How familiar are you, Mr. or Ms. Exporter, with the legal requirements for your product(s) to enter your destination market(s)? Or do you rely on your distributor/importer to handle it all?

Sure, it’s the importer who is legally responsible for complying with the rules and who will be liable if something goes wrong – but whose product is it anyway?

Here are five reasons exporters need to know the legal requirements for their products in their destination market(s):

  1. Maximize your potential returns. Knowing the HS Code for your product helps to understand the market. Assuming the demand exists, is the product subject to more or less duties if the product is frozen, dried, smoked? Will you make a higher return if you ship the parts then have them assembled locally?
  1. Maximize the market potential for your product. The product may be eligible for duty-free entry. Knowing this allows you to assess whether the goods are being priced competitively as well as to effectively market your product.
  1. Ensure product compliance. Knowing the rules allows you to ensure that the products are compliant before they are shipped. Goods that are stopped repeatedly at the border for non-compliance can be placed on a list of goods to be seized and refused entry on sight.
  1. Rules change. If a product arrives and is found to be non-compliant the Importer is unable to clear the goods and loses the opportunity to sell. You will also have lost the anticipated revenue and, depending on the arrangement with the importer, the cost of shipping the goods.
  1. Sometimes, you just have to. For example, the US Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires that food importers ensure that their suppliers of food products are complying with safety standards.

To learn more about the legal requirements in your destination market or for support:

United States: Export and Import or Contact Us.

European Union: Help Desk for Importers & Exporters 

Canada: Import & Export Information

Know Before You Go!