I would love to export my personally developed hair range to St Lucia. How would you recommend my going about this.
1. Which government body do I approach.
2. Are the any special licences required .
3. Is there any financial help to launch into a new country.
4. Taxes and the like.
Any help would be appreciated.
Your question is fairly general in nature, but your choice of export market is very specific; I presume that you have a specific reason for choosing that market.
You have raised various points, which are covered below, but I will also raise some other points, separately (due to word count limits)
You don’t need to get permission from any government body to export, although you will have to register with HM Revenue & Customs and get an EORI (Economic Operator Registration Identification) number, which is a unique identification number to identify you when you export).
Some goods are subject to export licencing controls (particularly military / strategic goods, foodstuffs, drugs and articles of cultural value). Your products should not be subject to export licencing requirements, but it is your legal responsibility as an exporter to check; see: https://www.gov.uk/beginners-guide-to-export-controls
Any goods which are exported outside the EU will need to undergo export customs formalities. A good freight forwarder will usually be able to take care of this for you.
Goods may need to have import licences to be imported into the destination country (again, I don’t think this is the case for your goods, going to St Lucia. In addition, you may have to comply with local import regulations covering your products, as the products are presumably applied to the body. You may have to obtain health certificates, certificates of free sale etc. Products may need to be tested, and you may have to comply with local labelling regulations (listing contents, language etc).
Goods will also be subject to import customs clearance when they arrive, and may be subject to import customs duties on arrival. This will usually be paid by the importer, but it is important to clarify this, and you should try to find out what those duties might be, as they will have an impact on the eventual sales price of your product.
Further to my previous answer, here are some further things that you might want to consider, if you haven’t already done so:
1) Who are you going to sell to? Will you sell to consumers, or to trade stockists (salons, retailers), if so, will you sell directly to them, or through a distributor, or wholesaler or a sales agent. These decisions need to be taken into account when you are considering your selling prices.
2) How will you get paid? Will you ask your clients to pay in advance? What will you do if your clients ask you to offer them credit? You should also investigate formal methods of payment, which should protect you.
3) When you sell the goods, you will need to be clear about who should pay for the shipping / freight costs. This is normally done using something called Incoterms, which are an internationally agreed set of terms of delivery, which break up an international journey into component elements, and clarify which part are paid by which party; you can find these at: https://www.gov.uk/incoterms-international-commercial-terms. Don’t forget to insure goods in transit, in case anything happens to them. If you have any aerosols, they may be classed as dangerous goods for transport purposes.
These replies have probably given you lots more questions, but you can find the answers to many of these by exploring the Open to Export site. If you are serious about exporting, the Institute of Export is dedicated to raising standards of professionalism in international trade, and can offer training, advice and a range of educational qualifications.
You will also need to obtain a customs tariff classification for your products – see link
If your products fall into category 3305 the import duty into St Lucia is 20% based on the value of the goods plus insurance premium plus freight (CIF). On top of that there is 15% VAT payable at import based on the previous price plus import duty and 5% customs service charge is levied on the previous price.
As the previous respondent mentioned it would be best to get your importer to pay these charges but you do need to take them into account when negotiating the price.