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close this bookExport Marketing for a Small Handicraft Business (Oxfam, 1996, 192 p.)
close this folder9 Despatching export consignments
View the document9.1 Exporting and importing formalities
View the document9.2 International transportation
View the document9.3 Methods of payment
View the documentSummary


1 International trade is regulated by procedures by which countries monitor and control their exports and imports. Products are identified by a classification code, by which they will be assessed for any restriction or liability for duty. The customs authority in each country controls exports and imports. There are essential documents which must pass from the exporting to the importing country. In order to obtain all the necessary documents and to clear consignments through customs quickly, most exporters and importers use specialist agents. Parcels sent by post also require standard documentation, unless they contain only samples of very small value.

2 There are four main methods of international transportation: air freight, sea freight, air post and sea post. Each has advantages and disadvantages, which need to be understood. Exporters should comply with instructions given by the importer unless there is a good reason to propose a change. Freight rates are often negotiable. Consignments are usually sent on the basis that the importer pays the freight bill. This facility is not available for post parcels. A freight consignment cannot be delivered until the importer or its agent has cleared it through customs.

3 Not only exporters, but also the government of the country of sale, want prompt and full payment for their exports. There are two main methods which offer security to the exporter that the importer will make proper payment, the letter of credit and documentary collection. It is not advisable to send documents to an importer without setting up a guaranteed payment system, unless it is a completely trustworthy customer. Importers will sometimes pay a proportion of the value of the order in advance. Money may be transferred internationally in several ways. A transfer between the importer's and exporter's bank account is the safest method, and it can be accomplished quickly by telex.