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Your Export Journey

Trading internationally brings new opportunities and challenges and businesses must ensure they are fully prepared.  Some areas to consider are is your business export ready, which markets are best suited to your product, how to market your product, getting your goods to market and export finance.

Export Finance

Export Readiness

Getting Goods to Market

International Market Access

International Sales & Marketing


Export Finance

Trading internationally brings a new dimension to business finances. Crossing borders can increase risks, so putting the right process in place to ensure prompt payment is critical and dealing with fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rate can make the difference between profit and loss.

Export Finance explained

When an exporter receives an order to supply goods or services to an overseas buyer, they can ask to be paid upfront. This is a safe way of exporting because the exporter knows they will get their money before the goods or services are delivered.

This approach might also mean the exporter may enter into fewer export contracts, as the payment terms may not be competitive. As buyers require time to pay, many exports of goods and services are sold on extended credit terms, as much as 180 days. This can have a significant impact on the exporter’s cash flow and introduce an additional working capital requirement. It also exposes the exporter to the risk of non-payment by the buyer.

Exporters can go to their bank for support, or a number of other specialist financial organisations that provide support including trade finance and payment protection including UK Export Finance. Such specialist organisations include trade finance houses, factoring and discounting companies and credit insurance providers.

Also consider: Payment Methods & Foreign Currency Exchange

Their mission: to ensure that no viable UK export fails for lack of finance or insurance, while operating at no net cost to the taxpayer

‘We’re here to help UK exporters. If there is an export opportunity but the private sector won’t offer the insurance or guarantees needed, then we try to find a solution.’   David Godfrey, Chief Executive, UKEF

What do they do?

They are the UK’s export credit agency. They help UK exporters by providing insurance to exporters and guarantees to banks to share the risks of providing export finance. In addition, they can make loans to overseas buyers of goods and services from the UK. UKEF is the operating name of the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD).

Export Working Capital Scheme – click here for more information

Read more about what they do

A crucial part of any transaction is ensuring you get paid. There are different payment methods which you should consider.  These are:

  • Cash in Advance
  • Documentary Collections
  • Open Account
  • Documentary Credits or Letters of Credit

Detailed information can be found by clicking here

Getting paid on time and securely is the most important financial consideration when embarking on international trade; using a letter of credit helps to avoid these pitfalls.

What is a Letter of Credit?
A Letter of Credit is a written guarantee by a bank assuring payment for goods. It will have strict terms specifying both the amount of money to be paid and within what time frame. If all the conditions are met, payment is guaranteed.

How can we help?
Hampshire Chamber of Commerce is working in partnership with Business West to offer a Letter of Credit service. We also have members of the Chamber who offer this same service. If you would like to know more please contact the international trade team on tel 01329 242420.

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce via the British Chambers of Commerce has partnered with foreign exchange and payment solutions experts, moneycorp, to offer members exclusive terms and access to competitive foreign exchange rates.

Using their scale and existing network, moneycorp, can help members make significant savings, while providing a service which will save time and give them peace of mind by knowing their FX needs are in the hands of experts.

Key Benefits

  • Bank-beating exchange rates – typically as much as 4% better than the banks
  • Expert market guidance at the end of a phone – moneycorp’s professional currency dealers can guide you through the foreign exchange market
  • Fast online money transfers 24/7 – trade at convenient times with online accounts and live rate information
  • Safeguarded client funds – moneycorp is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to provide payment services and safeguards all client funds in segregated customer accounts

Exclusive Member Package

Free foreign exchange health check
Free assessment of your business’s foreign exchange requirements, to help you pin-point where you could improve your margins

No transfer fees
Transfers are free off the back of an FX deal

Free account opening
Buy and sell any of 35 currencies on line, with access to over a 100 currencies via telephone dealing

Chamber Foreign Exchange will assess your

  • Exchange rates
  • Speed of payments
  • Credit terms
  • Transfer fees
  • Impact of currency movements on your payments
  • Online capabilities

Get in touch

To talk to us about our service please call contact Patrick Solley on tel. +44 (0)203 823 0344
e-mail visit

Export Readiness

Of course we all know that too few British firms are making the most of export market opportunities. Chambers of Commerce, through its network of contacts, can help a company to evaluate their company’s products and services for export, help them to select markets that could be successful and help to make sure that they have the infrastructure in place to support their exporting ambition.

We don’t want businesses to fall at the first hurdle, so our experts guide companies on how to become export ready.

Where it’s appropriate, and it usually is to some degree, we will offer a detailed assessment that will include a review of intellectual property risks, trademarks, branding, packaging, pricing, safety certification, Customs regulations and relevant legislation. After all, we want new exporters to do business successfully and profitably, so we help to mitigate risk.

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce works very closely with the BCC Global Business Network and also the Department for Business and Trade.  The Department for Business and Trade are able to assess your export readiness and can recommend appropriate courses/workshops.

Contact details:

BCC Global Business Network

Department for Business and Trade
Contact details: 

Chambers of Commerce regularly organise international trade-focused seminars, open to both members and non-members, which give exporters access to a wealth of information and advice, to ask questions of the Chamber, meet fellow exporters and other businesses considering moving into international trade. We encourage people to learn from the experience of others.

Our programme of full or half day seminars/workshops hosted by international trade specialists providing information on the overall market, regions, sectors, distribution channels, opportunities etc can be seen by clicking here

Exporters face several risks that can negatively impact their business, such as non-payment of invoices, political uncertainties, or IP theft. To minimise and avoid these risks, Chambers of Commerce, via its network of contacts, can provide businesses with market intelligence and detailed information that will help them analyse their risks and opportunities, so they can make the right export choices.

With the rapid growth of emerging markets around the globe, the opportunities for your business are unlimited. The key to a successful export strategy is focusing your resources on the markets most likely to generate the highest return on your marketing investment. Market research is an essential step in making sure that your efforts are directed towards the right targets.

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce works very closely with the BCC Global Business Network and also the Department for Business and Trade.  These networks are able to offer bespoke market intelligence, including detailed research on regions within your target market, specific sectors, competition, market entry strategies and distribution channels.

Contact details:

BCC Global Business Network

Department for Business and Trade
Contact details:

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce offers a comprehensive range of BCC assessed international trade workshops.

  • Understanding Export
  • Import Procedures
  • Documentary Letters of Credit
  • Preferential Rules of Origin
  • Methods of Payment
  • Preferential Rules of Origin/Customs Procedures
  • Agents and Distributors
  • Customs Procedures and Documentation
  • Incoterms Rules
  • Inward/Outward Processing
  • Export Documentation

Prices and dates are available here

We like to know what you think

We constantly strive to improve the products & services we offer and how they are delivered to you. Please let us know what we are doing well and any areas where you think we could be doing better.

Email your comments to

Email the intl trade team

Getting Goods to Market

Whether you are shipping physical goods or providing services, a successful export business relies on delivering in a timely and efficient manner, while making provision for insurance & risk management and local regulations.

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce operates a full time documentation service in both Basingstoke and Fareham.  The services available are:

Documentation can be provided electronically via two electronic platforms, e-zCert & essCert

Any business exporting physical products will need to carefully plan the logistics of moving them from market to market. At a basic level, Chambers of Commerce, through its network of contacts, can provide an overview of the key considerations in warehousing, freight-forwarding and distribution, along with practical advice for working with providers.

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce is able to provide introductions to logistics providers, including shipping, air freight, overland, general logistics management, warehousing and distribution within its membership.  Please contact the international trade team on tel 01329 242420.

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, through its network of contacts, can offer introductions to differing types of insurance, including trade credit insurance, marine transit insurance, and provision of discounted insurance services to exporters.

Not every law firm or accountancy business has experience of international trade.

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce has within its membership, and through its network of contacts, a referral list of professional services firms who are experienced in this specialist area of international trade, including IP protection; international licensing; distribution agreements; transfer pricing and a range of other services.
We also offer discounted legal and accounting services for members.

International Market Access

Effective distribution is a key element of exporting into any new market. For those considering international trade for the first time or looking at exporting to a new market, Chambers of Commerce, through its network of contacts, can give insight into the typical B2C and B2B distribution channels and practical advice on selecting and establishing agreements with local market agents and distributors.

Export Agents
An export agent acts on your behalf by introducing you to overseas customers. They charge a commission – usually between 2.5% and 15% – and they’re widely used in the EU.

An export agent can also help:

  • give you information and contacts for overseas markets
  • identify and make the most of opportunities overseas
  • cut the cost of setting up your own offices overseas and recruiting and training your own employees to work there
  • keep more control over your product, eg the final price and brand image (when compared with using a distributor)

You will still be responsible for things such as shipping, Customs paperwork and tax. Your agent may be able to help or you can use a freight forwarder for this.

Overseas Distributors
Overseas distributors buy your goods from you and then sell them on in an overseas market.

An overseas distributor can:

  • take care of shipping and Customs
  • buy your goods in bulk
  • warehouse your goods
  • market your product for you
  • introduce your product to new markets

Distributors may expect heavy discounts and a long period of exclusivity, so you need to research and choose one with proven experience in your target market.

You lose control over the marketing of your goods and after-sales service when using a distributor.

Useful tool:

When entering a new and potentially unfamiliar market, having a helping hand on the ground can be a comfort, as much as a practical help.

By working with Chambers of Commerce, exporters can benefit from assistance with entry into a new market, including introductions to potential clients, agents, distributors and in-market networks, as well as providing tailored training on the local business environment. The Global Business Network of Accredited Overseas British Chambers provides an invaluable resource in over 40 key international markets.

When it comes to international trade, how you enter a market for the first time can ultimately make the difference between success and failure. Chambers of Commerce via its network of contacts can offer assistance in identifying the different options for entering a new market, such as providing a detailed analysis and recommendations of an appropriate market entry strategy.

Once a business is satisfied with their market research, competitor analysis and the regulations within a target market, one of the best ways for a business to develop their presence is to join an organised trade mission.

Chambers of Commerce, through its network of contacts, can help exporters identify and prepare for relevant overseas trade shows and trade missions to make them as productive as possible. When visiting an international market for the first time, being fully prepared for an intensive few days of meetings, introductions, networking and building relationships is essential. Chambers of Commerce work with exporters, whether first time or experienced to identify the local market trade shows that will be of most benefit, and get them fully prepared for their visit.

Where a developed relationship exists, they can introduce the business to the Chamber of Commerce in the local market, who can help ensure that an exporter’s time in market is fully utilised and they can also advise on creating compelling promotional material and other collateral for the visit, including translation services where appropriate.


  • ensures you are properly prepared for your visit, saving you time and money
  • gives you access to valuable contacts

For more information on planned trade missions please click here

An export club brings together businesses interested or involved in trading internationally.  Ideas and information are shared.

If you would like to find out how to get in touch with your local export club please contact the international trade team on tel 01329 242420

International Sales & Marketing

B2B and B2C marketing in any new export market can be considerably different to that in the UK – from the approach, design and tone of marketing materials to nuances and potential regulation around online marketing.

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, through its network of contacts, can help provide access to discounted local marketing services, including promotional collateral creation, website design and development, product launch support, and advertising and PR services via our membership.

Effective communication is the key to any successful business. With the help of a translation service, communication will no longer be a barrier to doing business.

We have members who are able to help.  They can provide translations for an endless range of documents and websites including legal, technical and commercial material.

If you would like to know more please contact the international trade team on tel 01329 242420.

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce
is proud to be part ChamberCustoms

ChamberCustoms incorporating T1 Transit documents is a customs clearance service run by Chambers of Commerce.

For over 100 years, Chambers of Commerce have been trusted by government and businesses to certify certificates of origin and preferential trade documents. Every year our experts issue thousands of documents, relating to goods worth millions of pounds, ensuring that goods can enter foreign countries with minimal delay and cost.

Uniquely, ChamberCustoms has been created to clear goods for import and export at every port in the UK.  With direct links to the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Customs handling system and all inventory linked ports, we can guarantee that your goods, no matter where they enter or leave the UK, will be cleared for onward transportation smoothly. A potentially complicated process is made smooth, quick and entirely transparent.

It sits alongside all the other services offered by Chambers of Commerce including T1 Transit documents, to enable businesses to operate and thrive in today’s global economy. Businesses have the opportunity to access more of their customs information in one place.

Get in touch contact the ChamberCustoms team on tel 01329 242420