Trading across borders is a great way of expanding your business. Or it could be, if you have everything in place that makes your business the stand-out trading partner for foreign buyers. Just as important as an established reputation and excellent products/services are technical standards and accreditations. Just how do you deliver the full package though?
Certifications and qualifications – do they all speak the same language?
Certifications and qualifications are not to be belittled but, there can be a potential problem when attempting to forge your way into foreign markets – are these certifications viewed in the same valuable light?
Standards of practice and delivery between one country and another can vary. Some accreditation schemes are open to homegrown businesses only which makes getting a toe hold in the market almost impossible.
Consider carefully whether a certification or qualification will deliver all that you want it to and whether it will be valued by buyers abroad.
Authorised Economic Operator status (AEO)
AEO status is an internationally recognised mark of quality that shows potential foreign trading partners that your international supply chain is secure. Customs controls and procedures also need to be efficient and compliant which, if you have AEO status, will also be what foreign trading partners want to see.
Will AEO help with Brexit?
Our exit from the EU is clearly causing concern for all businesses and with so much uncertainty and tension, it is easy to latch onto something as being the magic solution. AEO will not dampen all effects of Brexit but as an accreditation, it sends a clear signal to foreign trading partners that you meet secure trading systems that are so very important for exporting goods.
ISOs – a valued international standard
International Standards are valued certifications that speak an international language. But they do more than that. Specific ISOs relate to certain standards and industries which, in many instances, are essential for attracting attention to you and your products.
For example, ISO 17025 relates to testing and calibration within a laboratory setting. Demonstrating technical competence, for foreign partners looking for trading partners with specific skills in certain industries, ISOs will make a difference.
Furthermore, because they are updated regularly, your business will have to continue to ensure you meet evolving standards, another important signal when exporting goods.
Health and safety
Health and safety is not just an issue that affects the UK but is also important across Europe and beyond. Britain is considered to have an excellent health and safety record. The European Agency for Safety & Health at Work is the body that maintains accurate information relating to health and safety at work from European countries, and places the UK high in terms of a positive health and safety record.
Alongside an excellent health and safety record, accreditations that back this up are important. Again, there are some schemes that are specific to certain industries such as CHAS within the construction industry and so on. Whilst these are domestic health and safety schemes, backed by a strong policy and practice, your business sends all the right signals.
If you are planning opening your business to foreign markets, you may need our help.
How can we help you?
If you’re in need of assistance with any aspect of ISO or AEO certification, here at Synergos we’d be delighted to help. Whether you have questions about the path to certification or are looking for advice and support to maintain an existing standard call 01484 666160 or email email@example.com and we’ll be happy to talk it over with you.