Privacy notice for ‘Ask the export support team a question’ service

The Purpose of this document

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is committed to protecting the privacy and security of your information. This notice describes how we collect and use your personal information in accordance with UK Data Protection legislation, including the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.

It is important that you read this notice, so that you are aware of how and why we are using your information.

Cookie Policy

Read our cookie policy to find out about the cookies we use, what they're for and when they expire.

Legal basis for processing your data

We will process (collect, store and use) your personal data only to fulfil DIT’s public duty as a government department.

We will also request your consent to process your information for the purpose of sending you marketing communications. You have the right to unsubscribe at any time. For email marketing, you can do so using the ‘unsubscribe’ link included in the marketing emails. For telephone marketing, you should inform the caller that you no longer wish to be contacted.

What personal data we collect

The personal information DIT will collect is:

  • your name
  • your email address
  • your phone number
  • your address

The following details as they relate to your enquiry:

  • business name
  • business postcode
  • your position within the business organisation
  • company registration number
  • UK business turnover for the last financial year
  • number of UK employees
  • industry or business area
  • type of goods or services to be exported
  • trade activity (import or export)
  • country or region exporting to
  • country or region importing from
  • use of assistive technology
  • the question or enquiry you are asking
  • value of the export
  • enquirer need
  • enquirer intent
  • enquiry source
  • enquiry outcome
  • rating of enquirer’s knowledge of where to go for help and support with exporting
  • exporting experience
  • where did you hear about ESS
  • your feedback about ESS

The purpose of collecting data

The data you provide will be processed by DIT for the following purposes:

  • to manage relationships in support to businesses trading or investing internationally
  • to identify and secure opportunities both international and the UK
  • to direct businesses to appropriate advice, events, and services
  • to better evaluate the impact of trade and investment services and process business applications to access trade and investment related advice and services
  • to support understanding of the trade and investment environment and the domestic and international business landscape
  • to target financial support at businesses to secure trade and investment opportunities
  • to understand barriers to trade and investment and design effective and intelligent trade and investment policy, services and make business decisions
  • to send you marketing communications with your consent, which you can withdraw at anytime
  • to seek your feedback and improve our services

How we protect and share your data

DIT is the data controller for your data. DIT will only share data covered by this privacy notice with third parties to support the purposes as shown above.

All organisations we share your data with must have a data protection policy and systems in place to protect personal data and be under contract or other agreement (for Crown bodies) to use this data only for the purposes within this privacy notice. The data has technical controls in place to restrict access and will be stored within the UK and the EEA.

These organisations may include:

  • UK Export Finance
  • Other Government Departments (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Cabinet Office)
  • Devolved Administrations (Welsh Government, Scottish Government, Invest Northern Ireland)
  • Local Enterprise Partners (38 organisations) including Local Government and trade bodies.
  • Overseas Delivery Partners, operating under grant letter to DIT
  • Other third parties under contract to support the above purposes (These include and are not limited to: Adetiq, UK Shared Business Services, Kantar Public, Dun and Bradstreet Ltd, Zendesk, Freshdesk, Green Park, Profusion, MadeTech).

DIT or organisations contracted by DIT may contact you using the information you provide, in order to request feedback on the services and for your input on how to improve them.

Aggregated analysis may be shared with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) the Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA), the National Audit Office (NAO)

We will not:

  • sell or rent your data to third parties
  • share your data with third parties unless legally obliged to do so by law or regulation – for example, by court order, or to prevent fraud or other crime.

How long we keep your data

We will only retain your personal information for as long as:

  • it is needed for the purposes set out in this document
  • the law requires us to,

In line with DIT’s retention and disposal policy and schedules, your personal data will be retained for 3 years from the date when it was provided, or subsequently updated, and then disposed of.

Anonymised information related to your query, our advice, aggregated analyses, and any other related information will be retained for up to 15 years from the date when the advice was provided or the analyses approved.

Your rights and access to your information

You have the right to request:

  • information about how your personal data is processed.
  • a copy of that personal data
  • that anything inaccurate in your personal data is corrected immediately

You can also:

  • raise an objection about how your personal data is processed
  • request that your personal data is erased if there is no longer a justification for it
  • ask that the processing of your personal data is restricted in certain circumstances
  • request an opt-out from being contacted for research purposes

Contacting us

If you have any questions about this privacy notice or how we handle your personal information, you can also write to us at:
Department For International Trade
Old Admiralty Building
Admiralty Place

You can also make a complaint to the Information Commissioner, who is an independent regulator.
Telephone: 0303 123 1113
Textphone: 01625 545860
Monday to Friday, 9am to 4:30pm

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Cheshire SK9 5AF

Changes to this privacy notice

We reserve the right to update this privacy notice at any time and we will provide you with a new privacy notice if we make any substantial updates.

The Department for International Trade are registered as a Data Controller under the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018.


Information provided whilst using this service, including personal information, may be disclosed in accordance with access to information regimes, primarily the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

If you want the information you provide to be treated confidentially, please be aware that, in accordance with the FOIA, public authorities are required to comply with a statutory code of practice which deals, amongst other things, with obligations of confidence.

In view of this, it would be helpful if you could explain to us why you wish that information to be treated confidentially. If we receive a request for disclosure of that information, we will take full account of your explanation, but we cannot give an assurance that confidentiality can be maintained in all circumstances.


Read the Export Support Service disclaimer.