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How can I export from the UK?

Posted on 7th November, 2019 How can I export from the UK?

The logistics of export are one of the cornerstones of a successful international business. You can endure on home markets, but the further afield you can distribute your product, the wider your customer base and potentially, the larger the revenue.

Moving goods within the EU at the moment has different rules from exporting goods outside the EU. This may change in the near or distant future, due to what terms are negotiated and agreed by the UK government with the European Union.  This may result in trade with the EU becoming more bureaucratic and complex, as new paperwork may be needed to clear the goods for sale. Export is an essential part of the UK’s economy. For example, the car industry is the UK’s biggest exporter of goods, and eight out of every 10 cars built in the UK are exported.

The logistics of movement

You’ll need to complete certain tasks to move goods within the EU – for example, you’ll need to check if you need a licence or follow special rules to export certain restricted goods from the UK. Currently the government outlines what you will need to do to export to the EU. The courier or freight forwarder will ask you to complete a proforma invoice. Businesses might also have to charge VAT, if they would do for UK customers. You’ll also need to include your invoice and licence if needed to your consignment. In terms of data retention and record keeping, you’ll need to retain any paperwork, such as the commercial invoices, for six years after the fact. 

The wider world

Exporting outside the EU is more complex. You may need to pay import duty on the country you’re exporting to and you’ll need to get an EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) number. The EORI system was introduced in July 2009. The number is a European Union registration and identification number for businesses which undertake the import or export of goods into or out of the EU. Any company needs to obtain an EORI number from their national customs authority before it can commence customs activities in the EU. A company based outside the EU needs to be assigned an EORI number if it intends to lodge a customs declaration, an Entry or an Exit Summary Declaration. The standardisation of the numbering system was deemed essential by the European Parliament. All sellers need an EORI number to move goods in or out of the UK. If you don’t secure one, you may experience increased costs and delays – if HM Revenue & Customs cannot clear your goods, there may be storage fees to pay, or other costs incurred. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, exporters will need an EORI number that begins GB. 

Do your market research

It’s worth researching your export market before investing too heavily in it. Read up on the destination country to find out economic and industry information, local legal requirements, protection of your intellectual property, and any language and cultural issues you should know about. The government can also advise exporters on a range of trade topics, such as if countries have trade sanctions or embargoes enforced on them. 

When it comes to further afield, the UK government website has information to forewarn you of what to expect in each specific country and trading zone. Oversee Business Risk assessment provides geopolitical and economic analysis on overseas markets for new and expanding exporters, who may not be aware of factors that could affect their goods once they arrive in the country. This can include such aspects as human rights issues, bribery, corruption, terrorism or other criminal activity.

Exporting the Boughey Way

Boughey Distribution is moving more and more into the export market and provides expert advice on where and what to look out for when it comes to moving goods outside the UK. Exporting is a complex operation, with added legislation, but working with a trusted logistics partner like Boughey can make the whole process so much easier. If you’d like to look at how exporting can bring your products to new customers, please get in touch.

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