Department for International Trade

From square one to a world-leading service.

How we helped the Government protect UK businesses by delivering a world-class service on time and on budget.

Making free trade, fair trade

Trade remedies are policy tools used by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to help make sure free trade is fair trade. They usually take the form of an additional duty placed on imports of dumped or subsidised goods.

As Britain prepared to leave the EU, the Government realised it needed to take ownership of its trade remedies service for the first time in over 46 years. The Department of International Trade (DIT) asked Engine Transformation to help deliver a policy that could replace the EU’s trade remedies and protect UK businesses from unfair trading practices.

Creating a world first

Engine Transformation worked with the DIT, the Trade Policy Group (TPG) and the Trade Remedies Investigations Directorate (TRID) to conceptualise, design, prototype and build the first fully digital Trade Remedies Service in the world.

Perfectly simple design

We started by carrying out extensive user research sessions with UK businesses and lawyers who specialised in trade remedies. Using the insights uncovered in these sessions combined with our expertise of best practice, our Service Designers and User Researchers simplified the WTO’s complex process without losing any meaning. Next, we tested our designs to ensure any assumptions we made were validated and our efforts to evolve the design further were informed.

To ensure we delivered an MVP on time, we broke the development into small chunks that we could deliver in sprint cycles. This gave user research, design, development and testing a clear area to focus on and made for a more efficient use of time. We prioritised features based on their risk to deliver and their need from day one. Since Brexit, we have further developed and improved the service based on user testing findings.

Organisations have registered to use the service, including 14 Government departments


Cases have been initiated using the service since launch


UK steel jobs would have been at stake if duties on welded tubes and pipes from China had been prolonged


Usually consultants come in and spend a long time, then just tell us things we already know. You have been here 2 weeks and have already told us things we didn’t know and had to know.

Senior Policy Holder, Trade Policy Group