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United Kingdom
Country Import Export Guide
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.

The sectors experiencing the highest growth are aerospace, defence, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, construction material, professional and business services, cultural services and products, consumer goods, health care, information technology, communications, and tourism. In general, the trend is toward continued growth in value-added products and services. The European Union has allowed for legislative harmony, which has resulted in building relations between agents and principals as well as relations between distributors and suppliers. It is thus advisable to use these 2 intermediaries in order to penetrate the British market.

The United Kingdom is one of the preferred countries for FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) which reached more than 18 billion dollars in 2004, and currently fully one-third of all European companies making investments in the European Union choose the United Kingdom. Flexible investment legislation has allowed for this s trend. Various agencies, mainly Regional Selective Assistance and Invest UK, provide assistance and information to international companies interested in the British market.

The British Standard Institution ( BSI) is the organisation in charge of developing the activities of normalisation and certification. It is responsible for elaborating and publishing standards. It has to supply all types of services to ensure the quality of products and services. {British Standard Institution ( BSI)}

Some imported products, whatever their origin, have to prove that they conform to the technical regulations leading to an approval. Obviously, the European Union standard is required, but other technical requirements, through a system of certification, can not be neglected, according to the market and competition.

ISO 9000 standards are generally considered as a standard quality factor by most of the companies. (Quality ISO).

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