WRITING YOUR IMPORT STRATEGY

There are many stages to consider when writing your import strategy. To start with, you’ll need to determine where you are going to source your goods from – are there relevant suppliers in the UK or do you need to look overseas? International suppliers can often be cheaper than suppliers in the UK.

If you’re looking to source from overseas, you must make sure the products you’re importing meet UK and EU safety requirements. Remember, local standards in suppliers’ countries may differ to standards in the UK. You can be prosecuted for selling unsafe products, so this is a really important step to take.

Trade events are good places to meet agents, distributors, and people who can advise you on suppliers. Consider visiting potential suppliers – it’s a good opportunity to take a look at how they run things before you commit to working with them.

Finally, if you’re dealing with suppliers overseas think about the exchange rates as fluctuations will affect your bottom line.

Once you’ve found your supplier, you’ll need to find out about standard commercial practice, including credit periods and payment terms. The UK has restrictions in place on importing certain products, including firearms and chemical products, for example.

Your supplier may need a local export licence and you may need to register for an import license from the relevant government department for your products.

You might want to negotiate for an import contract to be under UK law so seek advice before drawing it up.

When negotiating the logistics of getting your products imported, you’ll need to agree whether there’s any special packaging/handling that needs to take place and how quickly you expect to receive your goods. You’ll also need to make sure it’s clear who’s responsible for insurance at every stage of the delivery journey, including Customs Clearance.

FURTHER INFORMATION

DUTIES, TAXES, & CUSTOMS

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ORGANISATIONS THAT CAN HELP

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INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL TERMS

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