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In summary, the regional committees are charged with assuring any "unique" food safety needs reflect science-based needs, rather than economic interests.

practical business knowledge

This material is intended for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for competent legal counsel. Seek appropriate professional advice for answers to your specific questions. Imports To import into the United States, the food must meet the same U. How do I import food canned goods, meat, vegetables, fruits, bulk foods, etc. Advance notice of import shipments allows FDA, with the support of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection CBP , to target import inspections more effectively and help protect the nation's food supply against terrorist acts and other public health emergencies.

Importing and Exporting | practical business knowledge

Basic concepts to review: Imported foods must be pure, wholesome, safe to eat, and produced under sanitary conditions However, under international law, food regulatory systems in exporting countries may employ sanitary measures that differ from those applied domestically by the importing country.

The United States makes determinations of equivalence by evaluating whether foreign food regulatory systems attain the appropriate level of protection provided by our domestic system. Thus, while foreign food regulatory systems need not be identical to the U. FSIS evaluates foreign food regulatory systems for equivalence through document reviews, on-site audits, and port-of-entry reinspection of products at the time of importation. Harmonization must simultaneously facilitate international trade and promote mutual understanding, while protecting national interests and establishing a basis to resolve food issues on sound scientific evidence in an objective atmosphere.

FDA product code Common product name or market name Estimated quantity from smallest package size to largest container Lot, code number or other identifier if food is required to have one If the food is no longer in its natural state: Fish 21 CFR Moreover, FDA does not now receive other federal funds that might be transferred to FDA from another agency's fee-supported certificate program in order to provide FDA staff support for inspectional or administrative activities needed to maintain lists of "export eligible firms". Such lists are based primarily on FDA's domestic enforcement and inspectional findings.

In some cases, FDA must obtain inspectional information, review the findings and assess the general compliance history of candidate firms before another, fee-supported U. The Food Safety and Inspection Service FSIS has authority to collect fees and to issue export certificates for foods under its authority -- meat, poultry, processed egg products -- when a foreign government's requirements are different than those covered by U.

The Agricultural Marketing Service AMS has fee authority for food export certificates for issues relevant to product quality and to certain food safety attributes. The eighth prohibition is that in-transit shipments and items that are unloaded from vessels and aircrafts must have licenses. This means that anything that needs to be shipped there needs a license. This is a very broad prohibition and you should make sure that you comply with this.

The ninth prohibition says that you are unable to obtain a license if you have violated any terms, conditions or orders of the EAR while exporting. Ignorance is no excuse. And the tenth and final prohibition states that you are going against the EAR if you continue with any activities after you have gained the knowledge that what you are doing is against EAR regulations. The process to obtain a license is very lengthy and there are many regulations to it that are different for every product.

It is suggested that you start early and be very thorough when dealing with the application process. Anything that is left out and can later be in violation of the EAR regulations can be used against you and your company. When you are thinking about how to begin your export activity one of the most important considerations is to check if the foreign countries have trade barriers, or if they have the type of barriers that we can sell our products in a domestic market or if is impossible to export to that county because their barriers are too difficult to penetrate.

In this time, every day the percentage is getting smaller in the countries that have these kinds of barriers, but some trade barriers still exist possibly in third world or communist countries. We focus in the first type of trade barriers, those that protect domestic products in front of foreign products. The most common foreign trade barriers are imposed by the government from where you want to export. These measures and policies are ones that restrict, prevent, or impede the international exchange of goods and services.

Trade barriers affects our exports to another country because these measures impose costs on our exports that are not imposed on products produced into the country. Services barriers that regulate international data flow and foreign data processing, Lack of intellectual property protection, High import tariffs, restrictions about the quantity, import licensing, and customs barriers, Unnecessarily and thorough testing, labeling, and certification, Investment barriers, Subsidies to other countries except for our country, Anticompetitive practices with trade effects tolerated by foreign governments, Others special restrictions for each product.

To ensure that our business will not have any problems with the foreign countries we should check the Foreign Trade Barriers which is an annual report that the Office of the United States Trade Representative puts out and concerning 45 countries. It describes the trade barriers that exist in each country. The report provides quantitative estimation of how these barriers affect exports of goods and services from the United States.

But the Foreign Trade Barriers report also contains an inventory which facilities negotiations to reduce or eliminated these barriers, and contain a useful tool to know the laws from United States, with the goal of expanding and promoting exports around the world because this benefits all the nations, overcoat the export country, and every consumers of these countries.

Embassies are located in the capital of the country and consulates are located in different cities of that country. Both institutions have departments that will help you establish a trade relation with their country. They often have lists of manufacturers, producers and different channels of distribution that you may use in order to trade with that country. In many cases, they will advise you about the regulation that that country has and whom my you contact for further advice.

Make sure you establish good relations with authorities of the other country because this will make your life a lot easier if a problem arises. Here you will find all the information you want about export and import. They will give you lists of possible partners, legal and financial advice, arrange commercial encounters with foreign businesses and help you financially if you want to go to a commercial encounter in a foreign country. They will provide you with contact information so that if any new product or firm registers to the chamber of trade, you are able to know about it and take advantage.

As a small business, it would be difficult to research and satisfy all the requirements of the government of the country you are choosing to export to. Customs brokers deal with the trade requirements, procedures, and customs and tariff regulations of the countries you are exporting to. Customs brokers are paid to ensure that all the necessary regulations are met and that the complex forms and requirements are filed and sent on time and to the correct location.

Practical Guide for Export and Import

Another benefit of a customs broker is that they are well versed on transportation options, types of carriers and the proper classifications and duties associate with the cargo you will be shipping internationally. Customs brokers are traditionally employed by freight forwarders and shipping lines and customs broking firms. Other steps that we have to follow and maybe one of the most important: This problem is different for each business that wants to export, because each product is different than all the others.

A freight forwarder is an agent that moves huge numbers of products overseas to other countries. Freight forwarders are familiar with the export rules and regulations of the United States and of the foreign countries, the methods of shipping, and all the documents that one business needs to export its products. Not just this information, but also to help us to prepare all the documentation necessary for the seller, the buyer or a paying bank; and the right way to send these documents to be sure that they arrive at the right person.

Also a freight forwarder can help us to search and find the most appropriate mode of cargo, transport and how we have to pack and load our product in the truck, vessel or aircraft. This is really important because finding the right method to transport our product can reduce the total cost of shipping.

Another service that freight forwarders bring us is that they can find and reserve the necessary space in any aircraft, train, and boat or truck because these professionals know the market, have a lot of contacts and can find a better price than a price that we could ever find. Every small business can find a freight forwarder without problems, because you can contact a person that has their own business, check the local business telephone list and ask for some freight forwarder, or contact with the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America to provide you information on their members.

Specific solution does not exist that can cater every situation, but we have o follow some items or actions to be sure that shipping will not present any problems. Maybe the most important is to insure that the product will arrive at its destination in perfect condition, just as it was given to your freight forwarders. To control this, it is important that exporters ensure that their products are packed correctly and that it arrives in good condition; that has been labeled correctly to ensure that your product show his property and arrive on time at the right place, that they are documented correctly by the requirements of both United States and foreign government, and that all your merchandise has insurance against damage, lost or delay.

All of these steps are so hard to consider and is the principal reason because the exports contract the freight forwarders services. Incoterms are terms that can be used to help you figure out the payment plans and shipment responsibilities when dealing with international business. Now that the world is going global, there are more regulations on international business. You need to be aware of the regulations that you face if something were to happen.


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The ICC is there to help make sure that everything runs smoothly and no one gets taken advantage of or that nothing illegal goes on. The ICC makes sure that no arbitration goes on and that no laws are broken. Also they help resolve disputes among different countries and different companies within those countries. The ICC also helps fight for open trade in countries that are not as willing to participate in it. Another thing they do is fight corruption and combat commercial crime.

It is a really good idea to understand the terms of the ICC and make sure that you stay in compliance with them because they can be a big help in any situation. They are great for a reference to tell you what to do when something unexpected happens. An example is that if you ship your product overseas and the end-user never comes to pick it up, does the end-user need to pay for shipping and the product still or not? If a situation like this takes place, the ICC has terms that can help you decide what to do.

Letters of Credit are the most common form of payment when trading internationally. They are issued through a financial institution and are a form of payment when the transaction is conducted across borders. The parties to a letter of credit are the beneficiary who is to receive the money, the issuing bank of whom the applicant is a client, and the advising bank of whom the beneficiary is a client. The purpose of a letter of credit is to minimize the risk associated with large, international transactions. The bank ensures that the goods are delivered before the money is exchanged, therefore ensuring payment and reducing theft.

The letter of credit allows importers to reduce the risk of having to pay in advance for goods, then not receive them, or receive the incorrect order or product. It also helps exporters to know they will receive payment provided that the goods are shipped on time and match the product description.

Import and Export of Food

The letter of credit allows overlap to ensure that the product received is consistent with the product that was ordered. Another way to get more actively involved with the process of exporting is to participate in Trade Missions. By participating in these, you can find ways to increase the value of your product. It is a great place to learn about new trade markets. When you attend these missions, you will also meet many influential government officials and you can get more information with them and get a better understanding of the trading economy.

It is a great way to meet people that can help you set up your company and give you pointers from personal experience. There is a list of events on the internet that can tell you where the events are and how to get involved. The website is http: This is a great resource if you ever have any problems or have any interest in furthering your knowledge of the company.

Like all the people know, internet is a very useful tool for everyone that wants to build his own small business. With this tool everyone has the possibility to access more beneficial information free of charge, or for less money than the price you must pay for the services of one professional. To construct your own business you can check the Internet to find information about laws, rules, legal regulations and another kinds of information that you need for your business.

You can find information from a governmental institutions and associations like this web site: Maybe the principal difference between the official or governmental information and the no-official web-sites that: In the same way that you can find information about how you can you start your own small business and all the requirements that you need, all the documents that you have to fill out and the rules and regulations that you have to follow, you can find these same items of the exporting activity.

In internet can find web-sites that offer you little guidance to start exporting and provide advice about what or what not to do, and why and how you have to do it. Maybe sometimes the advice can create more problems because your may follow this advice without thinking that each business has their own needs. They probably specify this problem but you can forget this idea and follow it without thinking.

The most beneficial procedures are to first check many web-sites for the best information and from there filter the information down to the most least useful. The Internet is a big world and has a lot of information, structured in different ways. In the case of the export of products, you can find, if you are lucky and if you make a depth search you even can find pages that give information specifically about your segment of export. In the of the food business there is just one website http: In short, the internet is a good and useful tool to find information that can be beneficial to try is we want to start to export or not, and how can we do it.

Is useful to find official procedures, requirements, regulations, etc, but may be no is the perfect tool to manager or take this decision, export or not export, without contact with a professional. Is the perfect tool to imagine and have a right idea that what we have to do and the problems that we can find around this decision.

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