The principal difference between selling product domestically and selling it abroad is the amount of paperwork
involved. You must conform to the laws of two countries, not just one. It may appear daunting to learn about all
the rules and requirements and to keep up with all the documentation at first, but it is actually a fairly
straightforward process. The first step is to identify the requirements imposed by the U.S. on exports (both
general and particular to your product), the next step is to identify the import requirements imposed by your
target country, and the final step is to obtain the appropriate certificates.
The average international shipment involves 46 separate documents. The specific documents
required for any given shipment depend on U.S. government regulation, destination country’s
import regulations, importer’s requirements, terms of sale, methods of payment and mode of transportation.
In order for Terra Global Logistics’ Transportation Specialist to properly
handle shipments, produce the necessary documentation and allow us to specifically understand a company’s shipping needs and requirements, we request
that the customer submit the
U.S. Export Requirements:
The U.S. Government requires export documentation for a number of different reasons
including national security, control of products in short supply, compiling export statistics,
administration of export laws, protection of endangered species, and to protest U.S. export markets
by ensuring product quality of specific exports. The main document required by the U.S. government is
the Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED), which Terra Global Logistics files electronically. In order to produce
and electronically file the S.E.D., we must have a signed
from the shipper/exporter of record.
The Incoterms rules or International Commercial Terms are a series of pre-defined commercial terms published by the
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). They are widely used in International commercial transactions or procurement processes. A
series of three-letter trade terms related to common contractual sales practices, the Incoterms rules are intended primarily to
clearly communicate the tasks, costs, and risks associated with the transportation and delivery of goods. The Incoterms rules
are accepted by governments, legal authorities, and practitioners worldwide for the interpretation of most commonly used terms in
international trade. They are intended to reduce or remove altogether uncertainties arising from different interpretation of the
rules in different countries. As such they are regularly incorporated into sales contracts worldwide.
U.S. Government Links (shown in new browser window):
- - Export control policies, licenses, classifications and procedures.
- - This link includes an export certification checklist, requirements for meat, poultry and processed egg products, export related policies, and eligible U.S. establishments.
Export control policies, licenses, classifications and procedures.
This link includes an export certification checklist, requirements for meat, poultry and processed egg products, export related policies, and eligible U.S. establishments.
U.S. Federal Agencies URL:
- United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP): "cbp.gov"
- United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA): "fda.gov"
- United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): "epa.gov"
- United States Department of Transportation (DOT): "dot.gov"
- United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): "usda.gov"
- United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS): "fws.gov"
- United States Consumer Product Safety Com. (CPSC): "cpsc.gov"
- Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives: "atf.gov"
- Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB): "ttb.gov"
- U.S. Court of International Trade: "cit.uscourts.gov/"
- U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC): "usitc.gov"
- U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA): "ustda.gov"
- Export-Import Bank of the United States: "eximonline.exim.gov"
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA): "fda.gov"
- Bureau of Industry and Security: "bis.doc.gov/"
- Federal Trade Commission: "ftc.gov/"
- Harmonized Tariff Schedule search for Japan:
- Harmonized Tariff Schedule search for the U.S: "htsbeta.usitc.gov/"
- Office of Foreign Asset Control Sanction List: "sdnsearch.ofac.treas.gov/"
- United States Department of Commerce: "commerce.gov/"
- United States Department of Homeland Security: "dhs.gov/"
- U.S. Trade Representative: "ustr.gov/"
- Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service:
- Customs and Border Protect. (CBP):
- Food and Drug Admin. (FDA):
- Environ. Protection Agency (EPA):
- Department of Transportation (DOT):
- Department of Agriculture (USDA):
- Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS):
- Consumer Pro. Safety Com. (CPSC):
- Bureau of Al. Tobac. Firearms & Ex:
- Alcohol & Tobac. Tax & Trade (TTB):
- Court of International Trade:
- International Trade Com. (USITC):
- Trade and Development (USTDA):
- Export-Import Bank of the U.S:
- Food and Drug Admin. (FDA):
- Bureau of Industry and Security:
- Federal Trade Commission:
- Harmon. Tar. Sched. search - Japan:
- Harmon. Tarriff Sched. search - U.S:
- Foreign Asset Control Sanction List:
- U.S. Department of Commerce:
- U.S. Depart. of Homeland Security:
- U.S. Trade Representative:
- Animal & Plant Health Inspec. Ser:
Importing Country Requirements:
Each country has different requirements regarding the documentation that accompanies any given
import shipment. Importing countries require these documents for the administration of their import laws,
assessment of taxes, and protection from hazardous substances and diseases. Some of the more frequently required documents
are the following:
- Commercial Invoice
- Bill of Lading or Airway Bill
- Phytosanitary Certificate (for plants or plant products)
- Veterinary Health Certificate (for animals or animal products)
- Packing List
- Certificate of Origin.
Different countries have different documentation requirements and regulations vary. Contact a TGL Transportation Consultant, for Customs clearance and required documentation.
For some of the export or import documentation requirements, see our
contact Terra Global Logistics’ Transportation Specialist, for complete details and information.
For export shipments of vehicles from the U.S., the original title, bill of sale and signed
identifying the year, make, model, color and V.I.N.
For all consignments handled by Terra Global Logistics, we require by the customer a signed
For commercial accounts seeking credit terms, we additionally required a fully completed and signed
. Credit granting is not a
requirement of Terra Global Logistics, its subsidiaries, officers or employees.
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