As with all new processes and procedures, there are a few basic things you’ll need to get set up within your company to be able to start exporting.
The single most important thing you’ll need is an Economic Operators Registration and Identification number (EORI number). The EORI number is vital if you want to import or export to and from the UK.
Because of Northern Ireland’s special post-Brexit trading arrangements, you will also need an EORI number to export goods to anywhere on the island of Ireland.
If your business is based in Northern Ireland, you might need an EORI to export to mainland Britain, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.
To get an EORI number you will need to be able to show that your business is established in the country you want to import into or export from.
The good news is, it’s really simple to apply for an EORI number and unless any checks are needed on your application, you should receive it within five working days. To apply for yours now visit HMRC here.
You will also need to make sure you have completed a commercial invoice for products you are looking to move and this must travel with the goods.
The selling price or market value of goods should be included on the invoice, and any freight or export insurance which is included in the overall selling price should be listed separately.
Depending on origin, a Statement of Origin, will have to be inserted.
The commercial invoice should contain all information that is required in order to facilitate customs clearance. Every sale has an invoice which will be raised. A commercial invoice for export or import is a little more detailed with additional information like INCO terms and also commodity codes needing to be inserted.
You will need to produce a packing list which helps show what is contained within the shipment. The packing list also shows how it is packed and should contain accurate weights and dimensions.
Please remember that most countries now require all packing materials made of wood to be heat treated. This is the same for pallets and cases or crates. The heat-treated stamp should be visible to customs and border force officials.
You will want to get paid so it is advisable that you contact your bank in order to make sure you can accept international payments. Banks will want to make sure you adhere to money laundering regulations and might require additional information on your client.
Unless the relationship with your overseas customer is strong and trusted, always make sure you have a plan to receive payment before the product has left the UK.
If you’re all set up with the above, then the next thing to think about is what incoterms you are looking to trade under.
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