Guide

International trade regulations in the Life Sciences - healthcare and medical sector

Researching your export destination for healthcare and medical products

You should thoroughly research your export destination country when planning to export.

There are a number of issues that you ought to consider. As a starting point you may wish to seek advice from Invest Northern Ireland. Find out about the Invest NI support for selling outside Northern Ireland.

There are also various ways that you can research a potential export destination.

You can use the UK Trade Tariff to check:

  • special conditions such as prohibitions on your products
  • licensing restrictions and requirements
  • rates of duty payable when your goods enter your export market

Access the UK Trade Tariff.

You should consider product safety and medical and technical standards in your export market. For example, if you want to export a controlled drug, you will need a domestic licence before you can apply for an export licence. Many markets, even outside Europe, may require European safety standards as well as their own medical standards. Your goods may need to be adapted to comply with these. Rules in your export market may be less or more strict than in the UK.

You should also be aware of any sanctions and embargoes which apply to your intended export destination. Read more about current arms embargoes and other restrictions.

For a general guide to market information on sectors and countries, see researching and entering overseas markets.

You can ask for information about your export destination country from a range of organisations, including:

  • the Invest Northern Ireland International trade team
  • your UK Trade & Investment team within the commercial section of the UK embassy in your destination country
  • healthcare and medical sector trade associations
  • the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce

Invest Northern Ireland is a government organisation that supports Northern Ireland businesses trading internationally and overseas enterprises seeking to set up or expand in Northern Ireland. Invest Northern Ireland has an impartial global presence in countries throughout the world and helps businesses realise their international potential through knowledge transfer and ongoing partnership support.