Trade FAQs

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Some of your Questions:

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Q. Which product groups are covered by the New Approach Directives?

The New Approach Directives are listed on the website: There are New Approach Directives for electronic and electrical products, machinery, medical devices, radio and telecommunications terminal equipment, recreational craft, pressure equipment, equipment for use in potentially explosive atmospheres, personal protective equipment, toys, simple pressure vessels, and others. A company affixes CE marking to its product once the essential health and safety requirements of the applicable New Approach Directive(s) have been met. These directives came about as a way of eliminating trade barriers and facilitating the EU Single Internal Market. Not all products fall under the New Approach Directives. There are essentially three levels of regulatory control: Old Approach - The Old Approach Directives apply to the foodstuff, motor vehicle, chemical, cosmetic, detergents, biocides, and pharmaceutical sectors. These regulations have technical specifications written into the annexes. New Approach - These directives make references to harmonized standards and apply to broad product sectors such as machinery, electrical and electronic products, medical devices, and radio and telecommunications equipment. The directives usually set down general health and safety requirements, and the specifications for meeting these general requirements are found in the standards applicable to the manufacturer's product. Conformity assessment procedures (the system and responsibilities for testing and certification which should lie with the manufacturer and, where applicable, accredited test laboratories) are also contained in these directives. The General Product Safety Directive (GPSD) covers all products not specifically covered by CE marking directives but which do require some level of safety regulation. These products may also be regulated at the national level by member states. The role of standards in New Approach, Old Approach and GPSD: There is a vast body of European standards. Voluntary industry standards are known as European harmonized standards whenever they are linked to European new approach legislation. European harmonized standards are developed by one of three European standards organizations based on a mandate from the European Commission. Products meeting the applicable technical standards developed by the European standards organizations are presumed to conform to the requirements of EU new approach directives and are allowed to circulate freely within the European Union. Use of the European harmonized standards is seen as a "fast track" for gaining CE marking compliance for a product. For many products, though, a manufacturer can choose not to comply with the CEN, CENELEC, or ETSI standards, if the company can demonstrate that its product satisfies the essential safety and performance requirements of the directives. Old approach legislation may refer to existing standards in the text or annexes, thus becoming mandatory. Technical annexes often are standards in their own right. As for the general product safety directive, safety of products can be demonstrated by using existing standards which have been referenced in the Official Journal, the EU equivalent of the U.S. Federal Register. These standards cover products such as furniture, household appliances (non-electrical), sports equipment, childcare articles, and small hand-held tools. The standards define characteristics such as durability, appearance, and quality.

Q. Are there resources in Turkey for dealing with standards problems?

The United States Embassy's Commercial Section has been assisting U.S. companies, which meet EU directives conformity, in having products clear Turkish Customs as expeditiously as possible. The Commercial Section is also working to have the Government of Turkey accept CE conformity certification from U.S. corporations or Notified Bodies, without having U.S. companies face additional bureaucratic delays at customs and additional testing at the Turkish Standards Institute. For additional assistance in navigating the CE Marking regulations in Turkey, please contact our Commercial Assistant at [email protected]

Q. Why does the Turkish Customs Authority not accept a Notified Body issued Certificate(s) of Conformity?

Companies selling to the Turkish market must submit evidence of conformity compliance (CE Marking) either by providing a notarized/consularized conformity certificate from a notified body or a corporate issued certificate of conformity, which declares compliance of all relevant standards and directive annexes. Turkish Customs may on occasion question if the certificates are original. In such cases, the company may wish to have the Notified Body Certificate of Conformity or the corporate issued Certificate of Conformity notarized/consularized to confirm document authenticity. For U.S. companies having difficulty in having documents recognized for authenticity, the Commercial Attach can assist in having a consular stamp affixed to your Certificate of Conformity that would be accepted by the Turkish Customs service.

Q. What fish and agricultural opportunities are available to an exporter?

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NMFS, otherwise known as NOAA Fisheries, works with fishing industry representatives and organizations to facilitate access to foreign markets. In cooperation with the Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration, NMFS assists exporters seeking information on export inspection services for fishery exports and issues U.S. government certifications. The NMFS can be contacted at: Seafood Inspection Services Division:(301) 713-2355 for information on export inspection services and foreign country requirements. Or visit them online at National Marine Fisheries Service website: The U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) is the first point of contact for agricultural export advice and information on USDA export and marketing programs, foreign market research, trade data by country and commodity, trade policy and regulations, export sales, and trade leads. The FAS can be contacted at: Office of Trade Programs: (202) 690-3576 Email: [email protected] Internet: The FAS website contains many useful research materials, including World Production, Trade and Market Reports, and Attach Reports.

Q. How do I get export assistance?

The Global Knowledge Center and USA Trade Center services: Tel: 1-800-USA-TRAD(E) (1-800-872-8723) (Select appropriate menu option) Fax: (202) 482-4473 ~ Email: [email protected] ~ Web: Free Trade Agreements (FTA) Compliance Team: Tel: 1-800-USA-TRAD(E) (1-800-872-8723) (Select appropriate "regional" option) Fax: (202) 482-4473 ~ Email: [email protected] ~ Web: China Business Information Center (China BIC): Tel: 1-800-USA-TRAD(E) (1-800-872-8723) (select "China" regional option) Fax: (202) 482-4473 ~ Email: [email protected] ~ Web: Middle East & North Africa Business Information Center (MENABIC): Tel: 1-800-USA-TRAD(E) (1-800-872-8723) (select "Mid-East" regional option) Fax: (202) 482-4473 ~ Email: [email protected] ~ Web: Business Information Service for the Newly Independent States (BISNIS): Tel: 1-800-USA-TRAD(E) (1-800-872-8723) or (202) 482-4655 (select "NIS" option) Fax: (202) 482-2293 ~ Email: [email protected] ~ Web:

Q. What is the Global Knowledge Center (GKC)? How do I get export assistance?

The Global Knowledge Center (GKC) is the first stop for companies seeking export assistance from the U.S. Government. GKC international trade specialists: Advise exporters on how to locate and use government export programs Guide businesses through the export process Direct businesses to market research, statistics, and trade leads Provide information on domestic and overseas trade events and activities Explain sources of public and private export financing Refer businesses to U.S. Export Assistance Centers as-well-as state and local trade organizations that can provide additional ongoing assistance. The GKC also provides export counseling for the Americas (including NAFTA), Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. GKC international trade specialists can help exporters with questions about: Import tariffs, taxes, and customs procedures, especially for free trade agreements Commercial standards, regulations and practices and intellectual property rights Distribution channels, business travel, and other market information Opportunities and best prospects for U.S. companies in individual markets Difficulties encountered on specific commercial transactions. The GKC is located in the Department of Commerce's USA Trade Center in Washington, D.C. The USA Trade Center offers specialized services, including counseling on free trade agreements, export licensing, and focus centers for China, the Middle East and North Africa, and the Newly Independent States (Russia and former Soviet republics).

Q. How do I import products into the United States?

Please contact U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Q. I am afraid somebody is stealing my design. How can I protect myself?

If you feel your companys intellectual property rights (IPR) have been, or may be adversely affected by a pirated and counterfeit goods, you may file a complaint electronically with the Trade Compliance Center within the International Trade Administration.

Q. I am having problems getting paid. How can I get help?

In international trade, problems involving bad debts are more easily avoided than rectified after they occur. Credit checks and services such as the international company profile can also limit the risks. Refer to the Help Getting Paid section of for additional information resolving payment problems.

Q. I can't get my products out of customs. How can I get help!

If your company is experiencing a problem with a foreign customs house, make sure youve corrected the identifying problem. To further resolve customs problems, try the following: Involve the buyer/importer. Chances are they can help or at least find out what needs to be done to resolve the problem. Involve your shipping company. Most shippers are responsive to the customs problems faced by their customers. Involve your insurance company. Contact the foreign customs' office. Contact the Commercial Service office in the appropriate country.

Q. What help is there for exporters?

Exporting can be profitable for U.S. companies, large and small. To learn more about getting started, visit the U.S. government's export portal. You'll be able to take the Export Readiness Assessment and learn how to prepare to enter new markets.

Q. My company can't win foreign contracts even though our bids are superior. What do I do?

The Advocacy Center helps to ensure that sales of U.S. products and services have the best possible chance competing abroad by leveling the playing field on behalf of U.S. business interests as they compete against foreign firms for specific international contracts or other U.S. export opportunities.

Q. What documents are needed to export? describes 12 of the most commonly used export documents. Specific requirements vary by destination and product. A descriptions of each document are available in the International Logistics portion of

Q. What are some export strategies and approaches I should consider?

There are three export approaches to consider: Direct exporting Exporting indirectly through intermediaries Indirect exporting Learn more about these approaches to exporting.

Q. Where can I find help with exporting food and agricultural products?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides numerous online resources for agricultural exporters, including import requirements for specific products and countries. For additional assistance with agricultural exports please contact the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service: (202) 690-3576.

Q. What do all of these Free Trade Agreements do for me?

Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) can help your company to enter and compete more easily in the global marketplace. Trade agreements help level the international playing field and encourage foreign governments to adopt open and transparent rulemaking procedures, as well as non-discriminatory laws and regulations. FTAs help strengthen business climates by eliminating or reducing tariff rates, improving intellectual property regulations, opening government procurement opportunities, easing investment rules, and much more.

Q. What documentation and forms do I need to export?

We provide a list of documents which are commonly used in exporting; However, specific documentation requirements vary by destination and product. Common Export Documentation For assistance with country-specific documentation requirements, please contact the Global Knowledge Center.

Q. What International Trade Scams should I be on the watch for?

U.S. companies must be aware of international business scams and illegitimate trade deals. The International Trade Scams portion of gives specific details about these illegitimate business deals, how to help companies identify if they are the target of a scam, and where to report possible scams.

Q. What is the role of the International Trade Commission in AD/CVD investigations?

The International Trade Commission determines whether the domestic industry is suffering material injury as a result of the imports of the dumped or subsidized products. The International Trade Commission considers all relevant economic factors, including the domestic industry's output, sales, market share, employment, and profits. For further information on the International Trade Commission's injury investigation, see Both the International Trade Commission and Import Administration must make affirmative preliminary determinations for an investigation to go forward.

Q. What management issues should be consider when making the decision to export?

To help determine management's commitment to exporting, take the Export Readiness Assessment.

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