Importing and Exporting

Importing and Exporting for Start-Ups

For small or large businesses in Worcestershire, importing and exporting goods between the UK and overseas can offer many more opportunities than dealing in the UK alone. However, as a start-up you may not be aware of the regulations and best practices involved to import and export properly.

Here’s where we come in – we’ll use our experience and expertise to guide you through the whole process, from researching your intended markets to handling your shipments. So, what are you waiting for? Start your journey today by giving us a call, or look at our guidance on importing and exporting below.

Starting to Import

The exact requirements for importing goods into the UK will vary depending on whether you are importing from European Union (EU) countries or non-EU countries. However in both cases, there are a few things you’ll need to consider when you start to import for your start-up:

  • You’ll need the correct commodity code for your goods
  • Some goods may require a licence (i.e. medicines)
  • In most cases you’ll need to pay VAT and fill in a VAT return if you’re VAT registered
  • You must register with the CHIEF system for importers if you’re importing from a non-EU country
  • Imported goods also need to be declared using the CHIEF system
  • Check if you need to pay duty
  • Some goods are banned from being imported into the UK or they may require an import licence

If you’d like advice on importing your goods into the UK, contact Worcestershire Business Central to speak to one of our advisers.

Starting to Export

Wherever you want your business to venture, there are ready-available markets for you to export your goods and services to. To make the most of exporting there are some important steps to follow which will help your business grow:

  1. Make sure your business is ready to make the move and that you’ve thoroughly researched the markets you’re planning on exporting to.
  2. Confirm your legal obligations and the customs demands when exporting.
  3. Review your finances – you may need to contact your bank and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
  4. However you choose to transport your goods you’ll need to check whether your importer will insure your goods or if you’ll need to do this.
  5. As you continue to export look at your level of support for overseas customers and keep an eye on the changes to your markets.

Shipping Goods

There are various ways to ship goods and again, there are certain regulations, taxes, duties and licenses that may apply depending on what you want to ship, where you’re shipping to and how.

When shipping goods by road whether in the UK or overseas, your shipment may be stopped at the roadside for vehicle checks. Therefore you’ll need to:


Have the right driving license

Make it clear exactly what your business does, or will do.

Follow the regulations for your drivers’ hours

Make it clear exactly what your business does, or will do.

Follow the traffic rules for HGV drivers

Make it clear exactly what your business does, or will do.

For transporting dangerous goods there are additional regulations

Make it clear exactly what your business does, or will do.

You may need a CMR note to ship internationally

Make it clear exactly what your business does, or will do.

Getting the Support You Need

The GOV.UK UK Trade Tariff tool can help start-up businesses find import and export commodity codes and applicable tax, duty and licences. Furthermore, Department for International Trade (DIT) is an organisation that works with UK-based businesses to guide their success in international markets.

For any more support, please contact the Worcestershire Central Business team.

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01905 677 888

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