FTA Basics

How to do business overseas

Key questions to ask before you export

 Should you offer your best price first off? Sometimes it is best to leave a little room for negotiation – most of the buyers in the countries mentioned like to negotiate and if you offer the bottom price first up you have nowhere to move
 Do you have the authority to make a deal? In most Asian societies this is important as buyers like to deal with the person that can make the deal
 Have you done your due diligence on the perspective buyer (s)?
 Have you determined the Harmonised Code – tariff number for your product?

Watch the video tutorial to learn about Harmonized Codes

 Have your worked on your contractual wording and terms?
 Are your goods Australian origin – or are they made in Australia from foreign imported material?
 Does your product require Australian Government approval to export? If so, are you able to obtain the correct approval(s) and provide the correct documents for export and import into another country?
 Have you determined the best method of packing for your product so that it arrives in good condition?
 What are the unique selling points to your business proposition? Will there be a market for your products and services?
 Are there any legal barriers to your business model?
 Where in the market would you start?
 Do you have sufficient resources (management time, project finance and expenses) to fund your overseas projects?
 Who will be leading the project within your company?
 Do you need to work with an overseas partner to succeed?  Can you communicate with them effectively?
 Have you evaluated business risks (such as protecting your intellectual property) and conducted research and due diligence?
 Do you know how to secure payment?
 Do you know how to organise shipment to another country?
 Do you know how to prepare export documents adequate for your buyer to clear customs when goods arrive into a country?
 Do you understand Incoterms – the rules that determine who pays for what in the transaction?

Watch the video tutorial to learn about Incoterms

 Do you require or have you organised marine Insurance?
 Do you require credit insurance?
 Do you understand if your goods are covered by the international rules of Dual Use exports?
 Do you have an export plan?
 Does your product require special labeling/compliance certification, etc for export into the country that you are considering selling to?
 Does your buyer require an import permit before the goods can be cleared through Customs in the importing country?
 Have you chosen a freight forwarder to work with?
 Can you offer a delivery plan that will work both in product availability and shipping time?

Whilst this might see like rather a formidable list, there is assistance out there to help you to navigate your way through the process and be prepared. The Australian Institute of Export has several tools to assist you, whether you are new to international business or need to refresh your knowledge or up skill your team.

Resources available:

  1. Export Procedures and Documentation Course: Having the skills and knowledge in export procedures and staff trained in export documentation is vital for any company doing or planning to do business overseas. Whether you perform this function in house or outsource part of the process to your freight forwarder, it is vital that you and your staff have the knowledge to manage this important element of international business. It’s your money and your product that is at risk. Before you go global - get educated. Click here for course information
  2. Australian Export Handbook: The essential export tool kit is a comprehensive guide to practical aspects of exporting essential for both new and experienced exporters. The Export Handbook is recommended as the authoritative reference on export practice. Click here for information on available publications
  3. Importing: For importers, we also have courses and an Import Handbook. Click here for information on available products
  4. Export Council of Australia membership: The Export Council of Australia (ECA) is the peak Industry body for the Australian export community.  Business membership is available to exporting companies actively involved in international business. This can include exporting and importing companies and service providers to the industry as well as government departments engaged in trade. Click here for more information

For information on service providers to the export sector, Click here.