Export Guidelines for Commercial Crafts
Getting into the export market with commercial crafts include several steps geared towards obtaining legal documentation, identification and documentation of all details pertaining to a product. Successful exports trade is about identifying and retaining a market segment with a market led product that meets the buyers’ needs and expectations. To achieve this, the Export Promotion Council has business counselling sessions for exporters which are meant to equip the exporter/producer with necessary information that will make him competitive in any export market.

1.Legal Documentation

Obtaining legal documentation for your business has several benefits, including running a legal business in your own country and attracting legal business from other countries.
  • Register a company name and obtain the Certificate of Incorporation/Certificate of registration from the Registrar of Companies, Attorney General’s office.
  • Obtain an Export /Import Code Number from the Customs and Excise Department (on the submission of copies of a & b above).
  • Obtain a PIN number from Kenya Revenue Authority
  • Obtain a VAT certificate from Kenya Revenue Authority
  • Obtain a Local Authority Licence
  • Certificate of Origin;
-COMESA certificate of origin for produce destined to COMESA country
-EUR – 1 form for produce destined to European Union
-GSP form for produce destined to USA, Japan, Australia, Canada etc. besides the category 9 items
-Ordinary Certificate of Origin for produce destined to Middle East, India, Central Europe, etc.
-AGOA certificate of origin

2.Business Set-up

Business set-up involves obtaining an image for your business through acquiring business builders listed below:
a)Obtain a Trading Place with address, telephone, fax, email address
b)Obtain Business image builders:
-     Develop Business Cards
-     Develop a Company Profile
-     Develop a Letter Head
c)Obtain a Bank Account

3.Product Identification and Documentation

Product identification and documentation, especially for SME’s, is a process that requires the exporter/producer to understand and document details of their products. The process helps in quality control, pricing and costing, identification of sources of raw materials, proper book keeping among other benefits.

This process requires the exporter/producer to document such details as:
–The name of the product
–The code number
–The size
–The weight
–The time it takes to produce the product (this helps when determining the time it takes to service an order, for instance if it takes two hours to produce item X, An order of 1,000 pieces of item X will take 2 hrs multiply by 1000 items etc. then one can factor in the shipping time to give exact or approximate timings to the importer)
–The raw material used in the production
–Quantities used
–Prices of the raw materials

3.1.Study the Market trends
Over time, Kenyan craft artisans have produced items according to cultural practises with most of the products passed on from one generation to the next. In as much as Kenya’s commercial craft export basket is indeed very rich with products made out of various types of locally sourced raw materials, the artisans only produce what they culturally know, closing the window to modern designs and trends. The Council has been instrumental in training and educating the artisans on market-led functional items than on purely decorative items.  The producers are encouraged to do wider range of products that have functionality elements.  Without market information, research and feedback from the potential buyers in the market place, producers will always end up producing items that are not market led in terms of trends and tastes.

4.Develop Marketing Tools - Electronic and print image builders

The development of a marketing tool(s) is key to exposing our products to the market. Marketing tools vary from Electronic and print tools such as product catalog in a CD-ROM, Website and WebPages. The details in any marketing tool should highlight or clearly indicate the name of the product, Size, Price, Code, and Clear Photos, e.g.

5.Identify Market with a relative advantage

Identification of markets for your type of product is very important. The Export Promotion Council has been very instrumental in giving Contacts and enquiries as a way of exposing Kenyan products to the export markets worldwide. The Centre for Business Information in Kenya (CBIK) subscribes to a number of important databases which provide current information on buyer contacts, market survey reports, trade enquiries and trade statistics. Some of these databases include the International Directory of Importers, the International Trade Centre (ITC), Market News Service and the Market Analysis Portals (which include Trade Maps and Product Maps).
Browsing of the electronic in-house databases and the Centre’s library collections are free.  However a modest fee is charged for information derived from the subscribed databases.

The Council also organises Trade Fairs as a way of exposing our export products and services to the various export markets. As you may know, the ever growing global competition continues to pose a big challenge to business communities forcing them to make timely decisions that foster growth in the export market.  Making these decisions requires guidance and well researched market information. To cater for this, the Council in collaboration with other stakeholders prepare the Export Market Development programme after collecting and analysing market information in an efficient and timely manner to match the dynamics of the market.

For more information on the above guidelines, kindly contact us
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