How To Become An Importer Exporter – 6 Tips To Start Your Export Business

June 13, 2017 0Shipping Blogs

How to become an importer-exporter can be tedious in terms of getting the right knowledge. If you’re looking for information regarding ” How To Import ” then start here.

Research is vital! Identify the markets with a little desk research. Find the consumption/import figures of products similar to your own and the economic growth rate of a potential new market. Remember currently a lot of Asian / South East Asian countries are in very high demand for Australian Goods. Look up the demographics, cultural and religious practices, and your potential competition. Entrepreneurs always ask ” how to become an importer-exporter” but the question is do you have the commitment to push through?.

Make a Plan – How To Become an Importer-Exporter

  • Your export plan should include vital information. Some key things to consider are:

Your Team

Can someone from your team drive this programme or do you need to recruit? It’s always best to try and get advice from somebody that has worked in export to understand how to really build a team together. If your lacking people to join your team, then the internet is your best friend. Research the vital components of understanding the export trade and start.

Your Capacity

Do you have enough capacity to meet a new market’s demands?
Always try to start somewhere, and it doesn’t have to be in big volumes. Get in touch with a couple of importers from your desired country and start. Always know your finance and capacity

Your Packaging

Will your packaging design appeal to your market? Is there a legal requirement to label things differently or do you need to translate your labeling? Try to illustrate these requirements when you design and implement your packaging. Your packaging could include information such as ingredients, materials, quantities of substance etc

The New Market

Visit your potential new market. Showcase your products at trade fairs and build new contacts. One way that Australian Exporters are reaching out to their potential customers is by visiting trade fairs around the world. If your target market is in China, then start saving up by attending some trade shows. Do some market research on the ground.


Internationally agreed rules setting out delivery terms for goods traded across different borders. Buyer and seller agree on details on the terms of sale to prevent misunderstandings or disputes. Incoterms set out responsibility for the cost of transporting goods, insurance, taxes or duties, pick up points, destinations, and responsibility for the goods at each stage. these are very important also when you liaise with your shipping agent. When in doubt contact your shipping agent who can help you negotiate with your supplier to get the best deal in terms of purchasing and shipping. The door to Door shipments is a safe bet. Other incoterms you can read up on is Fob, CIF, Exworks, and door to door.

Get your documents right!

  • Always speak to your freight agent who can help you organize your freight documentation. Remember some documents to become accustomed to is :
  • Bill Of Lading
  • Commercial Invoice
  • SLI = Shippers letters of instruction
  • VGM methods

There are some countries that require additional documentation that you will need to apply to the Australian Government body such as obtaining free trade certificates or phytosanitary certificates. A good way to check is to ask your importer on what the requirements of importation would be and work with your freight specialist.

What are some key countries to look into?

Right now some key countries that are experiencing a boom would be India, China, and South East Asian countries. These are just movements we have seen in coordinating exports and we can tell you that there are large amounts of agriculture moving to these notably expanding countries.


Always remember to be aware of scams that are currently in place. In this day and age, the internet serves as a major platform to fool you into believing that they are genuine companies. Some good ways of obtaining payment would be through bank transfer, letter of credits, Pay pal and lastly Other key merchants. Always check the fee’s of transfer and include them into your price as the surcharges do add up so don’t be left out of pocket


Speak to your freight forwarder today and organize insurance for your cargo! this is a crucial mistake that exporters make when they allow 3rd party carriers to organize their shipments without taking out insurance. Remember always make a deal, reading up on incoterms that puts your responsibilities and liabilities less, if it isn’t plausible, get some insurance out to cover the goods up to a point where the importer can handle the responsibility. If the ship goes down, you don’t want your export products to be left our at sea for the fish to enjoy!

Till Next Time

Enjoy the tips and remember, when in doubt speak to us. We can help with an export quote or general advice to get you started. We’ve got time to listen.


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