International Trading Post Brexit

Top Tips for Trading Internationally Post Brexit

With Brexit looming and the UK public awaiting the fate of its economy, one worry that will inevitable arise is how will Brexit affect international trading?

Will the UK cutting ties with Europe damage or aid our deals abroad? Trade with the EU still holds substantial meaning, but may not be as much as it previously did. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) about 44% of UK exports in goods and services went to other countries in the EU in 2017- £247 billion out of £616 billion total exports. That share has generally been declining, since exports to other countries have increased at a faster rate.

We also need to take into account the growth speed of the developing world- countries such as Argentina and Australia that are gaining wealth and starting to expand into the international trading platform. This leaves less share of the economy to the EU, with the developing world expected to grow further over the coming years. 53% of our imports into the UK came from other countries in the EU in 2017, but by 2022 the EU’s share of the world economy is expected to drop to 15%.  

As an economy, the UK must be as prepared as possible for whatever outcome. One thing is certain, the UK will continue to trade with business partners from across the globe whether there is a no deal Brexit or not, but the question is; how difficult will it be?

To help prepare for whatever the outcome we have highlighted our top tips for trading abroad post Brexit.

Chapter 1

Credit check your customers and suppliers

As with any B2B trade (whether that be international or domestic) ensuring your customers can pay for your goods / services is paramount. The good news is that credit information providers have expanded the scope of cost-effective reports so that UK businesses trading abroad have information on companies from across the world.

Both domestic and international credit reports cross-reference and present company information in a common format, which makes financial analysis of companies much easier. A company can use credit reports to check that a potential customer or supplier is a real company, is solvent and not part of a failing parent group before agreeing on a commercial deal.

Chapter 1

Decide where to do business

Before undertaking international trade it is vital to do your research. Reviewing key statistics such as the consumption / import figures for products or services similar to your own will give you a good indication of a new market to enter. By completing this step you will also get a deeper understanding of the potential competition and why your product / service is superior to the current providers in that country.

Chapter 1

Understand local legislation

Countries within the EU and further afield will have differing laws and legislations depending on the products and services that you offer. You should considers points such as, does your product abide by current laws within all of the countries in which you operate? Will your intellectual property rights and registered trademarks be recognised? To ensure you are covered and protected it is advised that you seek legal advice from a local solicitor. 

Chapter 1

Documentation

Before you start trading there are certain administrative obligations that must be adhered to from the beginning. HMRC and the UK Embassy will be able to assist you understanding the requirements customs registration, forms and payments. Getting the documentation correct from the start is vital to exporting as without it, there can be unnecessary delays which in turn will only cost you more money and run the risk of losing your international clients.

Chapter 1

Logistical concerns

How will you get your products to your newfound customers? It is important that you don’t underestimate the costs of shipping before start and have the right insurances and documentation to do so. Also how long will it take to transport your goods to your new customers? Without understanding this, you could jeopardise your budding relationships with your overseas clients.

Chapter 1

Monitor your overseas customers

Whilst you should monitor both all your clients, it may not be as easy to keep up to date with those overseas (due to time differences, cultures etc). As such you should use a monitoring service ensure you are up to date with any changes within their business circumstances that could jeopardise your business relationship.

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