Trade FAQs

All your Questions answered in one place

Some of your Questions:

If you do not find an FAQ for what you are looking for, please contact us with the question and we will find you the answer.

Q. Export Credit Insurance

Export Credit Insurance Export credit insurance allows you to extend credit to qualified international buyers and reduce risk of non-payment, and increase access to working capital. Learn about the various policy options offered by the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im). Political risk insurance is available to U.S. investors, contractors, exporters and financial institutions involved in international transactions from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. Political risk insurance can cover currency inconvertibility, expropriation and political violence, and is available for investments in new ventures, expansions of existing enterprises, privatizations and acquisitions with positive developmental benefits.

Q. How can I collateralize my Letters of Credit backing prepayments from my buyer?

The Export-Import Bank's working capital financing provides companies with the liquidity to accept new business, grow international sales and compete more effectively in the international marketplace. The working capital loans are made by commercial lenders and backed by the agency's guarantee. Importantly, for letters of credit issued under the guaranteed loan, Ex-Im Bank only requires collateral for 25% of the value of the letter of credit. Furthermore, for eligible U.S. exports, the collateral coverage is at generous rates (inventory up to 75% advance rate including work-in-process and foreign accounts receivables up to 90%). We encourage you to first contact an authorized lender for details.

Q. How can I finance some of my costs related to exporting?

There are two types of financing programs that help exporters finance their costs related to exporting: Working Capital Programs and the International Trade Loan Program. These programs and other financing ideas are available in How can I finance some of my costs related to exporting? (PDF) and in the International Financing portion of the website.

Q. How can I find export financing?

Trade Specialists at 1-800-USA-TRAD(E) can help small businesses navigate sources of U.S. government export financing programs. The most significant financing assistance programs include the following: Finance Your Exports on The International Finance section of the U.S. Government's web portal provides a broad overview of U.S. Government export financing programs, including those that can provide working capital, export insurance, and federal grant resources. In addition, the International Trade Administration's Office of Finance offers a wealth of services for exporters, including assistance with financing overseas activities, locating sources of finance, and counseling on trade and project finance issues. For more information, call (202) 482-3277, or visit the following website: Small Business Administration (SBA) The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers loan guarantees through their Export Working Capital Program (EWCP) to help small U.S. businesses export. The program encourages lenders to offer export working capital loans by guaranteeing repayment of up to $1.5 million or 90 percent of a loan amount, whichever is less. Loans can support a single transaction or multiple sales on a revolving basis. Exporters may use this program for pre-export financing of labor and materials, financing receivables generated from these sales, and/or standby letters of credit used as bid bonds, performance bonds, or payment guarantees to foreign buyers. The SBA Office of International Trade website at provides additional information on export financing and other SBA programs such as International Trade Loans and ExportExpress. A list of commercial banks participating in SBA export finance programs is also available. To access this information from the Office of International Trade's main page, click on Export Finance. Contact an SBA office for further information on the EWCP and other SBA programs. To locate the SBA office nearest you, call 1-800-U-ASK-SBA (1-800-827-5722), search the SBA website at Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) offers several different programs that are designed to meet the diverse needs of exporters and their businesses. For information about these, visit the Ex-Im Bank website at and click on Products and Policies. The Ex-Im Bank offers a Working Capital Guarantee that can be used to 1) purchase raw material and finished products for export; 2) pay for materials, equipment, supplies, labor, and overhead to produce goods and/or provide services for export; 3) cover standby letters of credit serving as bid bonds, performance bonds, or payment guarantees; and 4) finance foreign receivables. There is no minimum or maximum transaction amount, and Ex-Im Bank will guarantee 90% of an eligible bank loan. The Ex-Im Bank also has an Export Credit Insurance Program to protect against both the political and commercial risks of a foreign buyer defaulting on payment. In addition, Ex-Im Loan Guarantees can be obtained on commercial loans to foreign buyers of U.S. goods or services to cover 100 percent of principal and interest against both political and commercial risks of nonpayment. In some cases, Ex-Im also offers direct loans to foreign buyers with competitive, fixed-rate financing for their purchases from the United States. For more information on Export-Import Bank programs, visit the Ex-Im Bank website at or call their export finance hotline at 1-800-565-3946. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) OPIC finances the investment portion of an overseas transaction for U.S. businesses interested in a long-term investment in developing markets including equity, debt (institutional, inter-company, and private), management agreements, and technical assistance. OPIC offers direct loans, guarantees, and can also provide political risk insurance to small businesses interested in safeguarding overseas investments in developing markets. More information about OPIC's services can be found by referring to OPIC's website at State Government Services Many state governments provide export financing through their international trade offices. Private Export Funding Company (PEFCO) The Private Export Funding Company (PEFCO) is a private corporation owned by commercial banks, industrial corporations, and financial services companies. It was established with the support of the U.S. Treasury Department and the Ex-Im Bank. PEFCO supplements existing Ex-Im, SBA, and private programs for export financing. Its programs cover short, medium, and long-term financing and include services such as acting as a buyer of working capital loans, loans financing export receivables, and notes with floating and fixed interest rates. For more information, visit the PEFCO website at or call (212) 916-0300. For further assistance, please contact the Trade Information Center: Tel: 1-800-USA-TRAD(E) (1-800-872-8723) Fax: (202) 482-4473 E-mail: [email protected] Internet:

Q. What is Export Express?

The SBA Export Express program provides exporters and lenders a streamlined method to obtain SBA backed financing for loans and lines of credit up to $250,000. Lenders use their own credit decision process and loan documentation; exporters get access to their funds faster. The SBA provides an expedited eligibility review and provides a response in less than 24 hours.

Q. Are agricultural products covered by U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement?

Some agricultural products were covered by this Agreement, and in 1996 the United States and Israel concluded a separate Agreement on Trade in Agricultural Products. Designed to enhance market access for a number of additional American agricultural products, this Agreement established three categories of product coverage: (1) products free of tariffs; (2) products free of tariffs within certain quotas; and (3) products with preferential tariff rates. Among the most important American agricultural exports that now enter Israel on a tariff-free, quota basis are: chilled and frozen beef, fresh and processed poultry, apples, grapes, pears, citrus, sunflower seeds, cheese and selected fresh and frozen vegetables. Under the agricultural accord, Israel also committed to the gradual reduction of these quotas.

Q. Are there any exemptions to certifying eligible goods to Korea?

Yes, Chapter 6, ARTICLE 6.16 of the U.S.-Korea FTA notes that a certification or information demonstrating that a good is originating shall not be required where: the customs value of the importation does not exceed 1,000 U.S. dollars.

Q. What good are prohibited from being exported to Jordan?

Goods that are prohibited from import include plastic waste, the narcotic plant "qat," and diesel-fueled passenger vehicles. Exporters should always note that U.S. export licenses, though not required for many shipments, are required in certain situations involving national security, foreign policy, short-supply, nuclear non-proliferation, missile technology, chemical and biological weapons, regional stability, crime control, or terrorist concerns.

Q. Are there any non-tariff controls in Bahrain that affect the importation of products from the United States?

There are very few non-tariff controls on U.S. goods entering Bahrain. The following are a few examples of such controls. Bahrain enforces shelf-life standards for a variety of food products. Pharmaceutical products must be imported directly from a manufacturer that has a research department and that is licensed in at least two other countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), one of which must be Saudi Arabia. Additional Resources Commercial Section of the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement

Q. Are there any non-tariff controls in Jordan that affect the importation of products from the United States?

Yes, U.S. companies exporting to Jordan should be aware of non-tariff controls that require the importer to have an importer's card and import license. The importer must obtain these. Only the municipal authority in Jordan issues importer's cards, and importers must be registered with the Jordanian Ministry of Industry and Trade and the local Jordanian Chamber of Commerce. Import licenses, valid for one year, are required for: (1) non-commercial shipments exceeding JD 2,000 (approx. $2,820); (2) biscuits of all types; (3) mineral water; (4) dried milk for industry use; (5) used tires; and (6) items that require prior clearance from the respective authorities. Items that do not need an import license may require prior authorization by the appropriate government ministry. Additional Resources U.S. Commercial Service: Jordan Doing Business in Jordan U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement

Q. When exporting to Korea, can I make a claim for preferential treatment after my shipment took place?

If a claim for preferential treatment is not made at the time of importation, the importer has up to one year to apply for a refund of any excess duties paid.

Q. Does a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Certificate of Origin help declare that products qualify for preferential duty treatment under the CAFTA-DR?

No. The CAFTA-DR differs from NAFTA. Under the CAFTA-DR, there is no standard certificate of origin document to be completed and the rules of origin are different. Each free trade agreement to which the United States is a party has its own unique requirements.

Q. Does a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Certificate of Origin declare that products qualify for preferential duty treatment under a U.S. Free Trade Agreement?

No. U.S. Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) differs from NAFTA. There is no standard FTA Certificate of Origin document for an exporter to complete and some of the rules of origin are different. For more information visit the Documenting Origin section.

Q. If I experience problems exporting to a country that the U.S. government has a Free Trade Agreement, can the government help?

Yes. Should your company experience difficulties exporting to a country that the U.S. has a Free Trade Agreement, contact the Trade Compliance Center (TCC) at the U.S. Department of Commerce. The TCC can help you understand your rights, and can initiate an official U.S. government inquiry that could help resolve an exporting issue.

Q. Does Morocco have any import restrictions?

Import restrictions apply only to firearms, explosives, used clothing and used tires. Find more information on the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement.

Q. Does a U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) require additional paperwork?

No. These Agreements do not require any additional paperwork for shipments unless the parties to a transaction desire to take advantage of the benefits available under the Agreement. In those instances, the exporter/producer will need to generate supporting documentation that should include certification stating that the product meets the relevant origin criterion of the Agreement.

Q. Does the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement (FTA) cover exports to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip?

The U.S.-Israel FTA does not cover exports to the West Bank or the Gaza Strip. However, the Palestinian Authority agreed to provide reciprocal duty-free treatment for American products entering the West Bank and Gaza.

Q. Does this FTA require additional paperwork for all of my shipments to Central America and the Dominican Republic?

No. This Agreement does not require any additional paperwork for shipments to Central America or the Dominican Republic unless the parties to a transaction desire to take advantage of the benefits available under the Agreement. In those instances, the exporter/producer will need to generate supporting documentation that should include certification stating that the product meets the relevant origin criterion of the Agreement.

Q. How long is an exporter, importer or producer required to keep the declaration of origin/certificate of origin under the Central America and Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR)?

Customs officials can require importers to maintain documents relating to purchases and costs for a minimum of five years after the date of importation, should investigation and verification of claims be required. Customs officials can also seek information from exporters in verifying claims. The Agreement states that the exporter or producer that provides a certification in accordance with Article 4.16 shall maintain, for a minimum of five years from the date the certification was issued, all records and documents necessary to demonstrate that a good was originating.

Q. How are products that are made from multiple parts or inputs qualified under NAFTA?

U.S. manufactured products are often composed of many inputs or components. For such products, it may be necessary to obtain an advance customs ruling from the customs authority in the importing country. Advance rulings are issued on a wide range of NAFTA-related issues, including whether an imported good qualifies as an originating good; whether a specific regional value-content requirement or tariff classification change requirement is met; and whether the proposed marking of a good satisfies country of origin marking requirements. For Mexican or Canadian customs contact information, contact a local Export Assistant Center or the Global Knowledge Center.

Displaying results 61-80 (of 353)
 |<  <  1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10  >  >|