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INTERNATIONAL TRADE


ITOPS COURSE TEACHES GLOBAL TRADE SKILLS


SPOTLIGHT ON: SERBIA


The historic centre of Belgrade on the banks of the Sava River


The International Trade Operations and Procedures (ITOPS) qualification is a BCC-accredited and highly practical, relevant qualification designed to prove that candidates have the necessary skills to accurately operate the administration procedures in an international trade environment – whether that of a manufacturer/ supplier or freight forwarder.


The award covers the five main elements of export administration: • Administration Procedures • Export Documentation • HMRC and other legal requirements • Export Payments • Dispatch and Shipping


The training comprises four full-day


workshops followed by a portfolio assessment six to eight weeks later. Candidates also have the opportunity to attend an airport visit at


the DHL East Midlands Hub, and feedback has proven that the experience is an invaluable part of the qualification. The course is very detailed and covers why documents are


required, implications of producing incorrect documentation, how to book freight and liaise with freight forwarders and to ensure they provide a full breakdown of their prices. Previous ITOPS students have made significant savings on freight


bills, customs planning and consideration of which Incoterms to use. Successful ITOPS candidates receive a certificate as well as the BCC


Foundation Award in International Trade, which is nationally recognised. The Chamber has secured funding through Skillsbank for this


course to offset the cost by 50% for businesses located in the SCR Region (Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales, Doncaster, North East Derbyshire, Rotherham and Sheffield). What’s more, as an approved partner, all the Chamber’s open


courses and bespoke options are available to those businesses which are eligible – although all courses remain available at the standard price to those outside the grant funding areas.


For more information and to book, visit bit.ly/Chamber_ITOPS BREXIT PREPAREDNESS


Grant funding is available from HMRC to all organisations looking to upskill their employees in preparation for Brexit. The funding can be used for the flagship ITOPS qualification, export


and import courses, customs declaration training, IP/OPR and customs courses.


For more information, visit www.customsintermediarygrant.co.uk or contact the helpline on 028 9041 5471.


For more information and to book your place on any of the Chamber’s upcoming International Trade courses, call our dedicated team on 0333 320 0333 (option four) or visit www.emc-dnl.co.uk/enabling-international-trade


48 business network December 2019/January 2020


Serbia is a landlocked country situated at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe. The country has a population of over seven million people and was the UK's 88th largest trading partner in the year up until June 2019. The import market in Serbia has


seen healthy growth over the past five years, and this growth is projected to continue, opening up opportunities for UK companies which perhaps had not looked to Serbia as a market for international growth. GDP per capita in Serbia is also


rising and will continue to do so, which should lead to an increase in spending power for local consumers that UK exporters could benefit from. UK business is already thriving in Serbia and there are close to 100 UK firms operating in the Serbian market, with many more UK companies represented through agents and distributors. A growing number of UK brands


are imported into Serbia and products are received well in the market, with goods, rather than services, making up over 65% of all UK exports to Serbia in the year up until June 2019, consisting mainly of medicinal and pharmaceutical products, specialised machinery,


electrical goods and scientific instruments. Serbia enjoys an open business


environment with a skilled and educated workforce. English is widely used as a business language, and the country has a stable economy. The market is not without its challenges though, as Serbia still experiences small scale corruption which is not helped by slow responses from its local authorities and government agencies. Serbia has a mixed economy


dominated by a large and growing services sector and is an investment destination for manufacturing and processing industries, supported by its proximity and links to European markets. The industrial sector generates about 31% of GDP with Services accounting for over 60% and Agriculture making up about eight per cent. GDP growth is expected to average between 0.5% and 1.5% over the next two years. Serbia’s government has


identified priority sectors for economic growth. These are transport, infrastructure, energy, agriculture and education. The Serbian education system, meanwhile, is developing.


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