Can I sort exporting process by myself?


Hello, I have a company, which I started this year, I sell climbing protection online in the UK, but I am planning to expand outside EU as well. I have some interest from overseas (UAE), and I hope I will cover more countries in the future as well. They are interested in buying products I offer, and distribute them in their country. I started to research exporting. I do understand that I must declare exported products through National export system. I phoned up HMR to get more info, and they told me straight away, that I need an agent for exporting, and that it is too complicated to do it myself, and they do not advice me to do it on my own. I do want to learn these things for the future, so I would like to do it myself, is it really that difficult process to sort exporting? Do you think I need to hire an agent? The thing is, that it is not huge export, the products are not dangerous goods, no chemicals, no food, no weapons etc, so I am not aware of any License i would need for exporting them, so I hope the whole process would be to declare the goods on NES, prepare the package with all paperwork needed for that country and send it off (?)
So is it more difficult? Do you advice me to get agent to do this for me?
Thank you.


Hello Lubomir

Thank your for your question and welcome to the Open to Export community.

You may wish to take a look at our Export Bootcamp webinar series, which will handhold you through the basics of the export journey:

I hope this helps and good luck.

Kind regards


Dear Lubomir,
As you suggest, it is possible for a trader to complete export customs formalities directly, but you would need to consider whether it is really worth your while. Apart from learning the sometimes complex customs procedures, you would also have to invest in the software package, and set up a link to the HM REvenue & Customs system, called CHIEF. In contrast, a forwarding agent would be able to deal with the customs entry as part of the shipping process, at a nominal charge. If your volume of export orders is only likely to be small, I don’t think it would be worth your while to try to set yourself up to deal with it directly – it is probably easier to let an agent handle it.

In any case, if you are planning to deal with the Arabian Gulf, the Export customs formalities are just a small part of the wider documentary process that you will have to deal with, so I would advise you to not to makes matters more complicated by worrying about the customs entry.

If you want to know more about the documentary and regulatory processes involved in exporting, the Institute of Export offers a range of short course training, including an “Introduction to Exporting”, which covers all of the basics that you will need to know to get started. For more information, simply visit:


Hi Lubomir,

Being a freight forwarder it would be very east just to answer NO you must use a Freight Forwarder. However Mikes response is very true, you can effectively do your own export declarations but you will need to use the HMRC Package to complete these, have a copy of the tariff and know your CPC Codes. Our quotations and shipments fully include the Export Declaration at no cost to you (it basically takes around 5 mins to do an entry and some agents do charge up to 40 pounds to do it for you. Your problem is the initial outlay and paperwork you have to complete just to get to CHIEF. Is it really worth the expense to save you say 40 Pounds???? If you believe it is then go for it, if not I can certainly help you with entries and quotations.

Best Regards
Ian Robery
Business Development Manager
STI Global Logistics Ltd
Unit 1 Lords Court
Cricketers Way
Basildon Essex SS13 1SS
Tel: +44 (0)1268 289653
Mobile: +44 (0)7554 117585
Fax: +44 (0)1268 289649
Email: [email protected]

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