Export Resources

Use the resources below to grow your business through export.

Guides to Export

Glossary of Key Terms – Familiarize yourself with the common terminology.

Test Your Knowledge –  This questionnaire will help you understand your organization’s readiness to export.

Exporting Basics – The SBA’s overview of the fundamentals in exporting, designed for small to medium sized companies.

The Trade Finance Guide – A quick guide on how to get paid from export.

A Guide on Ecommerce – Address online retailers’ operations, inventory, and payment issues.

Export-U – FREE Webminar training on export.

Country Commercial Guide – Market conditions, opportunities, regulations, and business customs for over 125 countries prepared by trade and industry experts at U.S. embassies worldwided.

Finding Foreign Markets

Choosing a Foreign Representative – What to look for when choosing a foreign distributor or representative.

Evaluating Foreign RepresentativesDouble/Triple check on potential representative or distributors before entering into an agreement.

Finding Buyers – The U.S. Commercial Service offers resources to help U.S. exporters find foreign buyers and begin selling their products internationally. More resources on Market Opportunity below.

Sales Channels – A major aspect of exporting involves choosing a sales channel. 

Market Research – Plan your market entry the right way.

Free Trade Agreements – When deciding what countries to target with your products, it is important to consider whether they have a free trade agreement with the United States. 

Product Preparation

Preparing Your Product – Adapt your product to meet government regulations, country conditions, or customer preferences in every foreign market you plan to enter

Product Classification – Finding your HS code is the starting point to classifying your product and getting it ready for export.

Rules of Origin – Each FTA has its own Rules of Origin (ROOs) that describe how exported goods shipped to a country, or a region may qualify for duty-free or reduced-duty benefits. 

Foreign Standards & Certifications  – Information on U.S. and Foreign Standards.


Shipping – A brief introduction to export compliance and what is required to ship a product overseas. More resources on Shipping below.

Documentation – Export compliance related documents most commonly used for exporting. More resources on Export Compliance below.

Certificates of Origin – A generic overview of Certificates of Origin and where you can find sample forms.

Trade Problems – The US Department of Commerce’s Advocacy Center helps exporters overcome trade problems and barriers, typically in a competitive bid contest.

Legal Considerations

Legal Issues – How to find help getting payment from your customers.

Regulations – On Export Licenses, Standards and Economic Sanctions.

Intellectual Property – A brief summary of the U.S.- E.U. Data Protection Privacy Shield known as the Safe Harbor Framework. More resources on IP below.

Financial Considerations

Export Financing – Finance Your Export Transaction video

Pricing – Important information on tariff and import fees as they relate to exporting. 

Methods of Payment – Get Paid for Your Export video.

Risk Management – The U.S. Government offers U.S. companies insurance for both export transactions and for the political risk associated with overseas investments.

Develop Your Export Plan

SBA Export Business Planner – A downloadable pdf tool to customize

Export.gov – Sample Outline for an Export Plan

Export USA Checklist for Evaluating Potential Export Markets – pdf

International Trade Administration Trade Stats – National Trade Data and State Export Data

Export.gov – Determining Tariff Rates with link to Customs Info Database free access

More Resources on Market Opportunity

GSI Trade Events – Greater Spokane Incorporated, International Trade events

Tradelead.com B2B Trade Marketplace

Think Global.com – B2B Marketplace for Global Trade Leads

Worldbid – Trade Leads

Export USA – Export promotion magazine of the USA. The magazine is designed to help American companies promote their products and services to buyers in more than 178 countries worldwide.

More Resources on Shipping for Export

Forwarder.com – International freight forwarder directory

Freight Agents – Freight Forwarders and Freight Agents Directory

Freight Net – The freight forwarders, cargo & logistics directory

National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA)

More Resources on Export Compliance

Export.gov Consolidated Screening List – Consolidates export screening lists of DOC, State & Treasury for electronic screens of of potential parties to regulated transactions.

BIS Export Regulation EAR Files

Commerce Control List

BIS Red Flags

BIS Network Registration (SNAP-R)

U. S. Census Bureau – AES Compliance Seminars

Voluntary Self-Disclosure

U. S. Customs & Border Protection Forms

Export.gov Common Export Docs.