Export Basics

 

New to Exporting?

Exporting can be a very overwhelming process but we’re here to help. The U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce is a federal government agency dedicated to helping small-to-medium sized companies develop and achieve their exporting strategies.  Click here to learn more about us and what we can do to help.

 

What is a Free Trade Agreement (FTA)?

An FTA is an agreement between two or more countries where the countries agree on certain obligations that affect trade in goods and services, and protections for investors and intellectual property rights, among other topics. For the United States, the main goal of trade agreements is to reduce barriers to U.S. exports, protect U.S. interests competing abroad, and enhance the rule of law in the FTA partner country or countries. The reduction of trade barriers and the creation of a more stable and transparent trading and investment environment make it easier and cheaper for U.S. companies to export their products and services to trading partner markets.  Click here to learn more.

 

What is the Harmonized System (HS)?

The international Harmonized System (HS) is administrated by the World Customs Organization and serves as the foundation for the import and export classification systems used in the United States. The United States (U.S.) import classification system, the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) administered by the U.S. International Trade Administration Commission (USITC), and the U.S. export classification system, the Schedule B administered by the U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Division, both rely on the international HS codes for their 4- and 6-digit headings and subheadings.  Click here for more details.

 

What is a Schedule B number?

A Schedule B number is a 10-digit number used in the United States to classify physical goods for export to another country. The Schedule B is based on the international Harmonized System (HS) of 6-digit commodity classification codes. There is a Schedule B number for every physical product, from paperclips to airplanes.  Click here to find your Schedule B.

 

About the Exporter’s Resource Database (ERD)

The ERD is a one stop shop for overview and detailed information on exporting.  Chances are if you have a question about exporting then you can find your answer here.