Depending on the type of import or export business you're running, the requirements by the UK government can be simple or complex. It's critical that you understand the proper forms and requirements in order to ensure that your transactions go smoothly. This list of resources will help you get an excellent start.
Export and Import Facts
- Exports of goods and services totaled more than US$415 billion in 2007
- Primarily in manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals, food, beverages and tobacco
- Imports totaled nearly US$596 billion
- Primarily in manufactured goods, machinery, fuels and food. Major UK export markets include the US and European Union, and its major suppliers include the US, European Union and China
Export/ Import Resources
This portal includes descriptions of and links to a number of sites with information about importing and exporting, as well as a library of articles and links to important forms.
The UK government's Business Link provides an extensive library of resources related to international trade. Topics addressed include exporting and importing basics; Customs procedures for exporters and importers; export and import licenses; guides to trading within and beyond the European Union; and sector overviews for industry- and product-specific trading information.
UK Trade & Investment is a government agency created to help UK businesses in all areas, including exporting. The agency has access to experts to help them succeed on the world stage. From basic export know-how to practical support, this agency has a wide range of services for UK exporters. Check the web site often, as it is frequently updated with new information.
UK Trade & Investment maintains a network of market specialists around the world. Use this database to search for country information about your foreign commerce target market.
This hub provides links to the various forms you may need for import and export in the UK
With an import business comes a list of responsibilities-and potential liabilities. Before you make a costly mistake, check out this list of legal obligations for importers.
Do you need a license to import that product? Find out on this web site, published by the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.
Find out about products and commodities that are controlled or prohibited from export on this site, published by the Department for Business and Regulatory Reform.
Understanding the costs and financial risk associated with an import business is critical to success. This Business Link site offers a comprehensive overview of financial considerations for importers.
If you're importing goods into the UK, you need to employ good business practices when dealing with overseas suppliers. This site helps you consider how to protect yourself and build sound business relationships.
Ready to export? Consider attending one of these regional information seminars sponsored by the British Chambers of Commerce.
This basic guide to importing from HM Customs and Revenue is a great place to learn the basics about starting a UK import business.
Have more questions? This list of frequently asked questions may hold the answers you need - or at least point you in the right direction to find them.
The UK's economy is inclusive and welcomes trade from every part of the world, as is seen in this extensive list of its bilateral Chambers of Commerce and business associations:
European Chambers of Commerce
- Danish-UK Chamber of Commerce
- Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce
- Franco-British Chamber of Commerce
- French Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain
- German-British Chamber of Industry & Commerce
- Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the UK
- Norwegian-British Chamber of Commerce
- British Polish Chamber of Commerce
- Portuguese UK Business Network
- British Romanian Chamber of Commerce
- Russo-British Chamber of Commerce
- Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain
- British Swiss Chamber of Commerce