The New Year is a great time to reflect on the past year’s exporting success, and the perfect opportunity to make plans for a successful 2018. Given that ‘Brexit’ is due next year, the weakness of the pound, and the renowned quality of British goods, now is a perfect time to look outside the UK and European markets for your goods.
Our New Year resolutions, listed below, are specifically designed to act as a health check for your exports, as well as to inspire you to look for new opportunities to continue to grow your exports, sales and profit.
Even if you’re on a winning streak, there is never time to rest on your laurels. Finding a new export market isn’t as difficult and time consuming as you may think. In our previous ‘Where are the biggest markets and opportunities?’ blog post, we linked to DEFRA’s UK Food and Drink International Action Plan, which is aiming to increase food exports by an additional £2.9 billion by 2020, to markets such as Australia & New Zealand, Mexico and Latin America, India, USA and Canada, China, Japan and the UAE & Gulf region.
By using our free Export Health Certificate tool, you can quickly discover which products you can ship to which countries, and which EHCs you will need to start exporting. This allows you to search by product, then country. If you prefer to search by country first, then product, use our unique Interactive Export Map instead.
Checking essential paperwork, such as your import permits, is an essential task as we go into a new year. Double check that your import permits are in date and cover your current product, and check to see if anything needs amending to cover any future products which are in development, or ready to export.
Some EHCs are updated regularly, and older versions can get rejected, costing you time and money. If you’re in doubt, contact us and we can arrange an audit of your EHCs. For example, red meat to Hong Kong is now on the TRACES system and there is a recently updated EHC for dairy to Japan.
As well as checking your EHCs are up to date, now is also a great time to double check that your Mandecs are still up to date. As well as your Mandecs, it’s also a good time to check that APHA have a list of approved signatories, that details of your suppliers and countries of origin are up to date, and that the heat treatment/processing/HACCP analysis information is correct.
Do you know your EXW from your DDP and your FCA from your DAP? If not, now is a great time to have a little refresher and update your knowledge. Take time to think about whether you know where the risk transfers, and if you are using the correct incoterm and version. A little work now will save a lot of time in the future.
Never underestimate the power of networking. Many organisations, such as the local Chamber of Commerce, Department for International Trade, and the Food and Drink Exporters’ Association often hold regular meetings and networking opportunities. These types of events are great opportunities to meet new people, and to discover new business opportunities, so now is a great time to look for forthcoming events and get a networking plan in place.
Article 50 has been triggered and the negotiations are well under way. The end result is still far from clear – but the main advice that we have at the moment is not to panic. We will of course continue to provide updates once they are known and work with exporters to help them continue to export and expand into new markets.
With this in mind, we refer you back to Resolution 1, which is to find a new target market outside of the EU. The USA and China are key target markets at the moment, but there are opportunities around the world, so if you’re looking to re-energise your exporting journey in 2018 and you’d like to take advantage of our substantial experience and network of contacts, now is a great time to get in touch with us and we’ll be more than happy to help.