You’ve just landed an order from overseas, and it feels great.
It shows that you’re a growing, healthy business, and will fill up your order book too, helping keep staff busy in the coming months. But then you start to realise – you’ve never sold to this market before! Very soon, the joy gives way to panic…
Or, imagine, you’ve received an order from Iran, but your product contains components that were manufactured in the US, and you need advice about compliance – fast.
These scenarios are not as unusual as you might think. Chamber International’s client services team receive enquiries every day from businesses who are either looking to enter a new overseas market, or need practical help with an export. Asked for a memorable example, general manager Nikki Clow recalls: “This one company made a speculative bid, and the next we heard they’d won their first export order – nine shipments and 27 forty-foot containers in all! They hadn’t thought how they would receive payment, or compared different delivery terms either – they’d just copied something from the internet. They realised they needed help, so we sent our team in and de-risked the whole contract for them.”
Members of West & North Yorkshire Chamber get special preferential access to Chamber International’s client services team, based right at the heart of Chamber’s own offices in Little Germany, Bradford. Export advisors Laura Patterson, Fiorella Duran-Robinson, Ioanna Orfandi, and recent recruit Katja Bruns, receive all new enquiries, and manage the delivery of a wide range of trade services. A truly international team, between them they speak French, Italian, Greek, German, Spanish, Russian… and English, of course. Laura said: “I love working at Chamber International because we have such a strong network of highly experienced specialists; the world of international trade is constantly changing, and, by working as a team, our individual trade expertise grows every day.”
Whether a business requires a tariff classification for their goods, advice about trade preference agreements, Brexit planning, conformity certificates, an origin ruling, in-house training, or customs clearance – the client services team are ready to deliver. Chamber International also facilitates overseas market entry, assists with finding trade partners, and provides a full “Export Office” service to take the pressure off company shipping departments when needed, even during holiday absences. The new exciting new “Chamber Customs” service, being rolled out just as British firms face the prospect of far greater involvement with clearance processes, will ensure their goods safe and efficient passage through UK ports, post-Brexit.
Time and again, Chamber members have expressed thanks to Chamber International for helping them avoid mistakes, and saving them trouble and money.
“You managed the exporting and associated risk, taking the headache away from me, and ensured a trouble-free delivery”, said one recent email.
Fiorella recently received a call from Fantastak, Europe’s leading manufacturer of glue dots and niche adhesive products, who were looking for assistance regarding the origin of their goods. Through careful research, Chamber International uncovered that these goods needed to be classified as being of non-preferential Chinese (rather than UK) origin. Bradford-based Fantastak were so pleased with the help they received, by which they avoided a potentially costly false origin declaration, that they signed up for Chamber membership, and now also receive special reduced rates for export documentation and other trade services.
Fantastak’s technical director, Paul Simpson, said: “We sell into 54 countries, and have lots of experience dealing with certificates of origin, but in this instance a major German OEM in the floristry sector wanted us to get the second opinion of the Chamber. I’m so glad we did! The CI client services team understood exactly what we needed, and responded quickly. We’re now talking with the wider Chamber about a number of different matters, as we invest in the business and develop a whole new product line”.