Sales in the U.K.

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Reaching the Consumers

Marketing Opportunities

Consumer Behavior
Consumers respond well to advertising and will buy if they see an advantage such as price, quality, superior design, branding or environmental benefits. After-sales service is important as consumers do not hesitate to complain and defend their rights.
Consumer Profile and Purchasing Power
The UK has a growing population, which has increased faster in recent years. The UK population is ageing but not as fast as the populations of many other EU25 countries. In mid-2006, the average age was 39 years, an increase on 1971 when it was 34,1 years. Approximately one in five people in the UK were then aged under 16 and one in six people were aged 65 or over. With a stable, service-focused economy, high employment and long working hours, consumer income and expenditure has been rising in recent years. With the so-called ‘credit crunch', this is now slowing down.

The gap between ‘have' and ‘have not' is also widening. Therefore, the country presents a contrasted picture. This is illustrated in many ways: for example, while the country is highly urbanized, it places a high value on country living. Consumer loyalty has weakened due to increased mobility and easy accessibility to product information. Thus, consumers are increasingly shopping around for the best deals and stores offer loyalty schemes to keep their custom.

Consumers Associations
NCC , National Consumer Council
Which , UK Consumers' Association
Main Advertising Agencies
Saatchi & Saatchi
Publicis Groupe SA
WPP Group plc
Aegis Group plc

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Distributing a Product

Evolution of the Sector
Organizations in the Retail Sector
British Retail Consortium

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Market Access Procedures

International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Member of OECD
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Wassenaar arrangement on export controls for conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies
Party of the International Coffee Agreement 2001
Main International Economic Cooperation
As a member of the European Union, the UK is also part of the European Union Customs Union. It participates in the free trade arrangements of the EU and European Free Trade Association (EFTA). However, it has not adopted the Euro as its currency, which is the British Pound. It is a member of the World Trade Organization and G8. The European Union is a signatory to multilateral and bilateral agreements with many countries.
Non Tariff Barriers
In accordance with its European Union membership, United Kingdom applies the European Union (EU) rules that are in force in all European Union countries. While the EU has a rather liberal foreign trade policy, there is a certain number of restrictions, especially on farm products, following the implementation of the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy): the application of compensations on import and export of farm products aimed at favouring the development of agriculture within the EU, implies a certain number of control and regulation systems for the goods entering the EU territory.
Moreover, for sanitary reasons, regarding Genetically Modified Organisms (after being allowed in the European territory), their presence should be systematically specified on packagings. The beef cattle bred on hormones is also forbidden to import.
The BSE crisis (often called the "mad cow disease") urged the European Authorities to strengthen the phytosanitary measures to make sure of the quality of meats entering and circulating in the EU territory. The principle of precaution is now widespread: in case of doubt, the import is prohibited until proof is made of the non-harmfullness of products.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
The average rate effectively applied to manufactured goods, minerals and metals in EU 15, as evaluated by UNCTAD was 1.44% in 2006.The duties for non-European countries are relatively low, especially for manufactured goods (4.2% on average for the general rate). It is one of the lowest in the world. More detailed Customs tariffs can be found at Export. classified by product type.

Customs Classification
The Combined Nomenclature of the European Community (EC) integrates the HS nomenclature and supplements it with its own subheadings with an eight digit code number and its own Legal Notes created for Community purposes.
Import Procedures
When introducing goods into United Kingdom, exporters shall fill in an intrastat declaration.. An individual valuation declaration should normally accompany the import entry for goods liable to customs duty where the value of the goods exceeds £6,000. However, if you regularly import dutiable goods, you can save time by completing and registering a general valuation statement. Detailed procedures are available on the English government website.
Importing Samples
It is possible to import goods deemed to be of negligible value, such as commercial samples, free of duty and VAT. For futher information visit the English government website.
For Further Information
Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs
The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
Find Sales and Distribution Service Providers in the United Kingdom on

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Organizing Goods Transport

Main Useful Means of Transport
97% of the British external trade volume is handled by sea transport: it consists in about 600 million tons a year. There are hundreds of ports well-equipped for goods transportation. The most important are London, Plymouth, Southampton, Aberdeen, Liverpool, Felixstowe and Dover. England, Scotland, and Wales hold more than 80 ports as members in the British Ports Association, whose aim is to represent and protect its members from the market turmoil and to integrate European and international policies. The domestic connections are regularly ensured by domestic companies like British Midlands, Air UK / KLM, Easyjet and British Airways.

Roads are dense and effective. United Kingdom is a powerful market of the European road transport and since the market was liberalised on the European level, this sector has undergone strong upheavals. The government, through the Department of Transport, has called on the private sector to finance the creation, financing and construction of new roads, and a toll-system on highways will be the next step.

Various plans of improvement of the railway infrastructure such as the modernisation of tracks in West Midlands, a high speed connection between South and North as well as a project joining the East and the West are under study.

Since December 1994, Great Britain has been connected with the European continent by the Channel, exploited by Eurotunnel company and the train Eurostar (Eurotunnel). An overview of the British rail system can be found on

Heathrow International Airport
British Ports Association
Port of London
UK Rail
The tube
Heathrow International Airport
Air Transport Organizations
British Airports Authority (BAA)
Rail Transport Organizations
UK Rail
Department of transport

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Identifying a Supplier

Type of Production
Manufacturing contributes around 26% of the UK 's GDP, with engineering and allied industries (transport, electronics) the single largest sector. Other significant sectors include chemical and chemical-based products.
Business Directories
Yellow Pages
UK Business Directory
Manufacturers Associations of the Main Industries
CBI (Confederation of British Industry)
The Society of British Aerospace Companies
Industry Forum of the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT)
Enterprises Federation
The Directorate-General "Enterprise and Industry" of the European Commission
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