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10 steps to successful exporting

Posted by andrewivesonadmin | Posted 21st June 2017 | Blog, and News

If you are new to exporting, it can seem like a minefield at first – but we are here to help guide you through the maze and point you in the right direction.

1. Choose your market

Research where you want to sell to. How big is the market/what are the demographics? What competition is there? Are there any cultural issues to address? Speak to organisations such the Department for International Trade and the UK food and drink exporters association for current opportunities.

2. What opportunities are there?

Find out if there are people already looking to buy your product. Websites such as exporting is great can help here. Visit the country and consider attending a trade fair.

3. Planning – how will you go about it?

Will you sell directly to the customer or to a local business? Will you use an import agent or distributor? Do you have enough staff with the knowledge to make the leap into exports? Can you cope with the increase in sales?

4. Export Health Certificates

There are over 1,500 different export certificates available for over 130 countries, broadly split into 9 sections. Some products may require more than 1 certificate if they include several different ingredients. Not all products can be sent to all countries in the world. A further guide to the process can be found here

  • MEAT – includes poultry, lamb, beef, pork, venison, goat; fresh, frozen, chilled and processed products (e.g. burgers, sausages), meat flavourings, mechanically recovered meat and offal (eg liver, tripe) and other products (eg bovine hooves, chicken feet/wings/thighs)
  • DAIRY – includes milk, cream, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, custard, rice pudding, ice cream, cooking sauces, baby food and formula, airline snacks, pizza, milk and whey powder. Can be cow, sheep, goat or buffalo origin
  • HIDES – including skins, leather, pelts, feathers, wool, lanolin and bristles. Origin may be cow, sheep, goat, pig, deer and avian
  • EGGS – table eggs and egg products. This does not include hatching eggs that are dealt with under live animal exports
  • GELATIN – including collagen and casings for human consumption, animal consumption, industrial use and also gelatin in tablet and capsule form
  • PET FOOD – canned and dry pet food and animal feed in both raw ingredient form and final processed form. Also covers fish bait
  • FISH – fresh and frozen fish, molluscs, prawns, crustaceans and fish oils
  • LABORATORY – culture media, blood products, test kits, serum, laboratory reagents and disaccharide sugars
  • MISCELLANEOUS – a wide ranging section varying from antlers and bones, to ash, charcoal and used riding boots, with many in between!

5. Other documents required

You may also require a commercial invoice and packing list, certificate of origin, bill of lading or airway bill, preferential trade documents and many more…. Ensure you know how and where to obtain these via this link

6. Get paid!

Ensure you have an agreement/contract in writing – with at least an English version. Do you need a letter of credit from a new customer?

7. Labelling

Does the product need to be relabelled or even bilingual? We can put you in touch with people who can advise.

8. Legal matters and insurance

Is your intellectual property protected? Have you got adequate insurance. Where does responsibility transfer from seller to buyer? This is where having the correct international ‘incoterm’ is crucial eg FCA (free carrier) means the seller places the goods at a named location, cleared for export and the buyer arranges all import duties.

9. Transport and logistics

Consider using a freight forwarder to take care of all the planning. Will this be arranged by the buyer or the seller? Bear in mind shipping times can be several months. We can put you in contact with freight companies who can advise on this.

10. Marketing

Once you have exported your product, you need to sell it! Social media can have a huge impact at a fairly low cost. Target your demographic market and don’t forget about cultural aspects. Does your message need translating into the local language? How about a local website?

Congratulations – if you have followed all the above guidelines, then you should now be successfully exporting your products overseas! However, it is vital not to rest on your laurels. Continue to assess and evaluate and get feedback from your customers. Deliver on your promises. Keep visiting.

And which country is next? An adjacent one? One with similar culture? The world is your oyster!

Contact us for further information and advice

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