Any plan involving international trade requires a detailed analysis of the transport and distribution options. Its efficiency and effectiveness depend on it. Goods can be imported and exported via road, sea, rail and air transport or using several modes of transport combined. Once the choice has been made, the logistics can be either outsourced to a freight forwarder or handled personally. Here is some basic information on international trade every businessperson should know.
What are your transport needs?
As a businessperson, you can choose to have your goods shipped by road, sea, rail or air. This choice will depend on your business requirements, the country of destination and the contents of your shipment. Here are a few questions that should help you decide which mode of transport meets your needs best.
1. What does your shipment contain? The costs will depend on the size and weight of the parcel, among other factors.
2. What is your required delivery time? This aspect will influence both the choice of service and the costs.
3. How would the shipping costs affect your overheads?
4. What is the destination of your shipment? A particular mode of transport may be preferable, but you may face problems if the destination is remote.
5. What is the value of your shipment? Look into your insurance options.
6. Are there any special customer requirements?
The answers to these questions will enable you to choose a high-quality, cost and time effective and efficient transport solution, which may include one or more modes of transport.
What type of goods are you delivering?
It is important to consider the nature of the goods you are delivering when choosing your transport. You may be looking for shorter delivery times or they may require refrigeration during transport. Animals, for instance, must be transported in compliance with specific sets of regulations, namely the DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) regulations. The same goes for dangerous goods, which are subject to the HSE (Health & Safety Executive) regulations. You should also check out the regulations on the packaging of such goods issued by the Vehicle Certification Agency.
About customs warehousing
Customs warehousing may be required when shipping goods both within and outside the UK. However, it does not constitute an option in the case of goods requiring vet checks and may come with certain time limits in the case of agricultural goods to be exported in their exact initial state. The benefits of this procedure may include an extended VAT and import duty payment period, relief from VAT and customs duty payment in the event of goods being re-exported outside of the EU or an extended period of time being available to acquire all necessary licences.
The goods of individual traders will be stored in private warehouses – C, D and E – whereas in the case of public warehouses – A type –, they are stored with no responsibility being taken for them. Make sure the keeper has got an HM Revenue & Customs authorisation and an excise approval. All customs warehousing records must be kept, either in stock for four years as is the case with A, C and D warehouses or at the business headquarters as is the case with E ones. System compatibility must be verified in the case of computerised records being kept.