Know your market
Before attempting to move your goods to another country, understanding a bit about the country you are exporting to can help smooth the way into successful exporting.
Taking time to learn about a country’s standard trading practices, and being mindful of local customs and traditions that might conflict with what or how you are planning to sell is really important.
For example, you can’t sell Madonna CDs in Dubai because they are considered too provocative, and in other countries certain books might be censored, blacked out or just rejected.
It is also helpful to have people in your organisation who speak the language of where you are looking to export to – don’t assume everyone will want to talk to you in English!
A geography lesson will also help you avoid any mishaps with the location of airports, sea ports and any difficult terrain that might get in your way.
Evidence shows that more trade takes place with countries with a direct air link, so if you’re unsure about expanding to South Africa or Australia, choose the one with an established direct air route – which isn’t Australia!
What you are exporting is also important – is your product hazardous, and does the receiving country have different rules about handling it?
Certain products will need to be licenced, and some countries have restrictions on some goods, such as foodstuffs or military hardware.
You may need licences or certificates if you are exporting any of the following:
- Animals or animal products
- Plants and plant products
- Drugs and medicines
- Medical devices
- Ozone-depleting substances and F-gases
- Radioactive substances
- Art works, antiques and culturally significant items
- Items which could be used for torture or capital punishment
- Firearms, ammunition and related equipment
- Items which can have both civil and military uses
Certificate of origin
Finally, you will need to provide proof of origin if your goods have a reduced or zero rate of duty in the country you are exporting to – it is likely that any country which has a trade agreement with the UK will trade on these terms.
There are some exceptions, but unless the trade agreement specifically says you don’t need a proof of origin you will need to be able to prove to customs officials world-wide that the goods are eligible for preferential rates of duty.
The type of proof you need varies depending on country, so it is wise to check and we, as an experienced freight forwarder, can make sure you get it right.
If you’ve determined that your product is compatible with the country you are looking to export to, then the next step in your export journey is to check that your company itself is ready to export. Read more here ( link to company ready to export) or contact 01952 270699 for a chat with our friendly, knowledgeable team.