KUALA LUMPUR: Exporters need to know the importing countries’ regulations when exporting their products to ensure smoother transactions.
“For example, the labelling of products will depend on the (importing) country,” said Linaco Manufacturing (M) Sdn Bhd managing director Joe Ling.
“Also, exporting companies may need to modify their products to meet the foreign country’s safety and security codes and other import restrictions.
“Modifications are often necessary to satisfy the importing country’s labelling or packaging requirements,” said Ling, who was a panellist at a forum on Critical Aspects for Exporters during the Export Excellence Awards 2019 roadshow in Penang.
He told the 100 attendees that knowing the importing countries’ requirements, market demands and maintaining the quality of products would contribute to success in export.
Branding is also crucial and Ling urged exporters to utilise national trade promotion agency Malaysia External Trade Development Corp’s (Matrade) services.
“By leveraging on Matrade and their wide network, we would automatically gain some instant branding. Participation in international trade exhibitions is considered branding but it has to be consistent on a yearly basis.
“Some trade visitors might not talk to you during the first time but they will eventually engage you because of your consistent participation,” he said, adding that booth size at trade expos made a difference too.
Ling said businesses venturing into export markets should network with the export fraternity, join associations, seek advice from experienced exporters and even visit the importers.
He revealed that one of the toughest lessons he has learnt over the years was bad debts as a result of not getting enough information on the customer’s background.
He shared that challenges in the export business included the export and import process, payment, language barrier, finding the right importer, different time zone and costs.
On the export and import process, he said exporters have to arrange for shipment from port to port, container loading, accurate shipping documents, cargo arrival, import clearance, Customs inspection and delivery to the customer.
Any mishandling of cargo, or error in procedure and documents would delay the entire process and cause the exporter to incur penalty charges, he said.
As for payment, he said there have been cases of customers refusing to remit under bank-issued letters of credit due to their lack of knowledge in preparing the required shipping documents.
Also, delays in telegraphic transfer payment by the customer could affect bank charges due to fluctuating currency rates, he said.
On challenges in food and beverage exports, Ling listed geography and transit time, shelf life, import duties and tax, cargo handling, weather as well as peak and non-peak seasons.
The next roadshow will be at New World Petaling Jaya Hotel in Selangor on April 30. To register, go to www.exportawards.com.my
Star Media Group in partnership with Standard Chartered launched the inaugural Export Excellence Awards 2019, with PKT Logistics as co-sponsor and Matrade as patron. The seven main award categories are electrical and electronics; oil and gas; chemical, mineral and alloy; agriculture; machinery, equipment and automation; services; and, other industries.
Three companies will receive the Exporter of the Year title, while a special award will be given in the halal products category.
Deadline for entry submission is Aug 2, and winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in November.