The world of export documentation can appear to be difficult and complicated to those who are new to international trade and even the seasoned exporters can experience problems when completing the necessary paperwork for their shipments.
Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and the Department for International Trade (DIT) combine to provide a comprehensive suite of international support, advice, services and training to businesses and have provided businesses with an idea of the importance of complying with export procedures when trading internationally.
Importance of export documentation
It has become increasingly important that businesses ensure evidence of import and export is kept on file. This is key in proving to HMRC and auditors that goods have entered or left the country and it has been recorded. Without evidence, there is no proof.
What do businesses need to do?
Since leaving the customs union, every export from and import into the UK requires a customs declaration. It is notification to HMRC that goods are being exported or imported. This only applied to countries outside the EU prior to leaving the customs union. Businesses need to ensure that the details in the declarations are correct and that they are kept on file for compliance purposes, this is for every import and export.
Businesses also need to ensure that they are shipping under the correct Incoterm, International Commercial Terms, commonly known as Incoterms Rules, is a key contract clause needed when moving goods internationally whether as the exporter or the importer. The Chamber offer training to businesses on the 11 terms to ensure that they are protected and have all the information they need for compliance purposes.
How can the Chamber help exporting businesses?
Chamber Customs – Businesses can use the Chambers very own customs declaration service Chamber Customs. Chamber Customs can act as the import agent or export agent and provide the paperwork for businesses. This leaves the specialist freight companies free to focus on their area of expertise – moving the goods.
Documentation – The Chamber can help with preparing the necessary documentation needed to export goods. Documents the Chamber can help provide include UK EUR1 Certificates, Certificates of Origin, Letters of Credit and ATA Carnet. Members of the Chamber receive up to 50% discount on most export documents.
Training – Delivered by international trade training experts Strong and Herd LLP, the Chambers portfolio of training supports businesses trading internationally and will help all personnel within the business understand customs procedures.
Translations – In order to help you build global business contacts, the Chamber international trade team provides a comprehensive translation and interpretation service for over 150 languages. From contracts to letters, their experts are trained in a range of sectors to help you make the connections you need.
On how the Chamber can support your business with its international trade needs, Faye Hemming, Commercial International Trade Manager, said: “The International Trade Team at the Chamber should be your first point of contact on anything relating to bringing goods into the UK or shipping them from the UK. We can offer advice and support on a practical level in terms of customs declarations and documentation.
“All work is completed by a dedicated team in house at the Chamber and supported by a team of experts to provide a comprehensive list of services to businesses across Herefordshire and Worcestershire.”