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Barriers to export – how to comply with different standards

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The rapid development of technology has meant that the world is a much smaller place when it comes to doing business in different countries. However, there are still many barriers to overcome when embarking on selling in different countries.

One of those issues is the different standards that you will have to comply with to enable you to trade. Understanding the quality standards in the country in which you are going to trade will take time. Once you have grasped those standards, it will be inevitable that you will then have to invest time in putting the processes and procedures in place to make sure that you fully comply with those quality standards. This may require making amendments to your existing product to comply with specific technical requirements. Once amendments are made it also becomes necessary for you to be able to demonstrate compliance with rules and regulations. Keeping abreast of any changes to those regulations is also key. No business would want to fall foul of government imposed legislation and rules.

You may think this is a minefield and, talking to my clients who trade internationally, I would say that it is. But don’t be put off by it as there is plenty of support around to help. SYITF (recently renamed as International Trade Forum) is one of those places. There are many companies who are already doing business overseas and complying with various standards, so what better place to start than tapping into the knowledge of peers who have been there and done that?

In addition to groups such as the Forum, UKTI, trade associations and local chambers of commerce will also provide valuable support and advice to enable you to dip your toe into the export water and to ensure that you remain compliant with a vast array of rules which will differ by country.