Here are some important considerations when importing and exporting food.

Find out more about shipping food worldwide

Sarah Woodrow

April 2, 2024

What do you need to think about when importing and exporting food? 

There are many reasons why individuals or organisations may look to have food transported in the post, or across national borders. It may be as seemingly “simple” a situation as someone wishing to send their homemade food to a friend or relative in another country. Alternatively, a given person may be intending to start a business centred on the import and export of food. 

Alas, the process of sending food from one part of the UK to another, or overseas, is not always as “simple” as many importers and exporters may initially presume. 

In this article, then, we have sought to explore some of the factors you will need to think about if you plan to have food imported or exported around the country or the globe. 

Any restrictions or prohibitions that apply to the product 

It is not possible to send literally any food item to any part of the world; some territories impose restrictions on which goods, including certain food products, can be brought into their jurisdiction. Such rules may be put in place on agricultural, cultural, or even religious grounds.

Different food couriers may also have their own policies on which categories of food products can be transported using their services. So, you should familiarise yourself with all the relevant rules that apply on a company-specific or national level. 

How the food is to be packaged 

Even relatively experienced importers and exporters can be susceptible to underestimating the variety of pressures that a package can be subjected to during transit. This might have particular implications for the transportation of food through freight networks. 

Whether the given food is being sent within the UK or abroad, you should package it with the expectation that it will be turned upside down at some point during transit, in addition to sustaining knocks. So, items should be wrapped individually, and some form of void-fill materials should be used to prevent the goods from moving around inside the package. 

With our own expertise in export packaging solutions here at KTL, we can help ensure you package your shipment appropriately for the intended journey. 

The need to account for more complicated food shipments 

We referenced, at the top of this article, that some people may wish to transport homemade food from one location to another. 

However, there is no denying the potential complexity of attempting to send such food to another country. It can be very easy to overlook certain items – or ingredients in the items – being restricted or prohibited for import in the intended destination country. Food hampers can present similar issues. 

So, if you intend to proceed with any of these types of shipment, you will need to be vigilant in checking your compliance with the rules.  

Whatever your requirements and expectations are in relation to a wide range of freight to all manner of international locations, please feel free to contact KTL for advice and a competitive quote. 

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