Export Clerk

As an Export Clerk, you play a vital role in ensuring that shipments of Scotch whisky, from Scotland to a wide range of international market, are delivered on time and in compliance with all relevant regulations You will need to be experienced and knowledgeable about customs regulations, international shipping procedures and the managing and coordinating export shipments, including the preparation of export documentation, tax and customs documents and the liaison with national and international suppliers and agents.

Role Description

Main duties and responsibilities

As an Export Clerk works you will be responsible for arranging the shipment of Scotch Whisky to a global market. You will receive, monitor, and process daily freight movements and ensure the correct paperwork is in place for shipments. The role can be an excellent starting point for a career within shipping and logistics.


  • Preparation and processing of export documentation, such as preparing export declarations, certificates of origin, invoices, packing lists, bills of lading, cargo receipts, customs clearance, and other documents.
  • Requesting and comparing price quotes from shipping companies.
  • Coordinating with overseas customs agents, freight forwarders and carriers to arrange the transportation of goods, organise route assignments, track shipments and update customers on delivery status.
  • Work with international distributors, agents, and suppliers to resolve any shipping or customs issues.
  • Calculating tariffs and duties on transported goods based upon the export quantities / number of shipping containers.
  • Obtaining information from clients and ensuring that declarations are made to customs in accordance with HMRC.
  • Communicate with internal departments, such as production and logistics, to ensure that orders are fulfilled on time and in accordance with customer requirements.
  • Maintain accurate records of all export transactions and ensure compliance with relevant regulations and laws.
  • Provide excellent customer service to ensure customer satisfaction and retention.
  • Keep up to date with changes in international trade regulations and advise management on any potential impacts on the company's export activities.

Export clerks typically work in an office environment and may occasionally need to visit warehouses, shipping ports, or other locations related to export operations. The job may require occasional overtime or weekend work to meet deadlines or accommodate different time zones.

The salary for an export clerk in the Scotch whisky industry can vary depending on the level of experience and location, but typically ranges from £25,000 to £35,000 per year.

An export clerk in the Scotch whisky industry can progress to a senior export coordinator or manager role, which involves overseeing a team of export clerks and managing the entire export operation for a company. Alternatively, they may transition to other areas of supply chain management, such as logistics or procurement.

Skills and experience

To be successful as an Export Clerk in the Scotch Whisky industry you must have a strong understanding of export regulations and procedures, excellent attention to detail, communication and interpersonal skills, strong time-management and multi-tasking abilities, computer literacy, language skills, and a bachelor's degree in a relevant field.

Typical skills and experience required include:

  • An understanding of global supply chain and logistics, including the rules, regulations and procedures governing the export of goods from Scotland to international markets, advantages and disadvantages of various transportation methods, security requirements, inventory management and order processing, etc.
  • Strong research skills (locating and evaluating international trade opportunities, analysing data, etc.)
  • Coordination of export shipments with various customers and suppliers that include, distribution, order management, supply planning, and freight forwarders to ensure on time and in full shipments.
  • Attention to detail. You will need to understand export documentation, customs procedures, and international shipping and air freight practices. Documentation must be completed accurately and in a timely manner to avoid delays and penalties.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with customers, freight forwarders, customs officials, with excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to build relationships with stakeholders.
  • Ability to work closely with other departments, including production, logistics, and finance, to ensure that orders are fulfilled, and customer needs are met.
  • Excellent customer service and negotiation skills.
  • Strong time-management skills with the ability to work under pressure whilst managing multiple shipments simultaneously and prioritising competing tasks effectively within tight deadlines.
  • Strong problem-solving skills. You will need to solve problems that arise while negotiating the flow of goods across borders— such as delays in deliveries or issues with customs.
  • Preparation of packages for special and/or urgent pick-up and delivery by parcel delivery services.
  • Detail oriented, with excellent data entry and numeracy skills and proficient in Microsoft Office, especially excel and word. Willingness and ability to learn and use shipping software and to generate export documents from systems such as SAP.
  • Being the administrative liaison with others internally and outside the organisation regarding issues related to purchasing, facilities, and operations.
  • Fluency in English is essential for an Export Clerk, and knowledge of at least one other language is highly desirable.
  • While not mandatory, knowledge of the Scotch Whisky industry is a plus. It shows a potential employer that you are familiar with the product, market, and distribution channels.

Qualifications Required

The role of an Export Clerk is critical to ensure the successful export of Scotch Whisky to international markets. The role requires a wide range of skills and offers excellent opportunities for career progression within the industry.


  • A bachelor’s degree in business, logistics, or a related field is typically required. Some companies may also require equivalent experience in export operations.
  • 2+ years of experience in export operations, preferably in the food and beverage industry
  • Knowledge of export regulations and customs procedures.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and experience with shipping software.
  • Fluency in English and knowledge of at least one other language is highly desirable.
  • Familiarity with the Scotch whisky industry and its products is a plus.
Did you know?
  1. The Scotch Whisky industry is a significant contributor to Scotland's economy, with the export of Scotch Whisky generating over £4 billion in revenue each year.
  2. Scotch Whisky is a highly regulated product, and the export of Scotch Whisky must comply with strict regulations, including those related to labelling, packaging, and production methods.
  3. The role of an Export Clerk is critical to the success of the Scotch Whisky industry. The Export Clerk ensures that shipments of Scotch Whisky reach their international destinations on time and in compliance with all relevant regulations.
  4. An Export Clerk must be familiar with the customs regulations of different countries and have a good understanding of the import duties, taxes, and fees that may apply to Scotch Whisky exports.
  5. The role of an Export Clerk offers an excellent opportunity for career progression within the Scotch Whisky industry. An Export Clerk can progress to a senior export coordinator or manager role, overseeing a team of export clerks and managing the entire export operation for a company.
  6. Export Clerks in the Scotch Whisky industry must have strong language skills as they often communicate with international customers and partners. Fluency in English is essential, and knowledge of at least one other language is highly desirable.

If you are interested in pursuing a career as an Export Clerk in the Scotch Whisky industry, here are some resources that may be helpful:

  1. Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) is an industry body that represents Scotch Whisky producers and exporters, providing information on the industry, including regulations and guidelines for exporting Scotch Whisky. The SWA also offer training and education programs for individuals interested in working in the industry.
  2. International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is a global organisation that sets standards and guidelines for international trade. Their website provides information on customs regulations and procedures, international trade laws, and guidelines for international contracts.
  3. Logistics and Supply Chain Management Association (LSCMA) is a professional organisation for individuals working in logistics and supply chain management. They offer training and education programs, networking opportunities, and career resources for individuals interested in pursuing a career in this field.
  4. Export.gov is a website maintained by the U.S. Department of Commerce that provides information and resources for U.S. companies interested in exporting goods and services. The website includes information on regulations, tariffs, and export documentation, as well as resources for finding international buyers and partners.
  5. There are many job search websites that list job opportunities for Export Clerks in the Scotch Whisky industry. Examples include LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed. You can search for jobs by location, industry, and job title, and also set up job alerts to be notified of new job openings.
Related Case Studies

The Scotch Whisky Association

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