Step 7: Getting your Product or Service to the Market

Every market has its own set of rules and regulations covering safety, health, security, packaging and labeling, customs and duties among other things and these may vary depending on the product or service you are exporting. It is critical that you understand the rules and regulations that apply to your product or service before you ship your goods or even embark on opening a foreign business location.

Many first-time exporters use a freight forwarder to help them with international inspections and export documentation. Freight forwarders are experienced in rules and regulations of importing countries, methods of shipping, export regulations, and completing documents in a timely manner. It is the responsibility of the exporter to hire a freight forwarder; importers rarely (if ever) do this. The freight service starts from coordinating shipments at place of production to completing trade documents.

Also depending on the market and the route you are taking, necessary skills may include language fluency, good understanding of cultural differences, ability to research and evaluate your target market, and experience of dealing with freight forwarders or customs agents. You will also need to define the main stages, tasks and budgets required to implement your market-entry strategy. Also you will need to consider training existing staff, employing new staff with the required skills and experience or using consultants to work with you in your venture overseas.

Note: Original text from the Exporter Toolkit from the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA). The content has been updated for the Bahamas Trade Information Portal with permission of CEDA.

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