Checklist For Exporting From The UK


Here is your essential checklist for exporting goods from the UK

Q: I am a UK manufacturer and considering exporting for the very first time. What are the key steps to achieving this?

Ian Walker – Managing Director 3P Logistics shares his experience.

If you`re a fist time exporter (FTE) it can be both an exciting and somewhat daunting experience. With demand for British goods at an all-time high and a range of government funded support at your disposal there has simply never been a better time to be exporting from the UK.

Once you have established overseas demand for your product(s) a number of considerations should follow:

I. Check whether an export licence is necessary

Whether or not you will need an export licence for your goods will be determined by 4 factors, the: o The nature of the goods due to be exported o The destination concerned o The ultimate end use of the goods o The licensability of trade activities

If your goods are classed as “controlled” then it is highly likely you will need an export license.

II. Check the understanding of the terms on which you have offered the goods

When dealing with overseas businesses leave nothing to chance. The cultures and ways of working differ greatly by region. It is therefore essential that the terms of trade are agreed, understood and legally binding in advance. These agreed trading terms should cover all bases including your web site (terms and conditions), verbal agreement, email exchange and above all written and signed documentation.

If your goods are classed as “controlled” then it is highly likely you will need an export license.

III. Check how big the finished order will be?

The actual size of your shipment is required for shipping quotations and for documentation purposes. This is normally measured and documented in cubic feet or cubic metres. You will also need to establish what type of packaging you need to secure the products to ensure the goods are not damaged in transit. A freight forwarder should be able to help with both the freight calculation and also provide guidance on transit packaging.

IV. Check that you adequate freight insurance

You always have the option of not insuring your cargo but you may find that the repercussions are much more wide spread than you think. Insurance comes in many shapes and sizes so take the necessary time to determine the right insurance for you as this may differ by the nature of each consignment:

Main areas of insurance

Product liability This cover protects you in the event that your product causes injury or damage to a person or their property. You could be liable to pay compensation in these circumstances even if you didn’t manufacture the product, and the costs can be severe. Types of insurance – Professional indemnity This insurance covers the cost of compensating clients for loss or damage resulting from negligent services or advice provided by a business or an individual. Types of insurance – Trade Risk insurance Cargo insurance o In Transit o Free on board (FOB) o Worldwide cover (including Open policy/Declaration policy)

V. Check your documentation

Unfortunately there is no exporting without paperwork. Submitting the correct paperwork at the right times can often be the difference between a successful or a failed export. The type of paperwork you will need to consider when exporting centre around the following documents: o A commercial invoice o A packing list (if more than one parcel o A shipping note or transport document o Certificate of shipment/Air waybill/Bill of lading o Any certificates of origin o Any food/drink, dual use/antiquities works of art licenses Your freight forwarder or Chamber of Commerce should be able to assist you with such documentation.

VI. Payment and shipping

After all that hard work make sure that you are paid accordingly. Just applying the simple principles below will go some to way to ensuring you receive payment in full and in a timely manner.

o Make sure that you have evidence that the goods have left the country for VAT purposes o Make sure you have a certificate of shipment that will satisfy the customer if any issues should arise. o Apply for payment using the invoice and any additional papers requested by the customer.

Finally, whether you are new to exporting or a seasoned pro looking to learn more then simply tap into the vast wealth of support that is at your disposal. If its physical logistics then speak with a specialist freight forwarder and if it’s merely export advice in general then the following support references may also prove useful:

o Open to export o Passport to Export Service o ExportSavvy

About the Author3P Logistics

With its head office based in the North West Ian is the Managing Director and original founder of multi award winning 3P Logistics, a leading provider of global logistics and order fulfilment. His business provides outsourced supply chain support to a wide range of UK & International b2b & b2c clientele. The business also works closely with various affiliated bodies in helping its UK based clients to grow internationally.

For more information on exporting, visit our freight page.

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