What Are the Steps Involved in the Export Procedure?

Etapas del proceso de exportación

The export procedure is an international commercial operation that covers all the stages that a company must complete to be able to sell its goods or products outside the borders of the country in which it carries out its activity.

It is a complex bureaucratic process that requires a thorough knowledge of the import regulations of the receiving country, the efficient completion of all the necessary documentation, etc.


Steps in the Export Procedure:

The export procedure consists of several steps:

  • Trade Agreement: The contract of sale that includes the terms of delivery, the price and other details of the transaction is signed.
  • Documentary Instructions: The buyer must determine what international documentation is required for the import.
  • Order Manufacturing and Packaging: This step depends—to a large extent—on each sector and particular case. Normally, once both parties have concluded the agreement, the seller proceeds to the manufacturing of the product, and its packaging and labelling according to the terms of the contract and the requirements of the country of destination.
  • Freight Forwarder Selection: The exporter or importer appoints a freight forwarder to take care of the international logistics. In the case of maritime transport, the booking of the container and the ship must be made.
  • Domestic Transport: This is the part of the itinerary that takes place in the same country in which the selling company operates. Normally, land transport is used to take the goods to the marine or airport terminal, from where they leave for their international destination.
  • International Transport: This is the part of the itinerary that takes place outside the borders in which the selling company operates. It goes from the stowage of the goods on the international means of transport to their arrival at the international destination.
  • Unloading and Import Procedures: The necessary import procedures are carried out after the goods have arrived at the border of the receiving country and are placed at the terminal—at the disposal of the import and customs personnel. There, it is inspected, its documentation is verified and the corresponding customs duties are paid.
  • Order Delivery: The process is completed when the transport company, operating at the corresponding destination, collects the goods at the terminal and takes them to the delivery point agreed with the importer.


The 5 Stages of the Export Procedure


When a company starts exporting its products, it goes through a five-stage procedure.


Pre-Export Stage

This is an information and training stage for companies that do not yet have experience in international trade. During this period, it is advisable to carry out an internal SWOT analysis, draw up an internationalisation plan and start to train employees.


Initial Export Stages

In the first commercial exchanges, the company must study the situation and regulations of the target foreign markets; identify intermediaries, distributors and commercial agents; homologate the products in the different markets; etc.


Export Expansion

Once the company has established itself in some international markets, it must reach out to new horizons. This involves extending trade agreements with existing customers, establishing new sales representative agreements and creating consortia to join forces.


Commercial Implementation Abroad

The company already has a significant export turnover and needs to develop its international expansion. Establishment in the chosen markets begins, and new commercial networks are built up.



The company already has a global internationalisation strategy, is undertaking the creation of subsidiaries, and is looking for partners to create joint ventures with local companies.


In conclusion, the export procedure is a complex set of stages that must be overcome in order to complete a commercial operation between companies from different countries. However, there are as many export procedures as there are companies and markets.


Do you need advice on your company’s foreign trade projects? Contact Noatum’s Export Consulting services!