KIB Newsletter May 2022

Posted on: 4th May 2022

International Trade Webinars & Events – diary dates:


SEED Project Update –Malaysia, UAE, Canada & the Philippines

Sign up now for the South East Export Development project’s next Virtual Trade Mission programmes of activity until October 2022 focusing on the following:

  • Canada (Digital & Creative and Health & Life Science) – 24 May – August
  • Malaysia (Health & Life Sciences) – 15 June – 2 September
  • United Arab Emirates (Health & Life Science) – 1 July – 13 October
  • Philippines (Food & Drink)- dates TBC

These Virtual Trade Mission programmes offer the following free support to eligible businesses:

  1. Bespoke international market briefings and insight delivered by ‘in-market’ sector specialists.
  2. Individual 1-2-1 support from sector specialists to ensure participants understand how to get fully ‘export ready’ for the relevant international market.
  3. 1-2-1 meetings with targeted in-market business contacts (distributors, buyers etc.) during a scheduled period of time.

Click here to download our Malaysia Health & Life Science Programme flyer with details of the programme.

Click here to download our UAE Health & Life Science Programme flyer with details of the programme. 

Click here to download our Canada Health & Life Science Programme flyer with details of the programme. 

Please click here to download our Canada Digital & Creative Programme flyer with details of the programme. 

Further confirmed details on our remaining programmes to follow soon!

If you’re interested in participating in the SEED project, click here to contact us or click here to download our Expression of Interest form on this page and return to us.

UAE flag
Malaysia flag
Canada flag
SEED Project Logo

IMPULS Project Update


As part of the IMPULS project and to foster easier connections between the UK & France, IMPULS can offer FREE or reduced rate attendance for the following virtual life science events taking place.

  • Knowledge for Growth, 18 -19 May 2022,
  • SEHTA 2022 International Medtech Expo & Conference, 13 October 2022,
  • Medica 2022, 14-17 November 22 – we are hoping to confirm shortly the organisation of an IMPULS pavilion with pods for Kent companies – details TBC


  • Innovations in Digital Health in France, 25 May 2022. Please click here to register
  • Innovating to respond to the ‘new normal’ in the UK, 16 June 2022
  • Making the most of virtual and real-life tradeshows, 5 July 2022

Bespoke Free Marketing opportunities:

Promotional Videos

We will be giving Life Science businesses the opportunity to film a short interview-style video about their business, products or services. This film will be supplied with French subtitles can be used to promote your company to an international audience and can be shared on social media platforms and as part of virtual and in person industry events. Filming will take place on 8 June in Maidstone.

Brochure/ Interactive Online Map

We will also be creating a brochure and an interactive on-line map which will showcase innovative Life Science companies in the South East of England and the North West of France also to be shared at major Life Sciences industry events.

If you are interested in producing a promo video and/or featuring in the brochure and interactive map then please contact

To sign up for the IMPULS project newsletter and be kept up to date with all the opportunities through IMPULS then please click  on this link.

IMPULS is part-financed by the Interreg France-Channel-England Programme. It aims to help SMEs from SE England and NW France to collaborate, internationalise and access opportunities on both sides of the Channel and further afield. It will run until January 2023.

IMPULS Project Logo

Boost4Health is ending…

Boost4Health project connects Kent companies to Life Science clusters and contacts in several North West European countries and can facilitate these connections with a small voucher.

  • B4H vouchers will only be available until June 2022
  • Only several vouchers remaining!

Apply for a Boost4Health Vouchers to help with internationalisation (max. value €1,500)

What’s on offer?

  • Hire a consultant in another European country, to carry out lead generation / customer identification activities abroad.
  • Feasibility studies for market suitability / insight / routes to market in mainland Europe.
  • Hire a consultant / agency, to carry product or marketing material localisation activities abroad.
  • Organise digital market insight / compliance training sessions

Please click here to apply for a Support Voucher

Apply for a Boost4Health Connection Voucher (max. value €500):

Kent Life Science companies who are keen to attend events hosted across North West Europe can apply for a €500 Boost4Health Connection Voucher.

What’s on offer?

  • Cover fees for online events and other relevant services to the event special sessions, costs for promotion, matchmaking apps) or for internationalisation purposes
  • Cover travel and accommodation costs to attend events across North West Europe in person

Please click here to apply for a connection voucher

Boost4Health project logo

Queen’s Award for  Enterprise 2022 – Kent Winners!

Congratulations to two fantastic Kent-based businesses which have won the 2022 Queen’s Award for International Trade:

Totally Natural Solutions Ltd:

Totally Natural Solutions Ltd started trading in August 2013 and is based in Paddock Wood. The company is a provider of natural hop oil extracts to the brewing industry. The company has a suite of laboratories which offer hop research and development facilities. The export strategy focuses on beverage markets in USA, Europe, South-East Asia and Australia through a network of local agents and distributers. TNS products suit low and no-alcohol markets like Indonesia and Africa, with large Muslim populations. The company demonstrated extraordinary nimbleness and innovation in response to the challenges presented by COVID to ensure continuity of supply. Overseas sales have grown by 89% over the three-year application period and the proportion of sales exported in the final year was 77%. The company wins the Queen’s Award for International Trade for Outstanding Short-Term Growth in overseas sales over the last three years.

For more information about the company, visit:

Proper Music Distribution Ltd:

Established in 1993, in Dartford, Kent, Proper Music Distribution Ltd (PMD) is the UK’s leading physical music distributor; distributing for over 1000 independent record labels and music services companies. The company handles over 1,000,000 music titles and is renowned for its specialist knowledge as well as playing a leading role in encouraging physical music formats to thrive in the digital age; and to consider digital and physical formats as complementary to each other, with digital working as an access format and physical one of ownership. The business is spread across the world with its main markets being France, US, Japan, Germany, and the Netherlands. Over the last three years they have established Australia, Japan and Sweden as new overseas markets, which have grown steadily year on year. Overseas sales have grown by 85% and the percentage exported has risen from 17% to 23%. The company wins the Queen’s Award for International Trade for Outstanding Short Term Growth in overseas sales over the last three years.

For more information about the company, visit:

Fresh Insight into Exporting Post-Covid:

As part of the EU-funded, Interreg SME Internationalisation Exchange (SIE) Project, Kent County Council recently commissioned the Kent Business School to carry out a study on the impacts of recent major events (the Covid-19 Pandemic and the UK leaving the EU) on export activity among SMEs in Kent.

The findings of the report were shared in a workshop at the 2022 Kent Business Summit organised by the Kent Business School on 27 April.

Using a representative sample for the Kent SME population and an anonymous survey with 316 managers, the findings of the study suggested that the impacts of Brexit and Covid-19 on exporting SMEs has been mixed in Kent.  50% of firms surveyed have decreased exports since the start of 2021, as they have faced additional administrative barriers and costs associated with tariffs. Moreover, 8% of firms have stopped exporting completely for various reasons including a lack of specialised workforce.  In contrast, 11 % of firms have used exporting as a strategy to build resilience and increase growth and have started to export since Covid-19.  This variety of firm responses to Brexit and Covid-19 suggests that SMEs require tailored support to their specific needs and stage in the exporting process (i.e. whether they are currently exporting, are considering exporting or have stopped exporting and are considering starting again). With support provided by the Department for International Trade and Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce as well as several bespoke programmes which all make up the wider ‘Kent International Business’ offering led by Kent Country Council, key stakeholders in the county are now looking at ways to enhance these support initiatives in light of the recent findings.

The study suggests that exporting brings significant benefits to SMEs such as access to distributors, additional earnings and building resilience. How to make the best of exporting? Markets such as the European Union, the US, Canada, New Zealand, India, and China are predicted to remain the most important markets for Kent SMEs, due to existing relationships, geographical closeness (the EU), cultural affinity (the US, Canada and New Zealand), or high economic growth prospects (India and China). Attending digital fairs and other networks may be a cost-effective way for SMEs to find distributors in other markets and enhance exporting. To make the best of exporting, SME managers may also need to improve their digital skills and embrace digitalisation which appears to be increasingly important for accessing foreign markets and business growth.

While the KIB team in Kent consider the main findings and plan how to ensure that barriers faced by Kent companies can be tackled, support for all aspects of exporting remains available. You can find a short summary of current export support activities by clicking this link.

Please click this link to view the report.

SIE Project Logo

Old Dairy Brewery – DIT Export Champion 2022-23

Old Dairy Brewery in Tenterden is proud to announce that it has been asked to be a DIT Export Champion for the South East for 2022 and 2023. The company is thrilled to have been appointed an Export Champion by the Department for International Trade for the second year. The role of Export Champion is to encourage and inspire other businesses to grow through exports drawing on the company’s experience of entering over 4 new markets in the last 5 years. Feel free to contact the company to discuss any export opportunities or maybe become involved with its new export initiative – Old Dairy Brewery Export Collective Project.

Virginia Hodge, Export Champion, Old Dairy Brewery says: ‘We are delighted to be chosen again as an Export Champion by the Department for International Trade, supporting other SMEs on their export journey. At Old Dairy Brewery we currently export to countries in the EU but are looking to grow our exports to the wider world! We’re always happy to share our experiences.’

Export Champions are successful, experienced exporters who volunteer their time to inspire others to grow their business internationally, for example by speaking at events and raising awareness of DIT support available. Through sharing their knowledge and expertise, they play an important role in increasing the export potential of SMEs and contributing to economic growth.

Old Dairy Brewery is based in Tenterden, and has a Taproom and Brewery Shop on site.

Old Dairy Brewery Export consolidation project

Want to follow suit? Old Dairy is inviting local beer, wine and cider producers to partner with them on their new export consolidation project:

  • This project will enhance the Export offering to include a wider range of breweries and styles from across the country ranging from traditional English beer to exciting craft beers.
  • The aim of the project is enable us AND other English breweries wishing to join us on this visionary journey, to grow & expand ALL our export sales together.
  • The offering to International Customers will include a wider range of different English beers & styles in cask, bottle, can and keg making it a very attractive solution to suit all markets and tastes.

If you are interested and want to discuss further, please contact Virginia Hodge at Old Dairy Brewery,

Export Champion 22-23 Logo
Old Dairy Brewery Logo
Image showing Old Dairy Brewery bottles on the shelf
Aerial shot of Old Dairy Brewery

Upskill your Export Team with Modern Foreign Languages

Businesses are often telling us that they don’t always have the complete skillset required for exporting products or services. One thing that can help to set your businesses apart from the competition is language skills. Being able to communicate with potential overseas contacts, customers and distributors can give your business a great advantage and can make the whole export process a lot more straightforward. Creating bespoke marketing materials, brochures, landing pages and company or product information in the languages of your target markets also has many benefits. The Langton Language Centre in Canterbury is now able to offer language courses for businesses in a number of different modern foreign languages including: Polish, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Turkish, French, Spanish and German.

Please click here to visit the Langton Language Centre website to find out more. Or contact Mr David Stalley:

Langton Language Centre Logo

International Trade Latest Training & Events with Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce 

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce has a number of nationally accredited international trade courses delivered by the Accredited Chamber Network that together form an import and export curriculum.

These courses give international traders the essential skills invaluable to small and large businesses alike.

During each course the candidates must demonstrate knowledge of the subject, and their performance is marked by an external assessor.

Forthcoming sessions include:

  • Pricing and Quoting for Overseas Supply – 10 May
  • Appointing and Working with Overseas Clients – 26 May
  • Customs Procedures, including IPR, OPR and RGR – 7 June
  • Trade and Finance (For Importers and Exporters) – 21 June


Trading with Switzerland – Government Consultation

The  Department for International Trade is seeking input on which aspects of the current trading arrangements with Switzerland the government should look to improve or amend. The consultation closes at 11:45pm on 22 June 2022

The Government is keen to know:

  1. What businesses think about our current trading arrangements with Switzerland
  2. Where it could make changes or improvements
  3. Where businesses are facing challenges or constraints when attempting to trade or invest in Switzerland

The Government will use this information to help inform its approach for starting negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA) with Switzerland in the future. All responses should be submitted via the online consultation platform which you can access by clicking this link.


Will you be operating light goods vehicles in the EU from 21 May?

New EU rules mean you will need an International Operators’ Licence if you want to use light goods vehicles such as vans, vans or cars towing trailers to transport goods for hire or reward into or through the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein on or after 21 May 2022. If you want to continue operating in the EU without interruption from 21 May 2022, you will need to apply now for an interim licence on GOV.UK.

Don’t forget:

  1. You’ll need to have a qualified transport manager. If you do not have the qualification, you might be able to be temporarily recognised as a transport manager if you have enough experience. You can make the process easier by using the service on GOV.UK.
  2. If you already hold an International Operators’ Licence for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) you can add extra LGVs to your existing licence.
  3. You’ll need to show documents to prove that you have access to a set amount of finance to run your business, such as bank statements. You may also need to make posting declarations for journeys to the EU
  4. If you’re transporting goods between two points in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway for commercial purposes, (known as cabotage or cross trade), you must now make a “posting declaration”, which means registering the operator, driver, driver employment details, dates of travel, and the vehicle used. This could be using HGVs, vans or other light goods vehicles of any size, or cars, whether or not you’re towing a trailer. It’ll apply if you’re moving the goods for hire or reward, or for your own business’ use.

The information you need to sign up and start declaring is available on the government website which you can access by clicking here.

Latest information and guidance for businesses trading with Ukraine or Russia

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has expanded the Export Support Service (ESS) to act as a single point of enquiry for businesses and traders with questions relating to the situation in Ukraine and Russia. Visit, or call the helpline on 0300 303 8955. It is currently operational daily, including weekends: 8am to 10pm.

Visit the website by clicking here for the latest guidance on sanctions relating to exporting to Russia. Key links below: