How to Start Exporting for Beginners?


For an exporter, receiving orders from importers is a very happy thing because usually they will order in large quantities. However, it was the beginning of the real struggle because shipping between countries.

SMEs must be familiar with the term export, what is the first thing that comes to our mind when we hear the word export? Exporting is often associated as a marketing activity in a business with difficult stages. If business actors are asked about exports, in general most of them will answer the high cost, the view (mindset) that dealing with customs is difficult, to the most classic, namely that exports must be in large quantities or one container.

Export is the activity of removing goods from the customs area. So, even if the product you send is only on a small scale (less than 50 kg) and as long as it’s all in the context of a transaction (not a free sample or an item sent for a humanitarian mission for example), then it’s legal and the conditions that apply are that you have carry out export activities.

Many also think that SMEs-scale businesses are synonymous with small businesses and are still not suitable for export. Whereas SMEs, which are often seen as small, have a big role for the Indonesian economy. However, to export, SMEs need to have legality and business entities.

Three tips to start exporting for beginners:

  1. Prepare business legal documents for export

There are four requirements for legal documents for exporters, namely:

SIUP (Trade Permit) by the Regency/Municipal One Stop Service Investment Service (DPMPTSP)

TDP (Company Registration Certificate) by the Regency/Municipal One Stop Service Investment Service (DPMPTSP)

NPWP (Taxpayer Identification Number) by the Tax Service Office

NIK (Customs identity number) by the Directorate General of Customs and Excise

  1. Prepare export documents

Main export documents : Invoice (made by exporter) ; Packing list (made by exporter) ; Bill of lading (made by shipping company if sea / airway bill if air)

Additional documents : Certificate of origin (Regency/City Department of Trade and Industry) ; Certificate of analysis (laboratory) ; Certificate of Phytosanitary (quarantine agency for plant products) ; Other additional documents as per buyer’s request.

Documents required before export

Shipping Instruction from exporter to Shipping line ; PEB (Notice of Export of Goods) from exporter

3.Use social media to get a response

In general, many complain that they have to seek information through the government, either at the city, province, or ministry level because the information is scattered sporadically. For this reason, in the early stages of getting information, we can look for other alternatives by using networks such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to get a response regarding the information needed. Through Direct Messages on each of these social media, you can connect directly with the intended institution or personal by writing the keyword name you want to search for.

After getting a response from social media, don’t forget to confirm the next action steps such as getting the answers you need, getting the time and contact person if you need to make a visit, and so on. Indeed, all are not guaranteed, some are fast, some are slow. But back again to the way we build communication and introduce our identity and explain the intent and purpose.

You are not a manufacturer and want to export in small quantities?

The question will always arise, “I want to try exporting, but don’t have my own product, what should I do?”, Start by selling other people’s products which means you are a non-producer Exporter. You can try to sell the goods you want to sell, determine the Export Destination Country and try to sell in small quantities (< 50 kg) via International couriers (EMS Pos Indonesia, FedEx, DHL, etc.).

Optimizing the Export Business Community which can be used as a forum for various information (search for related business communities on social media), because with the community access to information and relationships between entrepreneurs are getting stronger. If among you there are producers who do not yet have an export orientation but have products that have export potential, and there are non-producers but have networks, this can be an opportunity.

In essence, to tread a good start can be started by knowing what we already have and what we will aim for. So, exporting is not something difficult right? Let’s start completing the legality of your business and follow the 4 easy steps to start exporting for beginners in this article. Hopefully, more SMEs players will be able to introduce their products to foreign markets.

An example of export activities from CV. Tanaka Solution Agent delivery vanilla to japan :


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