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In 2021, eight of the top 10 countries saw double-digit growth in their exports to Germany, while trade volumes with the UK shrank by 4.6 percent. So far, the Brits have avoided a fall from the top 10 list, but a potential data revision could yet knock them out.

Trade with the UK will face further hurdles in 2022. The British customs administration halted its simplified import procedure at the beginning of the year. In the summer, it will increase requirements for food imports. Both changes affect the important port of Dover, which at the end of January warned of further traffic jams on the highways. In addition to increased customs controls, the port operator also cites cancelled ships and road repairs. A UK Parliament report blames Brexit for increased costs, bureaucracy and border delays.

However, the UK continues to play a major role in Germany's foreign trade success: in terms of German net exports, it still ranks third after the United States and France.