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 related 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 updatesIncoterms 2010 - and News section of the website.

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November 2018

1.  AEO - Is it Worth Making an Application?

Firstly it must be made clear that this is not a note against any eligible business obtaining AEO status, it is just a warning that being an AEO in the United Kingdom is not a magic bullet and any business considering making an application shoould first ensure they are aware of the benefits and the associated costs.  It is also worth noting that AEO status is only granted to a business that "has dealings with Customs legislation". Read more

2.  The Future for Freight Forwarders

Freight forwarding is traditionally hugely competitive and as service providers, forwarders have had to frequently adjust their operating models to align with the changing nature of cross border trade operations.Read more  

3.  How is the UK Doing in Relation to the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement

IThe World Trade Organisation TFA came into force in February 2017, much earlier than expected.  Under the terms of the agreement all member states of the WTO, less developing countries, were required to be operating to the requirements of the agreement by the time it came into force.  Read more

4.  Time to Act on Brexit 

As the political debates drag on and the outcome remains unclear, it's time for all businesses to prepare for the impact of a possible no deal Brexit in just over four months.

"We are getting closer to the deadline and it's crucially important to prepare for the impact," said Tim Hiscock, International Trade Advisor at Strong and Herd. "While nothing is certain, the sooner your business prepares for the changes, the more options you will have." Read more 


October 2018

1.  Export Pricing

It's a question that baffles lots of us and the answer can make the difference between success and failure.  The answer (and it doesn't matter what you're selling) is that it's worth what the buyer thinks it's worth to him Read more

2.  Vertical Integration in the Shipping Industry

Contemporary models for international supply chains usually incorporate Just in Time logistics solutions to enable a reduction in warehousing requirements and the need for too much cash tied up in inventory.  Read more 

3.  Democracy & Press Freedom and Why They Matter to Exporters

 When we research Latin American markets on behalf of British clients, I always make the point that looking just into GDP growth rate figures, or GDP per capita is not enough.  Read more


September 2018

1. New Japan Trade Deal Will Abolish Virtually All Tariffs

The European Union has concluded a new trade deal with Japan, which promises to abolish tariffs on more than 97% of trade. Read More

2.  Ethical Trading Policies

Exporters that bid for supply contracts under a tendering exercise are now commonly required to provide an Ethical Trading Policy Document - this is particularly common in relation to government procurements.  Read more

3. All Change - How to Replace a Distributor Without Tears

Very few things, in life or in business, are permanent. In particular, the relations that an exporting business has with its representatives and allies can sometimes lead to a necessary parting of the ways.  Read more

August 2018

1.  The Greatest Liar in the Universe

A few months after I joined a carpet company as Export manager in 1997 and after my first few overseas jaunts on their behalf, my then boss and now very good friend asked if he could accompany me on one of my expeditions.  My first had been to try and stop a German distributor from suing the company for the non-supply of sampling materials.  He had driven countless kilometres 'bigging up' our products to his 14 sale agents and the non-appearance of the samples had caused several to drift to other suppliers  Read More

2.  Is the Price Right? Carrying Out an International Price Review

In previous articles we have looked at the challenge of pricing for international markets.  For several reasons, prices need to be reviewed regularly and adjusted.  What are the key criteria? Read more

3.  Brexit: Supply Chain Awareness

It is vitally important business understand their supply chain today because, whatever the outcomes of negotiations, there will be changes to navigate including some opportunities for optimsing the ways you manage your supply chains. Read More

4.  Treading the Backstreets

Last month I decided to call time on international business travel.  The decision has been coming for a while as I have tried to delay the inevitable, but a couple of slipped discs have made longer flights and sitting for hours in airports or treading their hard walkways increasingly difficult  Read more


July 2018

1.  Export Credit Risk Assessment

Export credit management is generally a back room activity but what could be more important than ensuring that payment is received and is received on time and in an appropriate currency Read More 

2.  A Climate Change in Business Ethics - Keeping Your Business Legal

Everyone is familiar with the notion of climate change but it's not just the weather; it might be attitudes to diesel emissions, disruptive businesses such as Uber and Amazon or the rapidly changing global attitudes to business ethics. Read More

3.  Brexit Opportunities of a Different Kind

The ongoing debate about Brexit continues to fill newspaper columns, TV and radio time and to occupy the minds of people involved in international trade.  While the controversy remains, there are at least some positives that can be anticipated Read more

June 2018

1. Is Language a Non-Tariff Barrier to Trade?

 With the coming into force of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement last year and increased focus has been apparent on tackling the non-tariff barriers to internationa trade.  Read more

2.  Incoterms - A Vital Element in Successful Exporting

Incoterms are more than just terminology.  By using them strategically, an exporter can win new business, do existing business better and increase profits.  Read More

3.  A Word About the EU Customs Union

What does losing access to the EU Customs Union mean to the UK?  Read More

May 2018

1.  Letter of Credit Discrepancies - Whose Fault?

Against all the odds and speculation over the last twenty years, the Letter of Credit has survived as an effective and well established international payment system.  Indeed, it is the only system that protects both the seller from payment risk and the buyer from non-performance of the sales contract - as evidenced by the docments presented to the nominated (checking) bank.  The system works perfectly when the documents presented by the exporter are "in strict compliance with the terms and conditions of the letter of credit."  In such cases, the exporter gets paid and the buyer receives the documents required for clearance and release of the cargo and also as, documentary, proof that the exporter hs performed the conditions and requirements of the sale contract.  Read more


April 2018

1.  Getting Your Goods to Market

Relationships are everything in business.  Every supplier, every customer, every contractor and every employee is an important cog in the machine. Read more

2.  Tales from the Road: Offices, Hotel Rooms & Bars

I've been involved in international trade since the late 1980s.  It took me several years to realise that I was missing out on a wealth of culture as I delved headlong into the work I was doing on each overseas trip.  During that time I missed out on seeing many of the world's Heritage Sites and some of the wonders of the natural world because my conscience told me I was out there to work and not as a tourist.  Read More

3.  The True Value of Market Research

I was visiting a new client last month.  They had no experience of exporting and frankly probably needed to focus more on building their domestic customer base before doing so.  Read More

4.  GDPR for exporters

The new legislation that protects personal data is due to come into force on 25th May.  Its restrictions apply to all businesses large and small and it's vital to plan for the new requirements, if you haven't done so already.  Read more


March 2018

1.  Securing Your International Trade

When you are out there on your own, often in unfamiliar locations and remote from your office and its support services, it is really useful to have a high degree of certainty that if something does go wrong you have things in place to cope.  Like almost anything else in life, security in travel starts with good preparation.  Read more

2.  The Long Wait

It happens to anyone who travels, irrespective of whether the journey is for business or pleasure.  Delays in airports, ferry ports, or at either end of the Channel Tunnel are invevitable: the weather can cause delays and cancellations; technical problems; stringent foot and mouth hygiene measures; the lack of flight crew and even on one occasion the death of a ferry captain.  I've probably heard them all.   Read more

3.  Brexit - What's Happening and What Does it Mean for Exporters?

Just over a year ago, we looked at the anticipated effect of Brexit on businesses that trade internationally.  Not suprisingly, the article contained numerous caveats, ifs, buts and maybes.  At that time, only a few months had passed since the referendum and the detail of the kind of trade relationship the government would be seeking with the EU-27 was still being debated. Read more

4.    Exporting Humanitarian Cargoes

Humanitarian disasters, by the very nature, either come without warning, such as earthquakes, or are long term consequences of conflict, such as Syria.  Material support usually takes one, or more, of three elements.  Humanitarian agencies use of their own stockpiles of relief items, government procurements to the private sector and charitable donations.  Read more

February 2018

1.  In Defence of Export Consultants

I was once asked to be a witness for a work colleague in his redundancy consultation during which the General Manager of the company told him that his 37 years of experience counted for nothing.  That was in the early 1990s and the shock has never left me.  It seems that these days expert advice is being degraded, with one of the more extreme examples being the questioning of scientific advice on climate change.  Having lived for nigh on 60 years it seems pretty clear to me that the UK climate has become significantly milder!  Read more

2.  Strengthening Export Credit Control

There are a few things, if any, more critical to an exporting company than getting paid!  One of the wonderful realities about exporting is that, even in very high-risk environments, the careful and sensible choice of payment method and payment term can mitigate against the possibility of non-payment  Read more

3.  Agents & Distributors - Getting the Right Ones

Many companies start their journey into international trade by reacting to enquiries or orders received.  Their products or services have attracted attention and are in demand, either through exhibiting them, advertising or editorialising, or because someone has told somebody else about them.  Buoyed by early experiences, companies then delve further into exporting.  Some take their own routes while others use the research services of government agencies or private consultants to learn more abouit the markets they are targeting.  Read more

4.  Brexit Withdrawal Documents

March - October 2018 will see the decisive talks on the UK/ EU relationship arrangements once the UK have withdrawn from the European Union.  This will set out the "framework for future relations" on both trade and non-trade matters, according to the EU negotiator Michel Barnier.  Today (19 Feb 2018) Barnier is meeting the House of Commons Committee on Exiting the European Union (in Brussels) while on Wednesday (21 Feb 2018) he will meet the House of Lords EU Select Committee (again, in Brussels).  Read More

January 2018

1.  What are the benefits of having a Customs Warehouse?

Well this is a very interesting question, especially in light of what is happening around the Brexit negotiations.  There are a lot of "what if's, whys's and wherefores" surrounding Brexit and its impact to trade within the UK, which leads into this fascinating question  Read more

2.  Exhibitions 2 - Following Up Enquiries

 It really shouldn't need to be said that the follow up of leads generated at an event is absolutely crucial and yet I have seen far too many examples where exhibitors felt they were 'far too busy' to go through the hastily written enquiries properly.   Read more

3.  How do you Value an International Market?

In the last fifteen years or so UK businesses have been encouraged to start trading (or to increase trade with) global market groupings or markets specific to different regions of the world.  Acronyms abound: CIVETS, BRICS and MINT being those that have been the most widely reported, but there are more.  As I write this, UK ministers are looking either at building a trade partnership with TPP (you kno, the Trans-Pacific Partnership that the USA pullled out of shortly after Donald Trump was elected President) or joining this distant club as our country extrictes itself from a much more influential one on its doorstep.  Read more

4. The Global Misuse of Incoterms

This is not a new topic and of course, that is the big frustration - despite Incoterms reviews every decade there is still a huge problem, globally, with the misuse of Incoterms.  Read more

5.  Tips on applying for a Customs Warehouse

 In this ever changing world within Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, now that the exit from the EU is drawing closer by the day, what changes will companies adopt to embrace this major change when the UK ventures into a new era.  Whether it is good or bad for the UK  is down to individual opinions, but from a trade perspective we all know that changes are afoot at the end of March 2019 and we have to embrace change the way we embrace our children with trust, care and attention  Read more

6.  On the Subject of Food

One of the joys of travelling for business is that you have the chance to eat or sample a whole range of foods that you would probably not otherwise encounter.  Read more


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