Hi, can you tell me if I need a licence to import cosmetics from Malaysia.
Also are there any companies who can help with finding suitable trade suppliers, get me quotes etc.
New to this and don’t know how safe it is to send money to a company abroad.
Are there any government schemes for doing business with international companies?
It is difficult to answer your query accurately without knowing exactly what products you wish to import, in order to identify exactly what Customs tariff they should be considered under. Many cosmetic products can be imported without a licence, but you would need to have an exact description (preferably with a Customs tariff) in order to check.
Apart from licences, any cosmetic products sold in the UK are governed by strict safety rules to protect consumers. You can find out more about this by visiting the website of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) at: http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/BISCore/consumer-issues/docs/guide-to-cpsr.pdf. (you should check that this information is still up-to-date).
With regard to your other questions, it is possible to transfer money safely to other countries, using a registered foreign exchange broker; but I think that your main worry is whether you would receive your products if you transferred money to a Malaysian supplier in advance of shipment. There are international payment mechanisms (such as a Letter of Credit) which protect both the seller and buyer, but these cost money, and are not cost effective unless you are buying in reasonably large quantities. If you are only planning to import relatively small quantities, you might be best advised to take the limited risk of paying in avance, providing you can find a reputable supplier.
There are various UK government schemes to help companies in international trade, but these are predominantly designed to help UK companies to export, not to import. If you want to find Malaysian suppliers of cosmetics, you might wish to try approaching the Trade Section of the Malaysian Embassy in London; as they are responsible to helping Malaysian companies to sell their goods overseas; they may be able to help you to find good Malaysian suppliers.
Once you have sorted out who will be your suppliers and the products
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