What are your experiences of trying to recover amounts overdue by overseas customers? Who have you found particularly useful in this respect? I’d like to hear from you if you’re an exporter with this type of dilemma.
These issues do come up from time to time. In the more developed markets it is often simply solved by engaging in the legal system in a similar way how it works in UK. UKTI offices in country can often give you a list of lawyers that have experience in reclaiming debts to choose from.
In less developed markets, it can be more difficult, often navigating a less familiar legal system. Again the local UKTI office will have a list of lawyers, who will speak english.
Unfortunately, it often comes down to a legal engagement, UKTI is unable to get directly involved in legal disputes between businesses.
Hopefully, the sensible use of pre-payments, guarantees, bonds etc should mean this does not occur too regularly. My experience suggests problems like this occur pretty infrequently.
I agree with Paul on this one. We are a translation company with customers in many parts of the world. For us delivery of an export is often hitting the send button on an email! I think the main issue, as with UK customers, is managing risk. Litigation in most countries is likely to be expensive and time consuming. We mainly mitigate this by use of pre-payment, and with large orders we would also credit check the client. Our one experience of chasing a bad debt in the US was not very good, we engaged a debt collection company who promised a high level of success, they appeared to write a single letter then give up, which wasn’t inspiring. Fortunately it wasn’t a huge amount.
Hope this helps
We work with many clients that pursue international debts. Pursuing an international debt can be an expensive process, and we always suggest to clients to do as much due diligence on a third party before entering into contracts to ensure that they are fully aware of the specifics and location of such party, as well as whether a legal entity does in fact exist.
We can have one of our debt advisors in the Debt Recovery team talk to you if you wish.
My Business Counsel