Thinking of Selling Overseas?

The International Trade Administration (ITA) is a government resource for competing in the global marketplace. The ITA focuses on promoting U.S. exports, attracting inbound investment, providing actionable data and information, and defending against unfair trade. They have a wealth of programs and services for businesses looking to sell overseas.

Note that export regulations apply to organizations of all sizes, including one-person operations and private individuals exporting items to family and friends. The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) regulates exports of most commercial items and some defense items through the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Visit the Department of Commerce resource site for more information about selling internationally.

If you are thinking about selling internationally, you should also be aware of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which is administered by the State Department. ITAR contains a list of products called the U. S. Munitions List (USML).  These typically apply to military products. If your product is on this list, it is subject to these controls. Much of the list is what you might expect to find: firearms, guns, explosives, etc. However, there is often unexpected overlap with commercial items - training, electronics, chemicals, instrumentation.

Check out the SBA Tutorial on the subjects of EAR and ITAR as a starting point.