How Will A No Deal Effect VAT Procedure

Below is our quick guide on how Brexit could effect VAT procedure. Make sure you understand how this will effect your imports and exports as you will have to understand these changes:



  • Postponed accounting for EU imports
  • Importers will account for import VAT on their existing VAT returns



  • Retain evidence that goods have been exported to EU member states
  • Remember tat the customs declaration system will be paperless
  • Exported goods to EU will be zero rated on commercial invoice
  • EC sales list will no longer be used to declare exports to EU
  • Make sure your company’s export software is adjusted to reflect changes
  • Register for AEO for imports and exports.



The Possible Impact of BREXIT on Trade

No one knows what the full impact of Brexit will be but without a deal, something that is looking increasingly likely, the below graphic are just some the unknowns that should be considered for your import-export business:

Impact of Brexit

Two Simple Actions to Begin Preparations for Brexit

Importing and exporting within the EU could be vastly different with either a Hard or Soft Brexit. With only 6 months left, now is the time to prepare. We address two simple action points to get you started.

For more information on our Brexit Breakdown membership, please feel free to contact us.

Post Brexit, Hard or Soft

brexit-breakdownIn the post Brexit world, UK Traders will of course, want to continue trading with their established EU partners. Likewise, EU traders will want to strengthen trading ties with their UK partners.

Until now, inter EU trading has been a very easy process, with minimal customs involvement, open borders, unimpeded deliveries, largely paperless and declaration of VAT post delivery just to mention some of the advantages we had as a member of the EU.

With a hard Brexit, this frictionless trading will come to an end and the UK will be thrown into the world of International Trade, with all its impositions, rules and regulations trading under WTO rules and tariffs. Our EU trading partners will have the same status as any of our other international trading partners outside the EU such as Russia and will have to follow the same Customs procedures such as declaration on the new CDS system, which is replacing the old CHIEF system. This means that consignments will need to be given specific statuses of Route 1, 2, 3, or 6, all of which are time consuming. This could cause severe delays at the UK border for EU member consignments, some predicting up to six hours.

However, UK traders can be prepared and grasp this as a great opportunity to become part of a global explosion in trade. UK businesses must identify how Post Brexit will affect their trading position within the EU and beyond and be prepared to meet the new challenges.

The following are a set of questions that is advisable to ask yourself and research, pre-Brexit. Be proactive, no reactive and prepare for a hard Brexit now. Waiting for the 29th March 2019 may well be too late.

1. How will the new Import/Import regulations impact upon my business?

2. Will I have to change my Terms of Delivery (Incoterms 2010)?

3. Will I now have to employ the services of a freight forwarder/ clearing agent and at what additional cost?

4. Does my company have the necessary import/export training to work alongside the new rules and regulations?

5. Am I registered for EORI status?

6. Do my goods attract an Import/Export licence?

7. Can I identify a Customs regime which may help me reduce my import costs?

8. How will VAT be collected on inter EU trade?

9. Do I understand the new Customs Declaration System CDS for Imports/Exports?

10. Can I provide the relevant information for inputs into CDS (i.e. new tariff changes as introduced in Volume 3 of the Tariff)?

11. Have I subscribed to the Government Gateway Account?

12. Will my existing supply chain timing be affected? What adjustments do I have to make to counter any extra delays?

13. Will I have to make changes my company Terms and conditions?

14. Will Post Brexit rules affect my competitive edge? If so how can I retain my competitive edge?

15. Will my existing EU customers impose a different method of payment other than the one currently in use?

16. Do I fully understand the methods of payment associated with International Trade (ie. Letters of Credit, CAD, Bills of Exchange)?

17. Have I arranged for an AWARENESS COURSE for ALL members of staff to attend pre-Brexit 29th March 2019?

ABTS Training can help you address these and other important factors in preparing for Brexit.

The Brexit Breakdown

A new subscription service where we do the research, contact relevant agencies and get to the bottom line on Brexit import and export.

We cut through the complicated web of information to give you need-to-know facts for your business, post Brexit, keeping you informed through webinars, videos, email alerts and printable fact sheets.

See The Brexit Breakdown for more information.

ABTS Training Voted Best Trade Education Provider 2017

ABTS Trade Finance Excellence Awards 2017

We are proud to announce that ABTS Training Services have been awarded BEST TRADE EDUCATION PROVIDER 2017 by Trade Finance Global. It is a great honour to receive this award which recognises the high level of course presentation and content delivered by ABTS Training Services.

We have been delivering International Trade courses worldwide since 1992.

Our senior partner Alan Bracken has been with us since the start. His years of practical experience in International trade has gained him many honours worldwide.

ABTS continues to present their core course Import/Export/Agency both on line and classroom based.

Please contact Alan on 07929786755 or email him on for syllabus and registration details

Which Letter of Credit Should You Use?

Letters of credit are a hugely important part of international trade and import export.  They guarantee payment and allow the seller to receive payment which can be advantageous when capital is needed up front.  Our quick guide below shows you the four most common types of letter of credit and when to use them.

IRREVOCABLE:  Cannot be changed or amended without the consent of both the  buyer and seller.

RED CLAUSED:   Useful when the seller needs an up front funds from the letter of credit, this could be to buy the raw material for the contract. The amount available was usually printed in red ink hence the name.

TRANSFERABLE:  Used by the seller  to purchase the goods of the contract from a third party. It enables the seller  the purchase  the goods   with  the funds from the Letter of Credit. Very useful when the seller is acting as a middle man and has not the personal funds to purchase the goods of the contract

CONFIRMED:  Used when the seller is unsure of the buyers banks ability to honour the Letter of credit. This could be due to Political or financial unrest in the buyers country. The letter of credit is Confirmed by a second bank usually the sellers bank, The confirming bank becomes the prime payer and seeks reimbursement from the buyers bank.

Validated By The London Institute Of Shipping And Transport

For those interested in enrolling on our online course, rest assured we are no fly-by-night company and have been validated by The London Institute of Shipping and Transport since 2005.

Have confidence in our online International Trade course and the practical, hands-on nature, showing you how to trade globally, ensuring you trade profitably from day one and avoid many of the common and most costly pitfalls of importing and exporting.

We’ve trained hundreds of students and helped further their careers as well as helped setup countless successful businesses, with many of our students now their own boss running their own successful companies.

With over 30 years of experience, we’re here to offer you one-to-one support and bring your career or business to the next level.


Negotiation Techniques for International Trade

Negotiation is a fundamental part of international trading.  You will have to negotiate every part of the deal with suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, pricing and terms of delivery.  Understanding how to negotiate is one of the cornerstones to making your business successful.

Below is our 5 Key Steps To A Successful Negotiation:


Important!: Many deals are negotiated based on matching personalities, not cost alone. If you can find something in common and personalities work well, this can seal the deal.

Step 1:  Defining Objectives And Targets: Start with preparing your “L-I-M”.

1. Recognizing the objectives you would LIKE (L) to achieve. What does the perfect deal look like to you?

2. Identify what objectives you INTEND (I) to achieve.

3. Finally, recognize the MINIMUM (M) you’ll accept.

Step 2:  Setting The Negotiation Strategy.

Are you working towards a Win-Win or a Win-Lose strategy? A win-win leads to collaboration, mutual interest, flexibility, joint problem solving and harmony between the parties, a good strategy for a long term relationships.

A win-lose strategy can lead to conflict, inflexibility, competition, one side beating the other and adversarialism. This strategy can be used in one-off deals.

Step 3:  Active Listening: Concentrate on what is being discussed. Don’t answer back or interrupt. Try to understand the other persons point of view and don’t jump to conclusions.

Step 4:  Methods Of Persuasion: One or several of the following methods of persuasion can be used. Logic, bargaining, emotion, even threats and of course, compromise. It is up to you to select the correct one(s) for a particular situation.

Step 5:  Your Style Of Negotiating: Find your own style. Warm, tough, logical, personality driven perhaps. Recognize these traits in the other party and respond accordingly.

Exporting From The UK: The 9 Most Costly Mistakes

Exporting can be complicated and take time to understand.  It’s worth researching or even signing up to a course that will teach you in depth knowledge to trade internationally. There are many pitfalls and costly mistakes that you should be aware of.  Below and the 9 most common and costly:

 1. Not understanding effective sourcing techniques.
Result: You’re limiting potential suppliers and perhaps not getting the best products at the most competitive price.

2.Not identifying  ALL costs from seller to buyer.
Result: Not realising expected profit margins but increased costs.

3.Not understanding  import custom regimes and correct tariff  number.
Result:  Not minimising your  import custom duty leading to higher, unnecessary costs.

4. Not understanding Sea/ Air freight rate structures.
Result: Being overcharged by your Freight forwarder.

5. Not understanding method of payments available.
Result: Negative cash flow, not using method of payment as a negotiating tool.

6. Not undertaking  how to conduct in depth and comprehensive market research.
Result: Dead stock or limiting your customer base.

7. Not identifying most advantageous channel to sell your goods through wholesalers, retailers, direct to public via own retail outlet or websites.
Results: Lost sales.

8. Not understanding your responsibilities  and costs under the Term of Delivery used in the sales contract.
Result: Charged for costs you are not responsible for, reducing your profit margins.

9. Lacking negotiating skills.
Result: Loosing out on negotiations and not receiving the best deal that you could have.

Trade Finance: The new funder on the block for importers and exporters

The construction sector is experiencing the fastest rate of hiring for over 15 years, the pound is stronger than it was 2 years ago across 18 major currencies, and countries are beginning to partner on deals which encourage trade globally.

To accommodate this, business funding has become a hot-topic amongst the SME and corporate community, with the rise of alternative debt and equity funders (e.g. the crowdfunding platform Crowdcube and invoice discounting companies such as MarketInvoice).

Yet 70% of businesses are struggling with getting funding, particularly for purchasing goods and services from overseas, which is surprising given the current position of the UK economy.

Sadly, many companies don’t know where to begin when it comes to funding their business, but what doesn’t help, is that business funding is complicated. Depending on the stage of your business, how much capital you already have, how quickly you need the funding and how long you’ll need it for, the funding you require could vary immensely.

Trade finance, an umbrella term for the ‘financing of international trade’, covers a range of financial products which can help importers and exporters trade. International import and export businesses have the added complications of understanding the mechanisms of trade finance, which involves jurisdiction across different countries, language barriers, understanding shipping protocol and insuring their order.

The most common form of trade finance is a Letter of Credit or Bill of Lading, which are both mechanisms to securitise the assets which are being transported or shipped; in other words, the goods or services are the security to which a funder will lend.

For companies looking to import or export, we’ve put together some tips for ensuring success:

1. Do your due diligence

Most business owners in the space will be aware of their competitors in their market, and the competitors of their suppliers. It’s not hard to pull import or export data from government website or through calling local experts on the field. It’s also worth sense checking your suppliers and customers – are they creditworthy and reliable, do they have trusted reviews?

2. Learn about importing and exporting

Aside from a Letter of Credit Trade Finance deal, it’s vital to understand the mechanisms of transporting and shipping – from freight forwarding, to Bills of Lading. It may be a good idea to go on an education course such as ABTS Training.

3. Talk to a broker

Brokers can offer recommendations or suggestions for a business which could save them time and money. Also, because of their established relationships with many funders, they may be able to negotiate a better deal or rate and find the option which is most suitable for your business.

4. Know your risks

Business owners should know from the outset what the risks and challenges are before undertaking a trade finance deal. Mitigating or reducing these risks through insurance, credit checks, independent analysis and understanding the market that they’re operating versus opportunity and financial benefit of a deal can help determine the go-no-go decision.

5. Don’t underestimate the power of negotiation

Whether it’s your customers, suppliers or financiers, negotiation can often be the make or break for your business. Being able to negotiate terms, prices and rates in a competitive market could give your business a financial advantage.

To conclude, raising funding to help succeed in your import or export business is not easy, but can bring unrivaled success and opportunity for your company. Understanding the fundamentals of the import/export market, mitigating risks and planning carefully though are crucial to protect yourself and the company.


Courtesy of our partner Trade Finance Global.  Learn more about trade finance and how it can help your import export business.

How To Export For the First Time

Exporting for the first time can be confusing and overwhelming. We’ve put together a simple video explaining the first steps in exporting.

Global Selling Online – Webinar

Below is a recording of our webinar discussing how to setup your ecommerce website and market online to a global audience.


How To Export

Businesses must export their products to a global market if they really want to achieve their potential.  With the Internet and relative ease of building your own website, there is no need to focus only on your domestic market. “How to Export” is a common question and the answer involves some study as there is lots to learn, however we have put together the following infographic to get you started.

How To Export

What is a Transferable Letter of Credit?

From time to  time I am invited by publishers to review recently published books on the subject of International Trade. I enjoy the experience as most times I learn something new.

One particular book which caught my attention was titled “How to make money without having any money”.  I thought this is  a winner and got stuck in. To my surprise, the book addressed the usual areas of International Trade but I could not find the section on how to make money without having any money.

When I arrived at chapter six, the chapter heading read  how to make money without having any money and the author simply said if you want to trade and don’t have funds available use a “Transferable Letter of Credit” and described for a whole paragraph telling his reader that they just ask the buyer for a Transferable Credit and use the credit to buy the goods from a third party to fulfill their contract with the buyer. That was it! Nothing more.

I was very disappointed as I thought after reading this book I could retire immediately and become a very rich man!

A transferable Letter of Credit can enable the seller to buy products of the sales contract from a third person without using their own funds. It is often used by middlemen.

I have often successfully traded under Transferable Letters of Credit to purchase high value goods without dipping into my own working funds but I must warn you they are not as simple to obtain and utilise as this author would like his reader to believe.

Lets first look at the definition of a Transferable Letter of Credit in my own words.

A Transferable Letter of Credit allows you to use the funds of the credit to open a fresh Letter of Credit on a third party. In other words, a Transferable Letter of Credit can be transferred to as many parties as you wish as long as the total you transfer does not exceed the amount of the original.

Let me give you a real world example of how we used a Transferable Letter of Credit to great success.

Some time ago, as a procurement house we received a request for a quote to supply and erect a leisure centre in Bengazi, Libya. We submitted our quotation and requested a Transferable Letter of Credit as we did not have the funds to support such a large Project.  As it was in Libya we also asked for the credit to be confirmed. The value of the contract was £1.5 million.

Over a period of approximately four months we purchased a pre-fabricated building, all the accessories required and shipped everything to Benghazi. This was followed up by sending out steel erectors  to erect the building and personnel to furnish it.

The project was a great success for all concerned but it was the busiest four months of my working life. Why? Because I had to visit about twenty suppliers and convince them to sell me their products on a Letter of Credit and ship them to Libya BEFORE they got paid. Not an easy task.  I had to transfer the original Letter of Credit into individual ones,  payable to each supplier.  This took much negotiation as you can imagine.

Here are some of the pitfalls associated with Transferable credits:

  • The buyer may not want to give you a transferable credit as they can be very expensive to establish.
  • If you are not familiar with letters of credit and do not have a good track record of trading under a letter of credit, you can make costly mistakes with a transferable credit.
  • Some suppliers take a lot of persuading to release their goods against a Transferable Letter of Credit especially when they have no previous experience of trading under such a credit.
  • You may have to do a lot of “hand holding” with your supplier, have to instil confidence in them as to your ability to successfully negotiate the original credit and their spin off credit.
  • You must be confident in your own ability to utilise a Transferable credit this comes about from hands on experience and training.

Our online International trade  course is a no nonsense training course which includes  in   details of how to trade under a Transferable credit.  For more information please contact us.

See below for a handy guide that we have developed on Letters of Credit:

Letters of Credit Infographic

How To Sell Online To A Global Audience

Once you know how to export, the bigger question becomes, how do you sell to an international market?  The Internet is the obvious was to reach a global market without needing millions in advertising budgets through traditional advertising.  Out simple guide below explains the basics of getting your website online and key points to marketing:


Top 10 Tips for Importing and Exporting

Our easy to understand quick guide to importing and exporting.  We off you 10 top tips for starting your own import export business.


All About Freight Forwarders


There are three main questions to be answered about freight forwarders:

What is the role of a freight forwarder?
How do I select a freight forwarder?
How do I find a freight forwarder?

I ran my own freight forwarding company for many years so I am well qualified to answer all three of these questions.

What is the role of a Freight Forwarder?

When you’re exporting, you must acquire the knowledge of how to obtain such things as a competitive freight rate, book freight for shipping, complete export documentation such as an export entry, Certificates of Origin, Bills of Lading and the list goes on and on.

Some companies and individual traders have this depth of knowledge and go it alone, most however, opt for the services of a freight forwarder. A freight forwarder will undertake the above tasks and also offer other services such as export packing, warehousing and local transport. They become your unpaid adviser.

For example, you can call them and ask them:

When is the next vessel sailing for your destination.
How much is it to ship a FCL to Shanghai.
What is the air freight rate for 40 kilos to Hong Kong and so on.

The advantage of using a freight forwarder is they are a one stop shop.

One phone call or email to your freight forwarder answers all your questions.
You get a lot of free advice as you only pay them when they undertake an export consignment for you.

The big disadvantage of completely relying on a freight forwarder is that SOME freight forwarders can take advantage of the fact that you have little or no knowledge of exporting and charge you accordingly.

I stress only SOME as the vast majority of forwarders are very professional and eager to help you. It goes without saying that a forwarder has to make an honest profit, which is very different to ripping you off.

My advise to you is by all means use the services of a freight forwarder BUT understand export procedures, have a working knowledge of freight rate structures and the real cost of producing export documentation. Once you know these facts you can work successfully with your freight forwarder.
Here’s a real life example of a exporter that joined our training course, who handed over all their exports to a freight forwarder.

The exporter had little or no knowledge of freight rates and left it up to the forwarder to arrange their air freight for them. This particular forwarder was aware of the exporters lack of knowledge and as a result charged £7.06 per Kilo while a commercial rate was £2.60 per kilo!

I give this example to emphasise the point that you should have a working knowledge of exporting and not to insinuate that all freight forwarders will overcharge the innocent. As I mentioned above I was a successful freight forwarder for many years without overcharging my clients. All my colleagues in the freight forwarding business gave a good service for a fair price.

How do I select a Freight Forwarder?

I have a very simple rule. Make sure that the freight forwarder can give you the service YOU require not what they WANT to give you.

Again, here is an example of what I mean.

On questioning a freight forwarder on their services, they tell you how strong they are in sea and airfreight to South America and Australia and that they can offer you very competitive rates to these destinations. However if your market is the Middle East, this is not a well fitting partnership.

Before discussing business with a freight forwarder, you should make out what a WISH LIST. A wish list is a list showing the level of service YOU require from a freight forwarder. Here is an example:

Can you offer UK collection from my local suppliers (here name your suppliers address)? If so please quote.

Can you offer competitive air freight rates f rom UK to (your destination)? If so please quote up to 1000kgs.

Can you offer competitive rates FCL/LCL rates to (your destination)? If so please quote.

Please quote to prepare the following documentation: Bills of Lading, Certificates of Origin etc.

Can you offer local warehousing and export packing? Please quote.

Please name the contact person responsible for servicing my account.

What are your terms of payment?

I require a copy of your trading terms and conditions.

The above is just indicative of questions you should ask in order to get the service YOU require for your particular exports.

How do I find a Freight Forwarder?

This is an easy answer thanks to all those lovely search engines available.
Just type in “freight forwarding in (here mention you town or city)” and you will be swamped with local contacts.

You can also check the BIFA website ( and they will supply you with a list of all Freight Forwarders who are members of BIFA .

If you want to go it alone or use the services of a freight forwarder, either way you need to understand the business

Our on line International Trade course will explain to you in detail and all you have to know about importing and exporting to trade successfully internationally.

Free Webinar: Introduction to Importing and Exporting – 3rd August 2015

webinarJoin us on 3rd August 2015 for a free webinar where we will introduce you to the world of importing and exporting. We’ll cover many topics including:

Methods of Payment
Negotiation Techniques
Sea / Air freight rates
Marine Insurance

We will end with a question and answer session and hope this will give you some hints and tips and share some of the pitfalls many importers and exporters face.

The webinar is due to start at 11am London time and will last for approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.


Emeralds Could Be A Girls Best Friend

I always dreamed of being my own boss . I wanted to source goods overseas and sell them to wholesalers and retailers in the UK.  I saw many opportunities on my travels to bring unique goods into the UK and sell them, in particular precious stones.

I couldn’t afford to leave my full time employment and devote myself  to my own business as like us all, I had financial commitments.  I did not have any knowledge of International trade so my first move was to get proper training.

I contacted many training companies who offered international trade courses but in the end I decided to go with ABTS Training services because they offered an Online course suited for beginners, so I was able to study in my own time.

I spoke to Alan Bracken of ABTS about my ambitions and current situation.

His advice was invaluable and gave me confidence to pursue my dream.  I remained in full time employment and enrolled in the Online  International Trade course. I studied at my own pace and in my own time.

Once I was confident that I understood what was involved in International Trade and after many phone calls to Alan, I took the plunge and set up a limited company.

As my funds were limited  I relied heavily on the knowledge I gained from the ABTS International Trade course and decided not to import direct from suppliers but to test the market and trade as a commission agent.

After analysing several offers for an agency, I decided to accept an agency for uncut emeralds from a company  and to represent them in the UK as their commission agent.

I made contact with many precious stone wholesalers in the UK. As the ABTS International Trade course advised me, I used the comments I received from wholesalers to refine my presentation and I am now very confident when I meet perspective customers.

I am now working with several wholesalers in the UK and high value orders are in the pipeline. It’s hard work as I am still working full time but it is well worth the effort.  I am looking forward to the day I can become my own boss full time, which is now, not too far away.

The online course gave me the knowledge and confidence I need to take the plunge and start up my own business. Thank you Alan and ABTS Training Services.

Miss. Lina Cardona

Be Proactive, Not Reactive.

At ABTS Taining we always teach our International Trade students the mantra “BE PROACTIVE, NOT REACTIVE”.  This is more important than it sounds. Let me give you an example:

Recently we received an email from someone in Shanghai, China. They visited our website contacted us asking if we can help.

This person had bought a set of four prints in London and had them sent to their home in Shanghai by air. The courier told them that their charge included delivery to their Shanghai home address. However, they received a email from Chinese customs demanding import duty of 10 per cent on the first print and 17 per cent import duty on the three other prints. They had wrongly assumed that if the courier was charging them to deliver the prints to my home it would include any import duty.

If they had known that they would have to pay extra import duty in Shanghai they would never have bought the prints in London.

We advised them to declare the four prints as a set (which they were) as Chinese customs will allow one item (a set) of personal effects into China at 10 per cent duty.

Now this is where being Proactive and not Reactive comes into play.

  • This person should have asked their courier if their charges included delivery to home address Shanghai DUTY INCLUDED OR DUTY EXCLUDED.
  • They should have looked up Import duty on prints and personal allowance BEFORE they bought the prints in order to get a accurate TOTAL price to be paid or to save time, ask the UK courier to undertake this exercise for them.
  • If they were Proactive and not Reactive they would not have encountered such hassle.

When you’re engaged in International Trade you must know the “nitty gritty” of the business such as importing – exporting documentation procedures and custom procedures to name just two.

When you join our on line International Trade course, among other subjects we show you how to look up import duty in ANY country.

We never shy away from helping anyone in distress but we do say if you are going into the business of International Trade, get training or better still go the a company with 25 years practical experience in International Trade and join our online course.

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The Future of the EU

The EU and in fact whole globe, is now caught up in the  “Greek Tragedy”, will they, or won’t they stay?  Nearer home,  the UK Government is mumbling about staying in a ‘reformed’ EU, reformed of course in the interest of the UK.

As Brussels has declared ‘dream on UK’.

The basic precepts of the free movement of goods, services, people and money will NEVER change as these are not on the table for discussion.

If we have a referendum within two years  in the UK, it would place us in a very precarious position.  The EU could make minor concessions in order to keep the UK in the European Union.

The general opinion  seems to be that parts of the EU legislation is good for the UK and we would be happy to hold on to a few of the basic precepts, namely the free movement of  goods and services as well as money. The free movement of people is however, too contentious to discuss in this blog.

Just a thought, if we do eventually leave the EU, why not become a preferential trading partner with the EU? We would  still  maintain working  commercial relationships with our current trading partners in the EU  and also allow us  to seek new partners on a level playing field with  other EU members.

Take Turkey as an example of an Preferential Trading partner with the EU,

Turkish manufactures trade with EU  member states under advantageous conditions.  They can supply EU member states with DUTY FREE goods. This arrangement is reciprocal so it’s a win-win situation and Turkey is not burdened with other EU regulations.

On our own, we could still trade with the EU as a Preferential Trading partner and our goods would remain competitive.

There is a down side to all this, we would not be part of the legislative process of the EU but is that such a bad thing?

I’m old enough to remember when we were members of EFTA , and the duty-free movement of goods to fellow EFTA members . We survived!!!!

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Starting a Successful Import Export Business

All businesses have a degree of risk. About 50% of new businesses fold within the first year of trading. In other words, only 50% of start up businesses are SUCCESSFUL. What factors contribute to their success? We can start with a raw skill set such as determination, self belief, a desire to succeed together with the desire to determine your own future as well as the will to build your own business. 100% of start up business owners have these attributes so what makes only 50% successful?

As well as these qualities, it’s vital to have the right knowledge of the industry. Offering the right product, having the right product knowledge, having the ability to foresee potential problems and make suitable provisions and have the ability to understand the details of your business as well as understanding finance and cash flow and of course the ability to ‘balance the books’.

You’ll need all the above raw skills plus the specialised knowledge particular to an export import business.

This knowledge is a requirement before you start trading. Learning on the job is fatal, as too many mistakes will put you out of business very quickly. You must have these skills BEFORE you start up your Export Import business or you’ll find yourself as part of the 50% of unsuccessful businesses very quickly.

So what knowledge is needed? Let’s look at just a few of the international trading terms and subjects you will need to understand:

  • Understanding terms of delivery
  • Ability to prepare a contract
  • Ability to understand customs procedures
  • Sourcing worldwide
  • Shipping procedures
  • Market research
  • Methods of payment

Remember, this is just a part of the knowledge you must learn and understand BEFORE you start trading. They are the tip of the iceberg.

ABTS Training will be holding a FREE webinar on Friday 26th June which will address some of the problems associated with starting up your Import Export business. The webinar will also identify and explain some of the points above that you will need to understand to help you kick start your business.

Sign up now and get a kick start to starting your business.

Getting International Trade Right

Alan Bracken of ABTS Training Services commented: “Many UK companies are now expanding into new global markets which can only be good for our faltering economy.”

“However, they must have a strong understanding about the business of exporting, such as negotiation skills with overseas partners and understanding the different commercial cultures.  They must be in a position to deliver the sharp end of exporting in terms of understanding documentation and freight rates and working with third party providers such as clearing agents and freight forwarders.

“Get it right and it is a smooth operation. Get it wrong and you are in deep trouble.”

Getting it right is the theme of ABTS Trainings’ online import export course.  A practical training course teaching you the necessities of importing and exporting, with free one-to-one support.

The Trouble With Incoterms

Since the introduction of Incoterms 2010, some importers and exporters have been struggling with the new edition especially with the new rule for delivery and passing of risk with FOB, CFR, CIF.

The old “over the ships rail” has gone (how did we ever manage that with RO/RO?) and been replaced with “on board” the vessel, a clearer and more sensible place to transfer risk and delivery.

The new Incoterms DAT and DAP have been a welcome addition for traders, giving them a better variety of delivery points.

Incoterms 2010 has been a welcome and refreshing edition and as ever illustrates clearly the  trader’s responsibilities under place, cost and risk.  However traders are still making the same fundamental mistake with Incoterms 2010 as they did with previous editions.

They do not indicate that the term they quote is subject to Incoterms 2010, thus leaving the responsibility under  place cost and risk up for grabs, contrary to the  reason why  Incoterms  was initially established back in the early 1930s.

If you have been trading under Incoterms 2000, understanding the transition to the latest edition can be accomplished in our half day ‘Incoterms 2010’ course.

For beginners, our online import export course goes into detail on Incoterms 2010 and how it must be used for International trade.

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Credit Where Credit’s Due

Almost half of letters of credit received in the UK are unworkable according to recent research – that is the buyer requests documents which the seller is unable to produce.

Recently, for example, a Turkish buyer requested an ATR movement certificate from a UK seller for goods despatched direct from Peru to Izmir in Turkey.  This was not possible as the ATR movement certificate can only be issued for goods which meet with the rules or origin that goods must be manufactured and produced within the EC or in free circulation.

Alan Bracken of ABTS Training Services stated at a recent seminar on letters of credit:  “You get the letter of credit you deserve, if you don’t ask you don’t get.”

“In order to get a workable letter of credit you must give the seller details of the letter of credit you require.”

Join our online course to learn in depth about letters of credit and how essential they are to International trade.

Stronger Trade Performance Must Be Nourished

New export figures published by the ONS give cause for optimism according to the British Chambers of Commerce.

David Kern, Chief Economist at the BCC, commenting on the trade deficit for August, said: “The trade figures for August show an improvement in the overall trade deficit, and are better than expected. A revision of previous figures means that the trade deficit was smaller than previously estimated. Excluding all erratic items, exports have increased more strongly than imports over the last month, and also on a three-monthly basis. It is encouraging that, even in a difficult international environment, Britain is able to strengthen its trading position.

“The figures provide a welcome contrast to the steady flow of negative news we have recently. However we cannot underestimate the challenges ahead for exporters, particularly in the face of the serious problems facing the Eurozone, which remains our major trading partner. As the fiscal austerity plan dampens domestic demand, net exports have to be the main engine of Britain’s economic recovery.

“This means that the government must support a national export drive. Unless we accelerate the pace of export growth and we gain market share from imports in the domestic market, it will be difficult to sustain UK growth. The government must strengthen its backing for SME exporters in key areas such as trade finance, insurance and promotion.

“While a competitive pound and low interest rates can help our exporters, further efforts are needed to ensure that our businesses can compete equitably with foreign exporters. On their part, Britain’s exporters must make every effort to diversify their sales towards fast growing economies such as India, China and Brazil.”

Alan Bracken, course director at ABTS Training Services, added: “Companies who need to export from the UK must retain highly trained staff that can confidently provide an export service to support the companies export drive.”