The Three W's of Exporting

May 26, 2020 Author: Erin Harris, Director of Customer Experience

If you operate a business that ships goods to your customers, you may have had the experience of using export services either through a freight forwarder or export compliance professional, or both.

Maybe your company only ships within the United States, but you’ve thought about expanding into international markets. Have you ever thought about the effort it might take to export?

Let’s explore the who, what, and why of exporting.

Who exports internationally?

Who exports? Any person or business can export goods to international locations.

However, there are exceptions for who (people, companies, countries) can export and ship goods, and those who can import and receive shipped goods from the United States.

The Denied Persons List or Restricted Parties database contains individuals and companies that have had their Export or Import privileges denied by written order of the Department of Commerce or other Regulating Agencies.

A person or business can find themselves on one or more of these lists by falling out of compliance with export rules and regulations.

Common compliance issues are;

  • Consistent problems with errors or omissions on documentation (knowingly or unknowingly)
  • Not obtaining specific approvals or licenses for special items (guns/weapons, medications, animals, plants, food, etc.)
  • Shipping goods to restricted destinations (trade embargoed countries such as North Korea or Iran)
  • Shipping goods to a person or business already on the Restricted Parties lists.

The Bureau of Industry and Security offers online resources of Denied Persons and Restricted Parties, also known as the Consolidated Screening List. Exporting companies, freight forwarders and export software applications such Global Wizard should be aware of these lists at all times to help you, the client, stay compliant. 

Read one of our latest Linkedin articles on the Consolidated Screening Lists written by Heather Noggle, CEO of Global Wizard. This article shows how the Consolidated Screening List managed by the United States government operates, and it provides insights for what you should look for in an automated screening solution such as the one developed by Global Wizard that offers great features such as continuous screening and the easy retrieval of historical searches for auditing purposes. 

Read this fantastic blog from DHL on how following export compliance rules will keep your company out of trouble.

What can be exported? 

Most goods can be exported from the United States to many international destinations with the proper export documentation paperwork. However, certain goods or items may require special licensing, paperwork, and approvals before they can be exported and shipped to their destination.

There is also a list of items that the website provides for specific items that cannot be exported.

Sometimes goods may seem fairly innocent but can cause injury to community health, - or have the potential to do so, - public safety, or domestic plant and animal life, or reasons that would defeat national interests.

Why does a person or company want to export their goods?

95 to 96% of the world's potential buyers exist outside of the US so there are a variety of reasons why a person or company would want to export their goods from the United States to international locations.

  1. Manufacturing products. A company might be a manufacturer of a given product with facilities all over the world. It’s common to have a facility that specializes in one part or section that might need to be shipped to another facility that builds another piece of what will eventually be a finished, sellable product. Even though parts at various stages of a manufacturing process don’t hold a final value, they still need export documentation to record what is moving in and out of the country.
  2. Sales of final goods. If a company strictly sells their products within its home country, it might experience a sales plateau by reaching the ceiling of demand for a product. In order to grow, companies expand their business internationally, often with small modifications for a particular market, exposing untapped potential international markets for their products.
  3. Marketing. Companies might participate in tradeshows or conferences at a location outside of the United States. Just because they aren’t exporting a product they’ve sold, they will still export and ship the items that they will need at a large trade show or conference for marketing purposes. The paperwork may be a little different, but it is still equipment that will need to go through the destination’s customs procedures to make sure everything coming into the destination country is legal.

    Check out your local chamber of commerce or SBDC (Small Business Development Center) to see if they offer resources and even grants that can help your business get into the global market.

Are you ready to discuss your “Why” for exporting? We’re ready to listen and provide you with the solutions that you need with one of our customizable tiers. Check them out here, select which one works for you, and drop us a message to get started.

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