Moving goods through the EU to non-EU countries is known as ‘indirect exports’. Many businesses prefer to export via specialist organisations, eliminating the need for travelling abroad, arranging transport for goods, dealing in foreign languages and coping with complex documentation.
It can be a good way for small firms to start exporting and provides a means of testing the viability of your products in new markets.
Examples of the common indirect methods approaches to exporting are:
- via an export management service
- through an export merchant
- through 'buying houses'
- through confirming agents
Indirect exports need special procedures and paperwork, which generally depend on the final destination of your goods:
- you must fill in an export declaration - even though the goods are initially moving through an EU country
- export licences and other controls will depend on the destination of your goods
- you won’t have to pay VAT on goods exported outside the EU, though you’ll have to show proof that the goods actually left the EU
- you’ll need a trade control licence if you’re moving strategically controlled goods (eg military or defence) between two non-EU countries
- you might need a transhipment licence if you arrange the shipment of goods through the UK
Check if you need a strategic export licence for some controlled goods, eg military, defence or security related goods. This also covers dual use goods that can be used for both civil and military purposes, eg some software. You can apply for a strategic export licence using SPIRE.
Know your legal responsibilities
- Do you need a licence?
- Get the right business insurance
- Comply with the law when providing goods and services
- Know your customers' rights
- Distance and online selling rules
- Understand pricing legislation
- Buying goods from outside NI
- Selling goods outside NI
- GDPR compliance checklist
- Pay your business rates
- Understand staff contracts and your responsibilities
- Taking on contractors and subcontractors
- Health and safety basics for business
- Know your legal obligations on pensions
Understand tax and VAT
Sell and market your products or services