Valpak's Blog brings to you thought provoking articles, from key members of staff, on a wide range of environmental topics.

Doing business overseas – should you comply with regulations?

Matt Baller
Jan 25, 2017

With the dust settling on another festive period and the New Year blues fading, we’re all getting back to normality and considering what 2017 holds for us. For many of our members, exports represent either a strong aspect of their business, or a huge opportunity to develop further. According to the Office of National Statistics, during 2015, the EU alone was the destination for 44% of the UK’s exports, to a value of £223bn – with exports beyond the EU representing a further £288bn. E-commerce in particular is continuing to see impressive growth; Eurostat data shows that in 2015, Internet retail representing around 16% of the total turnover of companies with 10 or more employees.

Are you obligated?

So with exports being so vital to our economy and our businesses, it’s important to ensure you’re fully compliant with all applicable environmental regulations in your export markets. Ask the following questions:

  1. Are there relevant environmental regulations that could affect your business?
  2. Is your business obligated under those regulations and if so, how do you comply?

Whether you sell to distributors/retailers, business-end users, manufacturers, or private consumers, you’re highly likely to have obligations in the EU, and possibly even further afield. Waste compliance is being developed in many countries worldwide, and awareness is growing within Governments and consumers alike.

Distance selling: obligation caution!

E-commerce in particular often catches people out – for example, did you know a single sale of a packaged product to a private consumer in France renders you obligated under their packaging regulations? Or that if it’s electrical, you’re also obligated for WEEE? And if it has batteries, you’re obligated for those too? That’s three separate registrations for one single product sale! You would also need to ensure the Green Dot symbol is present on your sales packaging, as it’s a requirement in several countries including France. Each country has their own rules and definitions regarding who’s obligated, and what they should do.

To help navigate this minefield, we have plenty of useful guidance on overseas regulations on our website to help you get started. Or you can call and speak to one of our experts, as we’re always happy to help point you in the right direction, utilising our years of experience and global network of contacts. We also run free events for you such as webinars, seminars, and support sessions designed to provide you with the confidence to ensure you’re compliant where needed. Be sure to check out our events page to see what’s coming up; you can book through the website or give us a call.

We’d also love to see you at our seminar in London on May 10th, where we’ll cover an introduction to international compliance. There will be time to put us on the spot with questions, and to network and chat with other members (plus the food is always great!).

Please get in touch if you have any queries at all – we love a challenge!

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this weblog represent those of the individual authors and not those of Valpak Limited or any other organisation.