Ex-Works Freight Forwarding for UK Importers and Exporters
4th November 2019
EXW is an Incoterm - this is a set of rules which define the responsibilities of sellers and buyers for the delivery of goods under sales contracts. EXW or Ex-Works Shipping is where the buyer has full responsibility for the goods from the supplier’s address to the cargo’s ultimate destination.
"Ex-works" means that the seller fulfils their obligation when the goods are made available at their premises for collection. The buyer bears all costs and risks involved in taking the goods from the seller's premises to the desired destination.
This means the buyer is liable and responsible for almost every step. The seller is responsible for ensuring that the goods are available for pickup at the place and time agreed with the buyer. It’s worth noting that the seller is not obliged to load the goods, and if you take on this element as the buyer, it’s at your risk!
Ex-WORKS Freight Forwarding for UK Exporters
As a UK seller, selling your products ex-works, means you have the minimal amount of involvement and work to do on a shipment. As an ex-works shipper there is no involvement in customs, documentation, transport, etc. The price of the order is simply the goods value, nothing added on.
The only exception to this if you are selling ex-works in the UK is where Prohibited and Restricted goods are being sold to a non-EU buyer. In these circumstances, an export licence is required. On these occasions it's the responsibility of the exporter (i.e. the UK seller) to apply for an appropriate licence for the goods being sold for export.
Contract Management of Ex-Works for larger manufacturers who are frequent UK exporters
Spatial Global has a contract management department which effectively runs the shipping departments for several large UK manufacturers who regularly export, including their ex-works sales.
In these instances Spatial Global manage all of their export shipments regardless of the Incoterms applied. This is because Spatial Global have built up decades of knowledge on these manufacturers, their customers, patterns of purchase, destinations, spend, etc. This has enabled Spatial Global to identify and develop relationships with the key overseas customers of our clients. In these instances Spatial Global act as their UK based freight partner; exporting from the UK with freight charges being paid overseas.
What does Ex-WORKS freight forwarding mean for your purchase if you’re importing into the UK
If you’re buying goods from overseas under EXW terms, you’ll be responsible for all of the costs involved in setting up shipping and customs clearance. So as well as paying your supplier, you’ll have to arrange and pay for things like air or sea freight, and local haulage. Plus you'll need to complete all the paperwork to get your purchase through customs smoothly.
The biggest challenge of Ex-works is the customs clearance in the country of origin
This is because if the information from the seller is incorrect the buyer is liable for any additional costs that can occur as a result. In addition to this you’d have to pay for any costs that would occur if your goods were selected for a customs inspection when being cleared for export in the country of origin. You could easily end up having to pay a considerable amount in overseas charges if you’re not careful.
Don’t worry too much about all of this, Spatial Global can simplify this whole process. If you’ve agreed an Ex-works purchase with your supplier, we can arrange all of the transport, documentation and handling of the goods, including managing customs.
If your supplier offers you EXW terms, Spatial Global can provide you with an EXW quote and you can be confident you have all the costs to buy and get the products to you.