Research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has shown that those selling into the EU are suffering more as a result of new paperwork than importers while the great majority of those doing business in Europe have been hit by shipment delays or loss of goods.
The survey also shows that 11% of small exporters have established, or are considering establishing, a presence within an EU country to ease their exporting processes.
A similar number (9%) are thinking about securing, or are already using, warehousing space in the EU or Northern Ireland for the same purpose.
FSB Chairman Mike Cherry said: “At a moment when small firms are doing all we can to return to growth and get our economy firing on all cylinders again, those that do business internationally are being hit with some incredibly demanding, unfamiliar paperwork.”
What have been described by the Government as teething problems are in danger of becoming permanent, systemic ones, he went on.
“While larger firms have the resources and bandwidth to overcome them regardless,” Mr Cherry concluded, “smaller traders are struggling, and considering whether exports are worth the effort anymore.”