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