7 Essential Things To Know Before Your Start Your Export Business

In order to properly export goods to other countries, you’ll need two things in addition to your product. The first and most important consideration is organization. Your firm, particularly those in charge of operations, should be highly well-organized. All relevant details must be correct and easily accessed when exporting goods. All client information, including payments, shipping, and orders, may be organized into a single central database.

Second, you’ll require a top-notch logistics crew. Logistics professionals have established export handbook
contacts with freight forwarders in order to provide your organization with the best services at the best price. They’ve also been taught how to properly package and dispatch your merchandise to the correct location on time. The success of your items getting at the destination by the agreed delivery date is dependent on properly packaged shipments.

If you don’t have an in-house logistics team, you could wish to hire one or ask your contract manufacturer for help. A CM may or may not provide logistics services; find out when you interview your EMS provider. Having a strong logistics staff, whether in-house or outsourced, is critical to your company’s international success.

Before you start exporting products, there are six things you should know.

Documentation and Packaging

When sending goods, the packaging and documentation are the most critical aspects to consider. Customs will inspect your package before it enters the desired country if you are exporting to another country. All imported goods are inspected by Customs to ensure that only approved items enter the country.

Make sure your shipment is properly wrapped and labeled to minimize any delays during the inspection. If your shipment fails to cross Customs, it will be late for delivery, costing you time and money.

An export invoice, dangerous goods notation, relevant licenses, and an EEI filing are the basic documentation requirements for most international exports. Importing products requires a different set of fees and documentation in each country. It is critical to becoming familiar with the individual rules and requirements of each country into which you are shipping. For more information on importing and exporting commodities, the United States Customs and Border Protection website is a helpful resource.

Many documents are required for a package to cross international borders. Fortunately, many modern shipping platforms are designed to guarantee that all relevant documentation is included, ensuring the accuracy of your export package.


The International Chamber of Commerce invented Incoterms, or International Commercial Terms, in 1936 to assist make international and domestic trading easier. There are eleven separate incoterms, each stating who is liable for certain paperwork, taxes, fees, and hazards associated with any commercial shipment (seller or buyer). Some are only applicable to ocean or air travel, while others can be applied to any mode of transportation. It’s critical to communicate the incoterm you’re employing to both your customer and freight forwarder so that the right party is held accountable.

Codes for HS/HTS

The World Customs Organization created HS/HTS codes to classify traded products. An HS or HTS code must be assigned to every box that is delivered across international boundaries for sale or trade-in order for Customs to know what is inside. Because these codes are quite particular, make sure you choose the right one. All of the codes are conveniently listed on the US International Trade Commission website.

Fees and Tariffs

International exports are subject to a variety of customs and fees. These could be related to the HS/HTS code or the country to which you’re shipping. These additional tariffs and fees are typically applied to your shipping account once the packaged items have cleared Customs in the receiving country. These costs are billed in the country’s local currency, so plan ahead to account for the exchange rate.

Forwarders of Freight

Freight forwarders are a valuable but optional component of the transportation process. Air, maritime, and ground cargo are all handled by freight forwarders. They can help you with all of your export-related costs, such as freight, port fees, and other levies. They can even prepare the necessary paperwork on your behalf. If you choose a freight forwarding company, make sure they’re licensed by the International Air Transport Association and the Federal Maritime Commission to verify you’re working with a respectable firm.

The Financial Health of Your Company

Spend some time with your financial team before shipping overseas to go over all of the costs involved. You want to avoid any severe cash flow issues that may arise between when an order is placed and when you are paid for it. Customers are frequently given payment terms that allow them to pay in lesser amounts over time rather than everything at once. To account for this variation, make sure you have enough money to see order through to delivery.