This year’s “Made in Scotland, Sold to the World” event hosted by the Department for Business and Trade in Glasgow held a panel event featuring Seona Shand, Scottish Chambers of Commerce’s International Trade Director.

Seona highlighted that for hundreds of years, Chambers of Commerce have supported business to trade across the globe. We provide a range of export documentation including certificates of origin (a document that certifies the origin of goods being exported and is sent along with your shipment and is required by customs to determine tariff rates), ATA carnets (a temporary export document used primarily for goods being temporarily exported for display at trade shows and for professional equipment and samples), EUR1 Movement Certificates, Arab-British Certificates of Origin, Chamber Customs and various other trade-related paperwork.

Chambers facilitated approximately £16 billion in trade last year alone issuing over half a million certificates and providing 500 hours of free guidance every week which highlights that we’re well-equipped to assist businesses in navigating the complexities of exporting and importing goods – and some of them are very complex!

However, if you’re a business at the embryonic stage of going global, Chambers provide high-quality training courses for first-time and existing exporters on international trade, covering the critical steps – from export and import procedures to understanding INCO terms to methods of payment and working with international agents and distributors.

We’ll guide you through the research available which will help identify which markets might give you the greatest opportunity and once this is complete and your company has an international growth strategy, then we offer the chance to join us at one of our many international trade missions. Some take you in-country or region, others are inward and some are online so the choice is yours.

Our trade missions play a crucial role in promoting export opportunities, building relationships through site visits and dedicated B2B meetings, showcasing products and services, exchange information and learning, finding investors and partners and ultimately getting international businesses to buy your stuff.

We’re a member of the International Chambers of Commerce, with nearly 100 MOUs in place across the globe, giving us access to around 40 million companies in over 100 countries so we’re incredibly well networked and can help you get direct access to some of your prospects – and those you don’t even know are prospects yet – and decision makers.

Businesses that embrace international trade grow stronger and flourish and research shows that those that access support from organisations such as ourselves are estimated to have a 140% increase in export sales and the higher the number of supports accessed by businesses, the higher the impacts. So the best advice we can give is – access ALL the support available to you – and that was evident at the event with organisations like the Department for Business and Trade, SDI, The Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and local Chambers of Commerce all coming together.