International Trade Articles

Read our articles covering a wide area of international trade topics


Strong & Herd LLP articles on key international trade topics is a quick way to get an expert view of matters relating to export, import and customs procedures and international trade issues.  Written by S&H LLP partners or associates, these articles provide additional information and work in association with our blogs - import/export matters;  EU customs updates; Incoterms 2010 - and News section of the website.  In addition, S&HLLP members also have access to the "Did You Know?" up-date snippets (refreshed twice a month) posted in the members' only area where some of these details published in these articles started.   To become a member you just need to join our helpline and support service ONECALL

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The Miscellany Page within this section is a QUIZ loosely linked to international trade (new quiz posted every month), a selection of interesting or slightly strange facts and quotes loosely linked to international trade or training issues we have found interesting over the years - we hope you enjoy the oddities here; and remember to revisit us ... we will be adding more on a regular basis.  You can also follow these on Twitter at: or http;// and on our wall at FaceBook






March 2017

1.  Trade Facilitation - The Way Forward

On the 22nd February 2017 the historic Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) came into force.  According to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) it is the first multilateral trade agreement to be concluded since the WTO was established 20 years ago.  Now it has entered into force it is expected to reduce total trade costs by more than 14 percent for low-income countries and more than 13 percent for upper middle-income countries by streamlining the flow of trade across borders. Read more

2.  Export Jargon - An Introduction for Novice Exporters

 Export jargon can be mystifying for individuals or businesses that haven't been involved in international trade before.  Two of the biggest mistakes a novice exporter can make are to either assume that exporting is so easy they don't need any help or advice, or to assume it's so difficult they would rather not do it.  The prominence of unfamiliar words, abbreviations and phrases can add to the confusion, so here we offer a brief guide to some of the most commonly used ones.  Read more 

3. They Tax, We Export - Part 1 (Dealing with Latin American Import Duties)

 There are many obstacles in exporting to Latin America.  However, the one mentioned again and again by British businesses is import duties.  They hurt because they are unavoidable, they are non-negotiable and because anyone with a basic understanding of business finance can easily see how they affect the profitability - and the likeness - of exporting to these booming economies. Read more

4.  Banks enjoy finding Discrepancies

We constantly receive feedback from exporting companies frustrated by the apparent inflexibility of banks when examining documents presented under letters of credit.  The perception is that "banks enjoy finding discrepancies because of the fees they can earn.  Easy money!"  read more 

February 2017

1.  Timber!!! What is FLEGT

FLEGT stands for Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade.  The EU's FLEGT Action Plan was established in 2003.  It aims to reduce illegal logging by strengthening sustainable and legal forest management, improving governance and promoting trade in legally produced timber.  The hoped for effect is that no illegal timber or timeber products can be sold in the EU.  Read more

2.  The Brexit Impact - What it Might mean for Exporters?

Since the referendum result was announced more than six months ago, the Brexit story has rarely been out of the headlines in our newspapers, TV and radio.  Early predictions of a sharp decline in the economy have proven to be wide of the mark - at least for now, leaving egg on the faces of many leading economists and business observers.  Last month, we heard the Prime Minister set out her vision for the country after we eventually leave the European Union.  It is now expected that Article 50 will be invoked by the end of March, effectively firing the starting gun for the process that will lead to the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union and it would seem, the Single Market and the Common Customs Union as well.  Read more 




3FTAs a Panacea or Placebo

Are they the Panacea, a Placebo or Just a Pain in the Articles?

We are seeing and hearing a lot about how the way forward post-Brexit is to ensure the UK has good Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).  We are even talking about having an FTA with the remaining 27-members of the EU.  But is having lots of FTAs the panacea that certain government ministers and spokespersons would like us to think or simply a placebo to pacify the unwary?  Speaking as someone who has worked in international trade trying to put FTAs into practice for 32 years, FTAs are a pain in the "articles"! read more


January 2017

1.  Tales from the Road - The Luck of the Draw

The timing of my training delivery in Kosovo last June was interesting, to say the least.  One of the themes of my training to a gorup of Kosovan export consultants from 28-30 June was 'how to trade with the European Union', five days after the UK had voted to leave.  The referendum decision was met with incredulity by the delegates because Kosovo had only signed up to a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU on 27th October 2015.  Their need for closer ties with the EU contrasted with the UK's apparent need to distance itself.  Read More 

2.  Product Modifications for Exporters

When a business begins to shift attention from the home market to export markets, it's really important to consider the product offering and be prepared tomake modification to make them suitable to local needs and expections. Read More

3Tales from the Road - For the Love of Flying

Back in November, I had the privilege to visit Mongolia to do some training for the Institute of Export.  During that week I experienced a range of different attitudes to Customer Care, Customer Services, 'the Customer Experience'. Read More

4.  Tales from the Road - Approach with Paranoia

Sometimes it is hard to find a line between caution and paranoia when travelling in an unfamiliar country.  I think there is probably an equation somewhere that places exhaustion along a sliding scale between the two.  I have known several occasions when either my sixth sense or my usual sense of reason has been blurred by an uncomfortable feeling of not being entirely in control of a situation.  Read more

5 A Cautionary Tale of Incoterms and Payment

How much though do you give to the underlying contract delivery terms when requesting letters of credit from overseas buyers?  Read more





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