FSB, Food & Drink Federation, UK Warehousing Assocication, British International Freight Association and the Instistute Of Leadership & Management.

The platform uses the latest digital tools to bring together in one place the help SMEs need to safely navigate key crunch points for international trade - the legal aspects, payments, delivery and complex documentation, insurance and liabilities as well as market planning. An innovative risk report is created with every query, helping companies decide which markets to explore, and equally importantly, which it would be wise to avoid.

Due Diligence searches are included, allowing a small business to quickly research their potential customer base alongside understanding local risks through adverse media and sanctions. There is also an Incoterms®2020 digitised selection tool to help companies work out potential contractual liabilities, HMRC Tariff codes, FX Virtual Bank accounts, Single invoice insurance and alternatives to letters of credit.

With so many unknown issues yet to face, the platform will be updated as the trading landscape emerges in the coming months. Companies will be supported with an extensive online help resource - ‘Ask Lesley’ - that allows businesses to send in questions and access experts directly online.

From January 1st 2021, UK businesses need to treat all trading markets, including European ones, as they have the rest of the world and as such this needs a rethink on how to tackle the new landscape. OBD is ready to help and support SMEs in understanding what is needed and where they may have missed a step – www.openborders.direct