BExA member Coltraco Ultrasonics, an innovative Somerset-based ultrasonic technology manufacturer for the maritime and naval sectors, has secured a new contract with the Indian Navy, thanks to support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).

The contract will see the British business supply almost 200 of its advanced watertight integrity inspection product Portascanner® WATERTIGHT, to the Indian Navy to protect its sailors by ensuring the hatches, doors and cable transits on its 155 warships are watertight. The contract will service one of the largest navies in the world, employing more than 67,000 personnel.

The business’s Technical Office in Somerset, which opened in 2011, will be key to providing support to the maritime force through its final product testing and logistics.

The deal follows a determined effort by the business to bolster its presence in India, by exhibiting at various trade shows in the country. Coltraco was supported by DIT’s Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP), which is part of the Exporting is GREAT campaign. TAP provides grant funding to help businesses gain essential market knowledge and make new contacts by exhibiting at trade shows around the world.

Coltraco has provided a similar service to the Royal Navy in the UK for over 20 years and works with customers in 109 countries including Singapore, China and the US. Asia accounts for 40% of the company’s exports, while North America, the Middle East and Europe account for 17%, 10% and 15%, respectively, with the balance to South America and Africa.

Carl Hunter, Chief Executive of Coltraco Ultrasonics, said: “We presented our Portascanner® WATERTIGHT to the Indian Navy who carried out extensive trials with competitors. The Indian Navy selected our product for its accuracy – it’s the most mathematically accurate model available worldwide – its ease-of-use, and the local in-country support. We secured the Indian Navy contract with thanks also to our Indian Naval Partners.

“Working in international markets like India presents opportunities and challenges. With our 30-year export experience, we are well accustomed to managing and succeeding abroad, and one contributing factor is the support from UK Government, especially DIT. For example, we started exporting many years ago with the help of the Market Research Reports provided by DIT (formerly UKTI) – today called OMIS reports. We have also attended workshops e.g. an Overseas Agent Masterclass that advises on global network development.

“My advice to any company considering exporting is to do it. Exporting has had a huge impact on our business, and if we can, so can other British businesses.”

Paul Shand, DIT head of South West, said: “There is huge global demand internationally for specialist technology like that designed by Coltraco Ultrasonics, which is clear from the fact that almost 90% of their sales come from overseas.

“DIT has a dedicated team of International Trade Advisers located across the South West to help businesses across a wide range of sectors, succeed on the global stage.”

The deal follows the launch of DIT’s export strategy earlier this year that sets out how the government will support businesses of all sizes to make the most of the opportunities presented by markets across the world.

A government-led collaboration with business, developed after extensive engagement with a range of UK firms, the Strategy sets a new ambition from government to increase exports as a proportion of UK GDP to 35%.

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HMRC begins roll out of new Customs Declaration Service

In August, HMRC launched the first release of its new Customs Declaration Service (CDS), which is replacing the 25 year old Customs Handing of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system.

CDS is a modern and flexible system that will allow importers and exporters who trade outside of the EU to include more items with each declaration, potentially reducing how many declarations they need to make. For the first time, your Government Gateway account will include a record of all of your businesses’ imports and exports.

CDS is being introduced gradually and the timing of your move over to it will depend on when your business, or your software developer or agent, are ready. Developers should already be working with HMRC to update their software applications and, if they haven’t already, will contact you soon to explain if there’s anything else you need to do.

For most importers and exporters this will include confirming your company’s Government Gateway account details, registering for the CDS service through it and authorise their software application.

If your business trades outside of the EU, you should use this time to familiarise yourself with changes to the tariff which has been updated to meet the requirements of the Union Customs Code. Guidance explaining the new changes to the tariff can be found on GOV.UK

The British Exporters Association is working with HMRC to provide relevant information to businesses but encourages you to visit regularly for the latest updates.

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BExA in the news – ‘Government urged not to restrict lending to exporters’

Following the recent launch of BExA’s 9th Annual UK Export Finance benchmarking paper, member Aon has published an article entitled ‘Government urged not to restrict lending to exporters’.  Full details can be viewed here.

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BExA member Trade Finance Global releases Brexit event survey results

For full details of the event and survey results please click here.

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GTR-BExA Young Exporter Award 2018

The finalists of this year’s Award have been recognised at the BExA Annual Lunch which was held at Mansion House on 10th October.

P110-BEXA-180The Winner of the Award was announced as Jonathon Moyce,  owner and Director of Loving Pets UK Ltd.  Jonathon brought together all the key elements that the judges were looking for in a winner: he started his own business, has designed products, and has grown his business exponentially since he founded it in 2014 – always with a clear focus on exports.  The company currently exports to 11 countries and stocks with multinational vendors.  Clearly happy to roll up his sleeves to do whatever it takes to make the business a success, Jonathon is a true export entrepreneur.

P110-BEXA-176The Runner-up of the Award this year was Alessia Borrini,  a Bid Manager at NMS Infrastructure Ltd, a managing EPC developer specialising in fully-funded infrastructure projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Alessia’s role at NMS was initially focussed on supporting bid development in Francophone Africa, but having quickly developed a deep understanding of what is needed to win business abroad, the company now credits her with making a significant contribution to the winning of major contracts.  With her remarkable insight and energy, Alessia has all the determination and potential to become a positive force for export.

The other finalists were:

George Hunter, Director of Sales at Coltraco Ultrasonics Ltd, a company which designs and manufactures safety instrumentation and monitoring systems across a range of markets including marine and power generation.  Trading across borders is clearly in George’s blood and the passion and energy he demonstrated towards his work is the essence of a truly pioneering exporter.

Tom Wrigley, Vice President Business Development at Winch Energy, a global off-grid energy developer and technology integrator.  Tom’s knowledge of Export Finance and enthusiasm for the political motivators that drive the business has meant that he has been front and centre of business development for some really vital projects in Africa.


Geoff de Mowbray, Co-Chairmen of BExA and one of the Award judges commented “Having met with these remarkable young people – all of whom are winners in their own right – I’m pleased to report that the spirit of UK exports is well and truly alive!”

L-R: Alderman Sir David Wootton, Jonathon Moyce, Marcus Dolman, Geoff de Mowbray, Alessia Borrini and Baroness Symons.


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BExA launches 9th Annual Benchmarking of UK Export Finance

BExA launches today its 9th Annual Benchmarking of UK Export Finance entitled ‘Strategy and reality’.

Read the press release.
Download a copy.

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BExA response to Export Strategy launch

BExA is extremely encouraged by the new Export Strategy launched today by the Department for International Trade (DIT). The positive intent it sets for UK exports and the challenging growth targets are welcomed.

We have long campaigned for a whole-Government approach to exports and we are pleased to see the Export Strategy sets out this vision for greater interdepartmental collaboration and unity. Our members will be enthused by the possibility of greater links between DIT and DfID to provide real value from our aid budgets for both the recipient country and UK business.

As a partner of the Exporting is GREAT campaign we welcome the commitment to enhance the website offering to act as a signpost for all of the information an exporter may require.

Ensuring that businesses have the right information at their fingertips to break down Exporting barriers, coupled with a joined up Government approach to export will enable the UK to meet its ambitious but achievable target of exports equalling 35% of GDP.

We are excited to work with DIT to ensure that the intent of the strategy is delivered in reality.

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BExA member awards international trade scholarship

BExA member Trade Finance Global (TFG) has announced Shawn Chow, an Economics undergraduate at the University of Warwick, as the winner and recipient of the 2018 Trade Finance Global Accelerate Scholarship. Shawn was chosen from more than 2,000 applicants and will receive a £500 scholarship as well as a 5-week complimentary trade finance course from TFG.

 As part of the competition and entry, participants were asked to write a thought leadership piece or review on an area of global trade.  Click here to read the full article.
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UK Export Finance publishes its Annual Report & Accounts 2017/18

BExA congratulates UK Export Finance (UKEF) on another solid set of results. Although the numbers of businesses supported and value of support fell from the previous year, the increase in the number of facilities written shows a continued growth in the use of UKEF products.

We will work closely with UKEF to realise their 2018-2019 objectives with particular focus on the product range review and marketing campaigns.

UKEF continues to be a real asset for UK exporters and is something to be proud of. BExA is pleased to see our recommendations coming to fruition and look forward to continuing our work in helping UKEF further improve their products and services.

The Annual Report and Accounts can be downloaded here.

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Young Exporter Award 2018 – nominations now open!

The GTR-BExA Young Exporter Award brings recognition to a particularly capable young exporter.  For more information about the award, entry criteria and to download a nomination form please click here.

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