New to Exporting

Exporting from the UK for the first time can seem daunting, as there are so many factors to consider, but there is a wealth of advice and assistance out there to help you succeed. The first step is making sure you research your potential market, pricing and method of selling. 


The contract with your buyer


Using incoterms in your sales contract pre-determines each party’s responsibility for that shipment. They are internationally used and recognised in trade to define each of the obligations of seller and buyer when moving goods. The term makes it clear who is responsible for each aspect of the cost/risk at each stage of movement.


The most common terms for exporting are EXW, CIF/CFR and FOB.  We are happy to explain what these mean and what your liabilities are when trading under these terms.  But at the end of the day you want your product to be as attractive as possible to the buyer and if the buyer doesn’t have to arrange shipping themselves this could be very appealing.


As t. ward shipping ltd is a completely independent freight forwarder we are well placed to assist and offer impartial advice for any export enquiries you may have.

Your export documentation


Research what is best for you and your shipment. Certain commodities and some countries require special documentation or insurance - for example products originating from animal and plants require veterinary or phytosanitary certificates. Some countries require a certificate of origin.  These can be obtained by local chamber authorities or via ourselves.


In short, you must confirm the export documentation requirements for your goods based on the commodity and the destination. We advise our customers based on their individual requirements.


Cargo Insurance


When you book shipments with a forwarder, shipping company or courier, you are only covered for a minimal value so you may need to take out extra cover.


Ask for further details as we can price up cargo insurance as well. 


Choose the best method of transport to export your goods


The method of transport for your exports is very important. You obviously want your goods to go as economically and quickly as possible.  Once we know the destination and approximate size and weight we are happy to go over your shipping options, costs and liabilities.


Your goods can be exported by sea, airroad or courier service.  You obviously want the costs to be economical but you don’t want the overall service to be more time consuming to you or your customer. Air freight has a quicker transit time, but can be more expensive. Sea freight is cheaper but has longer transit time. Every business has to weigh up the pros and cons of each options.


Packaging for export

We can assist with anything from high value engineering products to art sculptures and paintings.  It's worth noting that some insurers require your goods to be professionally packed in order to get insurance cover for goods in transit.


Exporting from the UK to all over the world


We have many years of experience in exporting goods to countries all over the world and are more than familiar with some of the reasons goods get delayed in transit.  Don’t be afraid to ask for our advice and experience on a specific country. Some of our most popular destinations are China, Japan, USA, India  and the EU.


Customs clearance for exports


We can help set you up with HMRC EORI number and assist you with classifying your goods using the HMRC Tariff Classification system. Whether importing or exporting, when trading commercially you must have an EORI number.  It only takes a couple of days to get but it’s worth bearing in mind sooner than later. All goods whether importing or exporting need to have a HMRC tariff number.  If you’re unfamiliar with yours this is something we can assist you with. More about customs clearance.

Further information

Scottish Enterprise

Scottish Government guidelines

What are WTO rules?

Our top 5 tips for first time exporters

Our blog post on managing your exporting costs


Video - Top five tips for first time exporters


As t. ward shipping ltd is a completely independent freight forwarder we are well placed to assist and offer impartial advice for any export enquiries you may have. A great source of information can also be found on the HMRC exporting is great website.


We pride ourselves on our bespoke personalized service we give to every customer from individuals to small and medium size companies.