Exporting is one of those areas of commercial business where the opportunities presented can lead to phenomenal success for any business.
Export control is also one of those areas of commercial business it’s vital to get right before selling your products or services overseas. The consequences of getting it wrong could be dire. You and your business could both be made to pay hefty fines (the stuff of bankruptcy) and/or you could end in up in prison for several years.
When I talk about measuring risk against opportunity, export control is where it’s at. It’s also where you’re in danger of ‘paralysis by analysis’: where you can easily over analyse and talk yourself out of the opportunity. Before you do that, please call me and let me help you get it right.
How it Works - Export Control
If you’re considering exporting outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes non-EU countries like Norway, there are two basic questions I’ll ask you:
- What are you trying to export?
- Where do you want to export to?
The answers to those questions will determine whether it’s feasible for you to export your products or services. For example:
What are you trying to export?
If this includes any technology based components or operations there will be three areas of consideration:
- Is it designed for military use?
- Can it only be used for commercial purposes?
- Can it be used/adapted for dual purposes (commercial and military)?
Again, the answers to these questions will determine how easy it will be for you to export your products or services.
Where do you want to export to?
The UK government needs to know who you are selling your products or services to and exactly where they are going to.
There are three government departments involved in the decision-making process of allowing exports out of the UK. These are:
- Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS)
- Ministry of Defence (MOD)
- Foreign Office (FO)
Each department may have different reasons for agreeing or vetoing your application to export to different countries. And, even if two departments have no objections to you selling to a particular country, any one of the three can stop you if they have an objection for reasons only they may know about.
If you’re planning to export outside of the EEA
How do you export products and services?
Exporting products and services looks complicated. It can be. Which is where I can help you.
You may think your product is only designed for commercial purposes. I can help determine whether the MOD could consider it to have dual purposes (potential adaptability for military use is a reason the MOD vetoes products being sold to certain countries around the world).
If it’s proven to have dual purpose does that mean you can’t sell your products overseas? Not necessarily. It depends on how easy it is to adapt, who and where you want to send it to. Which is why you need my help in preparing to export your products or services.
If you’re planning to export your products or services