Exporting can boost your turnover and reduce your dependence on UK-based customers and if you are importing into the UK, negotiating with your supplier on price and terms of delivery is essential.
This factsheet provides links to useful organisations and guidance on importing and exporting, doing business abroad, living and working abroad.
Import/Export general guidance
Import finance (IoD guide)
Export finance (IoD guide)
Further sources of information:
Doing Business Guides
- Economies ranked on their ease of doing business (World Bank) - Rankings for the ease of doing business in individual countries + links to economic profiles.
- Edelman Trust Barometer 2020 – Annual Global Study, rates trust (in companies, government etc) in countries around the world.
- Country Reports (Atradius) - Atradius publications provide you with their view on the economic situation in more than 40 countries and the trading outlook of major industries.
- Tax Guides (EY) - Browse in-depth guides covering corporate tax, indirect tax, personal taxes, transfer pricing and other tax matters in more than 150 jurisdictions.
- Doing Business Guides (UHY) - Guides covering the country specific business information you need to consider should you wish to pursue business interests. 84 countries covered.
- International Tax Guides (Deloitte)
Living & Working Abroad
- UK and the World (Foreign & commonwealth Office) - foreign affairs information, travel advice, guides to living abroad and other help for British nationals including overseas missions and DIT contacts.
- 'Living in' Country Guides (Foreign & Commonwealth Office) - guides to living in 73 different countries.
- Foreign embassies in the UK (Foreign & Commonwealth Office)
Cost of Living
- Statistics by country or topic (OECD) - Wide range of indicators on agriculture, development, economy, education, energy, environment, finance, government, health, innovation and technology, jobs and society.
- Directory of National Statistical Office Websites (World Trade organisation) - national statistical offices are the holders of data on individual countries like the Office for National Statistics in the UK.
- Trade Market Access Database (European Commission) - Overview of trade flows in goods between EU and non-EU countries for specific products.
- Eurostat (European Commission) – European statistics.
- UKTrade Info (HMRC) - Current UK import and export statistics.
- Global Competitiveness Report (World Economic Forum) – Ranking of national competitiveness — defined as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity. Covers 137 economies.
- Nation Master - Compilation of data from hundreds of sources allowing country comparison.
- Tourism Statistics Review (Tourism Alliance) - Brings together the headline tourism figures from the three main national tourism surveys and combines them with key information from other studies and publications to provide an over view of the size and value of tourism to the UK economy.
- Statistics & Insights (Visit Britain) - Data on inbound visitors.
Legislation & Regulation
- EUR-Lex (European Legislation) - Summaries of EU legislation.
- Import & Export (HMRC) - Information on customs declarations, duties and tariffs.
- Import and export of manufactured goods (GOV.UK) - international trade regulations for materials, equipment, goods and appliances, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, aerospace and defence.
- Consolidated list of strategic military and dual-use items that require export authorisation (Department for International Trade) - List of ‘controlled’ military and dual-use items that require an export licence issued by the Export Control Organisation.
- Trade Tariff: look up commodity codes, duty and VAT rates (GOV.UK) - Search for the import and export commodity codes plus the tax, duty and licenses that apply to your goods.
- Access2Markets (European Commission) - All content previously on the Trade Helpdesk and on the Market Access Database is now on Access2Markets. Find information on requirements, tariffs, statistics, preferential arrangements and trade barriers.
- Sanitary and phytosanitary measures (European Commission) - Sanitary and phytosanitary measures (i.e. to protect human, animal and plant life / health) by country and section.
- Import Procedures & Documents (European Commission) - Information on import procedures and documents required by specific countries.
- World Customs Organisation - Information and news on the nomenclature and classification of goods, valuation and origin.
- Model contracts for international trade (International Trade Centre) - Eight generic contract templates aimed to help small firms secure international business. (Nb. The IoD Business Information Service is also able to supply a number of international trade contract templates)
- Protecting your UK intellectual property abroad (Intellectual Property Office) - To protect your intellectual property outside of the UK, you usually need to apply in each country you want protection in.
- IP protection abroad: country guides (Intellectual Property Office) - Guides to applying IP protection in Brazil, China, India, Turkey, South Africa, South Korea, the USA and Vietnam.
- World Intellectual Property Organisation member state contacts (WIPO) - Contact details for Intellectual Property bodies (trademarks, copyright, patents etc) in member countries including links to further information on national IP laws, etc.
- Overseas registries (Companies House) - List of company registries located around the world, grouped by region.
- Law firms, lawyers by country (HG.org) - Directory of overseas lawyers, searchable by country and specialism.
- Martindale directory - Search for law firms and lawyers worldwide by country and/or specialism.
- Lists of lawyers abroad - (Foreign & Commonwealth Office) - Lists of English-speaking lawyers abroad for British nationals who may require legal advice and assistance.
- Index of Corporate Governance Codes (European Corporate Governance Institute)
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Business leaders raise concern over remote workers’ mental health
In a new study, Managing Mental Health in Changing Business Models, the IoD found that almost three-quarters of members proactively offered employees flexible working practices, with the most common reason being to improve staff’s work-life balance. While highlighting the benefits of changing work models, the business leaders’ group said that ensuring the mental wellbeing of homeworkers raised particular challenges, and called for official guidance to be regularly updated to adapt to shifting work practices.
Read the report