If you are in Australia and are planning to begin a business that deals with the exporting of goods to overseas nations, there are a number of things that you will need to be aware of and to have done before you can begin to actually do this if you want to be at all successful within your chosen industry.
Energy, Resources and Time
With the costs that will need to be paid and regulations followed, it is important for any company considering exporting goods overseas to be certain that it has the capacity, expertise, resources and commitment necessary to successfully pursue this avenue of business. Resources like a pallet box cost money, so make sure you are using a trusted supplier. Other areas to think about include the rules and regulations regarding the exports of goods within Australia, as well as the rules operated by the countries you intend importing into, and their taxes and tariffs. Exporting costs such as shipping, travel, freight handling and insurance also need to be considered. Market research may also need to be conducted in order to determine the level of demand for your company’s goods in another country, the costs involved in altering your products for a different market and how the different exchange rates from GDP to AUD and AUD to GDP and other currencies may affect your company’s bottom line.
The EU and VAT
If you wish to sell products to the United Kingdom or any other country still operating as a part of the European Union, it is a good idea to do your research and make sure you are fully schooled in the European value added tax system, otherwise referred to simply as VAT. Australian exporters will need register for VAT if they have a UK or European office or are supplying those countries with any goods or services. You must also register for VAT if your taxable turnover is over £85,000 per annum or you are likely to exceed the threshold within just a month. Registration for VAT usually also incorporates EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification), as an EORI number is needed for any company that exports or imports goods from the UK or other EU countries to make sure they will be allowed through Customs.
Doing Business in the UK
The United Kingdom is and will remain one of the most significant and important markets for Australia in regards to the investment, tourism and trading markets. Conducting business in the United Kingdom is largely the same as in Australia, although the business culture is somewhat more formal. Companies in the UK rarely agree to take part in ‘cold’ meetings, so you can expect to have to wait up to a month before a meeting takes place after you have introduced your firm and your business proposal. An introductory phone call should be followed up with further information via email, fax or phone. The British tend to be punctual and place great value in timekeeping in regards to business arrangements. While the United Kingdom is currently a part of the EU and is thus subject to their trade regulations, the country is currently involved in negotiations to leave that organization (“Br-exit”), so exporters will need to watch this situation closely in order to see if the trade regulations of the UK change when their exit from the EU has been completed.
You will also need to make certain of any Customs requirements on the goods you are intending to export, which in Australia is under the control of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Check out their website for info regarding the exportation of goods and what exports are prohibited or restricted.