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FAQ: Export Basics

Export Basics helps you assess your export readiness, understand what you need to know and consider before pursuing an international sales strategy, and, when you are ready, develop and implement your export strategy.

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) have been separated into the following categories:

See the questions below for more generalized information.

What should I consider when making the decision to begin exporting and how do I begin?

What is a freight forwarder, what do they provide and how can I find one?

How can I find the most current information that has been added to this website?

What should I consider when making the decision to begin exporting and how do I begin?

There are many ways to become involved in exporting, from filling orders for domestic buyers (such as export trading companies that then export the product) to exporting products yourself. However you choose to export, the development of a detailed and thorough strategy is an important part of the planning process. Steps in developing a strategy include:

  • Evaluating your product’s export potential;
  • Determining if you are really willing to make a commitment to international markets and evaluating whether your company is “export-ready”;
  • Identifying key foreign markets for your products through market research;
  • Evaluating distribution and promotional options and establishing an overseas distribution system;
  • Determining export prices, payment terms, methods, and techniques;
  • Familiarizing yourself with shipping methods, export documentation procedures, export financing, and other requirements for exporting.

The Trade Information Center (TIC) trade specialists can help your company analyze its export potential. The Export Basics section of the website is also available to help you better understand the export process and evaluate your company’s export-readiness.

What is a freight forwarder, what services do they provide and how can I find one?

A freight forwarder is a person who is hired to move shipments between foreign and domestic locations, or a portion of the way. Freight forwarders handle many of the formalities involved in exporting and importing such shipments. Additional information about finding a freight forwarder.

How can I find the most current information that has been added to this website?

Export.gov offers a subscription service, through govDelivery, that sends out an e-mail when there have been changes on the website. Subscribing is easy and there are links to sign up on the major web pages within the website, such as theExport.gov home page. The sign up process includes entering an e-mail address and selecting which sections you wish to subscribe to. When changes have been made to those areas, an e-mail will be sent, including a link to the changes page and some links to other areas on the website that may be useful. If you have any questions regarding the subscription process, please complete the website feedback form and we will contact you.


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  Notice to Visitors!


  The link you have chosen will take you to a non-U.S. Government website.

  If the page does not appear in 5 seconds, please click this: outside web site

  BuyUSA.gov is managed by the International Trade Administration and external links are covered by its website disclaimer statement.