Every year, U.S. companies export over two trillion dollars’ worth of goods and services. If you want your business to get in on the action, it’s important to do it right – right from the start.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is charged with regulating and facilitating international trade, collecting import duties, and enforcing U.S. regulations around trade, customs, and immigration.
If you export goods out of the U.S., CBP strongly recommends that you familiarize yourself with all relevant CBP policies and procedures prior to exporting those goods. You should also be aware of any entry requirements specific to the commodity you are exporting – including those of other U.S. and international agencies.
Is a licence required to export?
Sometimes. Although CBP does not require a licence for exporting goods, it does enforce export regulations for other government agencies. Because some of those agencies may require licensing, you should contact the lead agency that regulates the good you’re exporting to find out what’s required.
What else do I need to know?
Anyone handling exports needs to keep current on their responsibilities and be knowledgeable about:
- EAR (Export Administration Regulations) and ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulation): U.S. export control laws that affect the manufacturing, sales and distribution of technology.
- ECCNs (Export Control Classification Numbers): Commodity codes used on the Commerce Control List to identify dual-use items for export.
- BIS (Bureau of Industry and Security): An agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce that deals with national security and technology matters. BIS's activities include regulating the export of sensitive goods and dual-use technologies and enforcing export control laws.
This is just a start… There may be more, depending on what you’re exporting. Consult the sources below or talk to a professional in exporting logistics for more information.
What are some reliable and user-friendly sources of information?
- The Department of Commerce's Trade Information Center website is a comprehensive resource for exporters. Sign up for their quarterly newsletter and keep current on any regulatory changes.
- The CBP INFO Center maintains a searchable database of questions and answers on exporting and other CBP topics.
- Bureau of Industry of Security. The BIS Exporter Portal has lots of handy links and interactive webpages full of useful information. Sign up for email updates here.
- Information on commodity-specific export requirements, and contact information for U.S. government agencies, can be found on the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security website.
- You can also direct questions regarding exporting and licensing requirements to CBP officers at the port where your merchandise will exit the country.
Having full knowledge of your responsibilities as an exporter is essential as it can help you avoid very costly penalties. But it can be a challenge to keep on top of all that’s required of you and who does what on the regulatory side.
Our experienced customs brokers can help answer your questions about exporting from the U.S.
Information provided by: U.S. Customs Brokerage Dept. - Cole International USA