TRADE HUB

Beauty brands, product and retailers – particularly small to medium enterprises – are significant economic contributors to Britain’s GDP. We have a rich history of exporting British beauty and recognise that recent developments have made overseas trading more challenging.

The British Beauty Council can help you to navigate your way to a potentially new and exciting international customer base. So if you’re baffled by Brexit or keen to explore the burgeoning beauty scene in China, check out the information below and start your journey here.

GENERAL

Info that applies regardless of the where you are trading

GOODS

EXPORTING GOODS

How to move goods from the UK: Export goods from the UK: step by step.

The Government has launched a new Export Support Service and user-friendly interactive export tools to help UK businesses get answers to practical questions about exporting globally.

Check out this useful guidance on sending goods to an overseas customer using rules of origin to check the goods you export from the UK meet the relevant rules of origin and provide proof of where the goods originate from.

DHL and the Post Office both have a list of prohibited and restricted items on their websites which you can check before sending items to ensure your parcels are delivered without delay.

You’ll need to find the right commodity code for any goods you export, using the Trade Tariff tool. This will ensure you pay the right Customs Duty.

Information on moving goods from the UK to the rest of the world, including rules and restrictions, tax and duty rates and what exporting documents you need: Check duties and customs procedures for exporting goods.

Scottish Enterprise have produced a really easy to follow ‘6 step guide to exporting success’ which can be applied whether your business is based in Scotland or elsewhere in the UK.

Before your drivers transport goods between 2 points in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway for commercial purposes, you must declare the details on an EU portal.

IMPORTING GOODS

You must make customs declarations for goods coming to the UK. You don’t have to deal with customs on your own. If your business doesn’t have the right resources to make customs declarations, you can hire someone to deal with this for you. Your options are:

Follow this useful step-by-step guide on how to import: Import goods into the UK: step by step guide on GOV.UK

PREPARING TO IMPORT GOODS
VAT
  • Claim a VAT refund.
  • Claim a refund if you think you paid the wrong amount of duty or have rejected the imported goods.

RESOURCES

HELPLINES

Borders (Importing and Exporting)

You can get in touch with HMRC by phone, webchat or contact form for any import and export queries you may have. The phone lines and webchat services are open Monday–Friday, 8am–6pm, and closed Bank holidays and weekends.

UK businesses can contact the Export Support Service by using the new online service or by phoning the helpline to speak to their dedicated export support team.

Economy

Energy

  • EU Emissions Trading System, Allowances and Carbon Emissions, UK Energy Markets, Single Electricity Market, Civil Nuclear and Electricity Suppliers and Systems: 020 7215 5000

Data and Intellectual Property

 Other

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Access the Department for International Trade’s Internationalisation Fund for eligible businesses in England. The fund can be used to support areas such as market research, intellectual property advice, translation services and other international commercial service.

UK Export Finance is the UK’s export credit agency where businesses can get finance and insurance from the UK government. In the last five years they have provided £14 billion of support for exports and international trade.

Scottish Enterprise fund a free international market research service to help businesses in Scotland get vital insight on global market trends, customer behaviour and competitor activity.

EU

Trading, travelling for work or working in the EU? We’ve pulled together everything you need to know:

GOODS

EXPORTING GOODS

 Before your drivers transport goods between 2 points in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway for commercial purposes, you must declare the details on an EU portal.

IMPORTING GOODS
  • Find out more about how to meet customs requirements fast and efficiently now that the UK has left the EU through customs declaration training offered through your local Chamber of Commerce.
  • Find out more about customs declaration completion requirements when using the CHIEF and Customs Declaration Service (CDS) trade tariffs to import and export goods to and from Great Britain after the transition period.
PREPARING TO IMPORT GOODS

SERVICES

BUSINESSES WITH STAFF WORKING BETWEEN THE UK AND EU

See the latest advice for travelling for work, including this useful one-pager.

If you travel to the EU for work purposes, you may need a visa or work permit. Learn about extra business travel requirements.

BUSINESSES THAT DELIVER SERVICES BETWEEN THE UK AND EU

Ensure your staff are able to continue to practise and provide services to clients in the UK by ensuring their professional qualification(s) are recognised by their professional body in the UK:

Get your EU professional qualification recognised in the UK

Selling services to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein

    BUSINESSES THAT HIRE STAFF FROM THE EU

    Free movement has ended and the UK is introducing a new points-based immigration system.

    The way you hire from the EU has changed. If you want to hire anyone from outside the UK, you must be a Home Office licenced sponsor. This includes recruiting people from the EU.

    Anyone coming to the UK to work will need a job offer from a licenced sponsor in advance, and will need to meet certain skills and salary criteria.

    Find out more about the UK Government’s points-based immigration system.

      CONTINUE LIVING AND WORKING IN THE EU

      Living and working in the EU, EEA EFTA, Switzerland and Ireland depends on the rules in that country.

      You may need to take action such as:

      • register or apply for residency
      • check that you are covered for healthcare
      • exchange your UK driving licence for a licence issued by the EU country where you live.

      The Government has prepared living in country guides for UK nationals living abroad, including residency, health and benefits, and specific advice for people following the UK’s departure from the EU.

      TRAVEL DECLARATIONS

      There have been challenges for professionals within the hair and beauty sector who need to travel for the purposes of work and the products and kit that they must declare in order to do so.

      We highlighted these issues to the Department for Business and Department for International Trade in an attempt to find solutions and will publish their advice shortly.

      RESOURCES

      BREXIT

      From 1 January 2022 the rules changed for any businesses moving goods between Great Britain and Europe. These rules apply to all European trade, whether you buy or sell goods once a year or every day, and no matter what type, volume or value:

      Read the UK Transition Trader Checklist

      There were also changes to international trademark registrations from 1 January 2022 to be aware of:

      Read the Changes to international trade mark registrations

      The best place for businesses to get support and information post-Brexit

      The devolved administrations have also published guidance for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

      We also recommend the Brexit Checker tool, which gives businesses personalised results about the actions they need to take.

      The Border Operating Model is a useful guide to how the border with the EU works.

      Sign up to receive the latest Government news on Brexit.

      It’s vital for businesses to ensure they are up to date with changing rules and regulations surrounding their business operations. Scottish Enterprise produces a comprehensive list of key dates for companies to note in 2022.

      TRADING WITH NORTHERN IRELAND

      Check the latest guidance on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

      There are special provisions that only apply in Northern Ireland, so if a business moves goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland they need to check the latest Government guidance: Moving goods into, out of, or through Northern Ireland 

      Other useful resources for trading in Northern Ireland:

        TRANSFERRING DATA BETWEEN THE UK AND EU

        If you receive personal data from the EU for business use, you should check the current guidance on using personal data in your business or organisation. Find out more at Using personal data in your business or other organisation

        CHINA

        The help you need to trade with China:

        GOODS

        ANIMAL TESTING

        Imported general cosmetics* are no longer required to undergo mandatory pre-market animal testing in China for both standard trade and cross-border e-commerce so long as these steps are followed.

        The manufacturer must obtain a Good Manufacturing Practice standards (GMPC) certificate from the relevant government department of their country of origin. In the UK, this is the Import Licensing Branch (ILB) in the Department for International Trade.

        This flowchart outlines the application process, together with some useful FAQs and a pre-recorded webinar.

        If you have problems with the authorities not accepting your GMPC, download a copy of the OPSS letter to NMPA.

        *General cosmetics are classed as anything that does not include whitening and/or freckle-removing, sun-screening, anti-hair loss, or any product claiming new efficacies.

        ECOMMERCE OPPORTUNITIES

        China’s e-commerce market has grown significantly. The rapid expansion of cross-border e-commerce in the Chinese market is creating opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses to participate.

        According to Zmuni, the nine biggest e-commerce platforms in China are: Tmall, JD, Pingduoduo, Xiaohongshu, Taobao, Kaola, VIP, Douyu, and Mogu Jie.

        COMPLIANCE: PACKAGING AND INGREDIENTS

        Labelling requirements for products exporting to China:

        General cosmetics

        • Product’s Chinese name
        • Name and address of the filing person entity
        • Name and address of the responsible person entity in China
        • Manufacturer’s name and address
        • Product implementation standard number
        • Ingredients
        • Net content
        • Use period/expiry date
        • Usage instructions
        • Safety warnings
        • Other content as required by relevant laws, administrative regulations, and national standards

        Special cosmetics

        • Product’s Chinese name
        • Special cosmetics registration certificate number
        • Name and address of the registrant person entity
        • Name and address of the responsible person entity in China
        • Manufacturer’s name and address
        • Product implementation standard number
        • Ingredients
        • Net content
        • Use period/expiry date
        • Usage instructions
        • Safety warnings
        • Other content as required by relevant laws, administrative regulations, and national standards
        TRADE BARRIERS

        Trade barriers, such as tariffs or taxes, can raise costs, cause delays, or even stop you from exporting. Check for any issues that may impact your business when exporting to China.

         

        SERVICES

        BUSINESSES WITH STAFF WORKING BETWEEN THE UK AND CHINA

        If you travel to China for work purposes, you may need a visa or work permit. Read the entry requirements.

         

        BUSINESSES THAT HIRE STAFF FROM CHINA

        Free movement has ended and the UK is introducing a new points-based immigration system.

        If you want to hire anyone from outside the UK, you must be a Home Office licenced sponsor. This includes recruiting people from China.

        Anyone coming to the UK to work will need a job offer from a licenced sponsor in advance, and will need to meet certain skills and salary criteria.

        Find out more: The UK’s points-based immigration system: an introduction for employers (accessible version)

          CONTINUE LIVING AND WORKING IN CHINA

          Living and working abroad depends on the rules in that country. You may need to:

          ▪ register or apply for residency;

          ▪ check that you are covered for healthcare;

          ▪ exchange your UK driving licence for a licence issued by the country where you will live.

          Find out more: Living in China guidance

          RESOURCES

          CHINA-BASED BUSINESSES TRADING IN THE UK
          TRANSFERRING DATA BETWEEN THE UK AND CHINA

          Data security laws in China have changed in recent years, impacting how data can be collected, used, stored and protected. Review these changes to ensure you are remaining compliant.

           

          TRADE ADVISORS

          The Department for International Trade (DIT) offers a personalised service with information and guidance on how to access the China beauty market.

          Email Doris Zhou from the DIT China Team (Shanghai).

          Your local international trade adviser can also offer free export-related advice to help your business trade internationally. Get in touch with your local international trade adviser.

          WEBINARS
          PUBLICATIONS AND ARTICLES
          • There is lots of useful insight on trading and trends in China via the regular Azoya Group blog.
          • Zmuni, the Chinese Cosmetic Regulation Compliance Centre, also produce a useful blog

          USA

          Specific info for the USA:

          GOODS

          EXPORTING GOODS

          Before you can begin trading in the US, you will need to familiarise yourself with the duties, rules, restrictions and documents you need for your products. See current duties and customs procedures for the USA.

          TRADE BARRIERS

          Trade barriers, such as tariffs or taxes, can raise costs, cause delays, or even stop you from exporting. Check for any issues that may impact your business when exporting to the US.

          You can also report any trade barriers that are affecting your business to the Department for International Trade.

          STANDARDS AND TECHNICAL REGULATIONS

          You must check your goods meets all legal requirements in the US and you have all the required licences.

          The National Institute of Standards and Technology has more information on legal standards.

          Check the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) legislation and regulations relating to food and drink, drugs, medical devices and cosmetics.

          COMPLIANCE: PACKAGING AND INGREDIENTS

          Keeping up with different market requirements can be a regulatory headache when selling cosmetic products worldwide.

          Companies often struggle with labelling, which is an important part of a cosmetic product’s packaging, both from a regulatory and marketing standpoint.

          The ingredient list is one of the most informative parts of the label. It describes the product’s composition, so it is important to write it correctly.

          Cosmetics sold in the US must comply with the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA). Both acts should be considered when creating the ingredient list.

          To have a compliant ingredient list, you must ensure your product formula is compliant. This means thoroughly check that your formula does not include any prohibited ingredients, and if it includes a restricted ingredient, it complies with the restrictions.

          LABELLING

          There are specific labelling requirements for food, drugs, cosmetics and medical equipment in the US which are enforced by the FDA.

          You may also want to check local labelling regulations with the relevant state business bureau.

          EXPORT LICENSING AND RESTRICTIONS

          You’ll need a license to export certain goods and services to the US because the import of some items is restricted or prohibited. 

          Check with the UK’s Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) to find out whether you need an export license.

          Check the US Customs & Border Protection’s (CBP) list of prohibited and restricted items.

          SERVICES

          WORKING IN THE USA

          You can visit the United States for business for up to 90 days through the US Visa Waiver Program. This is usually valid for 2 years or until your passport expires.

          If you plan to work in the US, you’ll need a non-immigrant visa. The US Embassy can help with specific visa information.

          INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

          Intellectual property (IP) rights are territorial and rights granted in the UK do not provide protection elsewhere. You should consider getting IP protection abroad if you want to trade overseas or sell to overseas customers via the internet.

          The Intellectual Property Office provides practical information to help you protect, manage and enforce your IP abroad. Further support for British businesses can be found through a network of IP attachés, based in key UK export markets.

          RESOURCES

          LEGAL GUIDANCE

          You should always get qualified legal guidance before entering into any agreement to do business in the US. Ideally, your contracts should be reviewed by lawyers who understand both US and UK law. The US Embassy has a list of American attorneys based in the UK.

          TAX

          The US tax system can be complex so we recommend getting tailored advice from a certified accountant or tax lawyer if exporting to the US.

          Taxes can be imposed by both the US federal government and individual states, counties and cities. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) governs federal taxes in the US. There is no VAT in the US, instead sales tax varies from state to state. You can find out more about state tax from the Federation of Tax Administrators.

          GUIDES

          Step-by-step advice from the Department for International Trade on doing business abroad is available here: Advice – great.gov.uk

          TRADE ADVISORS

          Get in touch with a local Department for International Trade advisor: Find your local trade office

          TRADE NEWS

          How to expand into the US beauty market, according to BeautyMatter

          How to expand into the US beauty market, according to BeautyMatter

          British Beauty Council and STEM Learning agree trailblazing MOU

          British Beauty Council and STEM Learning agree trailblazing MOU

          UK signs Free Trade Agreement with New Zealand

          UK signs Free Trade Agreement with New Zealand

          What is the Plastic Packaging Tax, and will it impact me?

          What is the Plastic Packaging Tax, and will it impact me?

          TRADE EVENTS

          Check back regularly for new events:

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