Chris Marshall from Essex Scientific Laboratory Supplies Limited at the Export Champion launch event in Cambridge

ESSLAB passes the test in Middle East laboratories

A Westcliff-on-Sea based distributor of analytical laboratory equipment has grown its export sales to the Middle East to more than £500,000 per year, with support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Essex Scientific Laboratory Supplies Limited (ESSLAB) is one of the longest established laboratory distributors in the UK. It specialises in providing products and monitoring services for toxicology, forensics, environmental, petrochemical, pharmaceutical and food industry laboratories. The company also provides several testing services including drug monitoring which has been used at the Olympics and by FIFA.

In March this year the business’s senior leaders attended a trade mission to Dubai’s biggest science trade show, ArabLab, with funding support and advice from DIT. At the event, the leadership team networked with potential distributors and end-users from UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain.

The business has since secured contracts with new clients in the environmental sector, to supply certified reference materials worth £75,000. The product is used to benchmark laboratory tests for quality control and accuracy. As a result, it expects to increase its exports to Middle Eastern markets by 25% in the next 12 months.

Thanks to more than 20 years of experience dealing with accredited laboratories across the UK, ESSLAB is now in a strong position to trade internationally. The growing requirement for analytical measurements made by laboratories to meet all relevant regulatory standards now demands that international companies adhere to strict domestic and international controls and  have extended opportunities for growth.

The companies exporting success has not gone unnoticed, with ESSLAB recently being awarded the role of an Export Champion by DIT East of England. 

Cliff Marshall, managing director at ESSLAB, said: “While we fully understood the scientific issues demanded by clients in the Middle East, the requirements to satisfy customs and shipping regulations created some challenges.


“I’d highly recommend that any business interested in exporting should look into support available from DIT, from events here in the UK to participating in trade missions overseas”


“Working with DIT and realising the level of support that’s out there for specialist businesses like ours has been eye-opening. We’ve learnt so much through the training events they provided, and the trade mission to ArabLab  proved an invaluable opportunity to grow our business.

“I’d highly recommend that any business interested in exporting should look into support available from DIT, from events here in the UK to participating in trade missions overseas. If we can find success in new markets, so can many other UK businesses.”

Thinley Topden, DIT’s Head of Exports in the East of England, said: “As the world becomes increasingly connected, it’s even more important for companies to comply with international regulations, providing opportunities for businesses like ESSLAB whose products and services meet those high standards. It’s great to see local businesses tapping into this global demand and succeeding on the international stage.

“DIT has a dedicated team of International Trade Advisers located across the East of England who can offer a range of support to business looking to go global, including practical advice and guidance, training sessions, and introductions to valuable business contacts overseas.”

Exemplas Trade Services Ltd (ETSL) has delivered the contract for the Department for International Trade (formerly UK Trade and Investment) in the East of England for almost a decade.

For more information on how we can support your business in exporting overseas, get in touch.