Article:

Managing the Risks of Importing.

The UK imported £665.0billion in trade over 2018 with 235,800 businesses taking advantage of cheaper stock and products that may not be available within the UK. Importing can streamline costs, boost the global and local economy and circulate sustainable supplies.

Such advantages can make your business more competitive but, as with all overseas trade, it carries a degree of risk. Acquiring the right knowledge allows you to plan effectively and mitigate these risks – protecting your profits and business from unfavourable rates and hidden fees.

Accurate Financial Planning

It is not uncommon for a business to begin importing from a particular country when they hire a new member of staff familiar with a countries’ language, import controls and in-country regulations. Armed with in-depth knowledge of a country, its currency and landscape – you can understand the trade barriers, expose the risks and counter them. Before importing from a new supplier and country there are several risks to consider:

  • Reliability of overseas partners and suppliers
  • Payment issues
  • Cultural and ethical disparities
  • Legal risks and intellectual property such as patents and product liability
  • Continually changing laws and different laws per country
  • Customs documentation requirements (incorrect paperwork sees your cash flow tied up)
  • Competitor activity – ensure you are competitive and up-to-date

Fluctuating or uncompetitive exchange rates can reduce profits or even see you trade at a loss. It is not uncommon to broker long-term trades with an overseas partner. Businesses can source cheaper stock and boost profits. However, if their currency strengthens against the pound at a future date your import rates may cease to be favourable or profitable. Due diligence and an appropriate risk management strategy allow your business to reap the benefits of importing and mitigate these risks. Currencies fluctuate for a variety of reasons such as political and economic upheaval. Country debt levels, economic growth, interest rates and economic policies all play a part. Having this level of FX knowledge about each and every country and currency you wish to trade in is a continual and evolving battle – but a battle you can win with the right knowledge and FX strategy.

If you import or export, your business will want to remove as much risk as possible and protect your profits. A currency risk assessment is a simple and effective way to understand and manage your currency risk. Understanding how and when you need to buy or sell in other currencies is vital and there are four factors that we consider in order to understand, assess and manage your risk appropriately. The best rate is not necessarily a fixed number. Understanding the needs of your business and the market produces your ‘best’ rate. For example, importers can protect their bottom line by utilising forward contracts. Forward Contracts allow you to secure currency at a fixed rate now and protect from fluctuating interest rates. They can be from a week to twelve months or, in some cases, longer. Your currency expert will be well versed in formulating strategies best suited to your business that save you time and money.

They are a number of financial products available, meaning that importers no longer need to speculate when trading overseas.

Central FX is a leading foreign exchange service protecting corporate and private clients since 2008. The benefits of importing and overseas trade can be significant. We deploy a blend of FX expertise and technology to help you to get it right the first time and every time. Your dedicated FX specialist will take the time to understand the nuances of your business, goals and needs. Equipped with both a strong knowledge of your company and the markets, we can reduce the risks associated with importing and help you to grow your business.

Get in touch with one of our dedicated FX specialists to find out how we can protect your bottom line.

 

Central FX is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the payment services regulation 2017. Our FCA registration number is 565847.