Export Practicalities

Complying with regulations and paperwork can be daunting to new exporters but does not need to be a barrier


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Questions to consider

What Incoterms should you use and what are they?

Incoterms are internationally agreed rules which set out the delivery terms for goods. Allowing both buyer and seller to agree details on the terms of sale will prevent future misunderstandings.

What documents do you need?

Establish early on what types of documentation you will need to provide and how long they will take to secure as this will impact your delivery time.

How will I get my export prices right?

Always provide quotes in writing detailing incoterms and what is and what is not covered in terms of labelling and packaging. Check customer requirements before quoting a price.

What are the common types of paperwork you need?

Within the EU there is free movement of goods, but there will still be some paperwork. Exporting outside the EU often requires further consideration but don't worry, specific documents are usually relatively easy to track down.

Getting Started

Have a written agreement.

Although not a requirement, having a written agreement drawn up and approved by an experienced lawyer is recommended.

Product Liability Insurance

Needs to cover all the countries you are selling to.

Invest in software

This might be something you consider to cover your export documentation. British Chambers of Commerce can advise on this.

Certificate of Origin (CO)

A CO is required to certify the origin of goods and can be provided by the British Chambers of Commerce.

Export Health Certificates (EHCs)

These are needed to verify exports of products of animal origin are fit for human consumption. Contact Defra or your local Environmental Health Officer for initial advice.

Contact specialist food and drink translation companies

Avoid confusion by sourcing experts to help with translating both websites and packaging.


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The full PDF can be downloaded here


Last reviewed: 22 Aug 2017