Below we share information on developing an export plan, resources and permit requirements.
Learn the basics of exporting or download/print the Basic Guide to Exporting from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Recent Regulations and Resources
Your First Step - Develop an Export Plan
Your first step should be to develop an export plan. The plan should be clear about what you intend to sell, offer a culturally-aware assessment of the products’ initial markets, describe any regulatory requirements, and provide information about the plan’s financing.
Resources to Help You Develop Your Exporting Plan
- The New Jersey Small Business Development Centers (NJSBDC) network provides comprehensive assistance to small and medium businesses (SMBs) to maximize opportunities for growth.
- The International Trade Administration’s Country Commercial Guides are a very useful starting point to identify which markets might be good fits for your goods and services.
- Export.gov has information on researching foreign markets, finding buyers and partners, obtaining finance, and more.
- The U.S Department of Commerce’s Basic Guide to Exporting shares information on:
- How to identify markets for your company’s products
- How to create an export plan
- How to finance your export transactions
- The best methods of handling orders and shipments
- Sources of free or low-cost export counseling
Exporting Requirements: Certificates of Free Sale
Certificates of Free Sale are required by many countries and/or individual buyers that may import your goods. A Certificate of Free Sale certifies that a company is in substantial compliance with the state and federal standards and are equivalent to products marketed domestically in the United States.
Exporting Requirements: Industry Specific
Industry: Food, Drug, Medical Devices, and Hygiene
If your business will export domestically produced food, drugs, cosmetics, or medical devices, you may be required to comply with state and federal laws. The New Jersey Department of Health’s Export Documents Project can help you ensure compliance.
Industry: Drug or Medical Device Manufacturing / Wholesale Drug or Medical Device Business (including Controlled Substances)
- Wholesale Distributors and Manufacturers are required to register with the New Jersey Department of Health. See the Wholesale Drug Rules for a full list of definitions, qualifications, and requirements. Apply for the Food and Drug Safety Program Wholesaler Drug Application.
- Exporters of controlled substances will need to get a permit from the U.S. Department of Justice.
This is not an exhaustive list of required licenses or permits. For further support, use the chat feature on this website, or contact the U.S. Department of Commerce at the following number: 800-872-8723.
Attending Trade Shows to Find Buyers
Trade shows provide excellent opportunities to exhibit your products to international buyers.
The New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Export Development program can assist New Jersey businesses with participating in international trade shows, generating leads on trade opportunities, and international product promotion.
Financing and Funding
If you’re looking for financing surrounding exports, you’ll encounter these types of services: assistance in remittance and collection, currency exchange, commercial letters of credit, financing exports, establishing payment terms, collecting export receivables and providing necessary financial documentation.
The New Jersey Business Action Center’s NJ STEP provides financial awards on a first come, first served competitive basis to domestic New Jersey small businesses to support with exporting.
As you begin to explore the logistics of exporting, you may find yourself looking into freight forwarders. Local business telephone listings often feature a freight forwarder or transportation heading. The National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America provides exporters with information on their members.
Pay No Duties With Foreign Trade Zones
Companies operating in a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) pay no duties on merchandise imported for manufacturing or assembling, when the final product is exported outside of the United States. Duties are only paid when these products leave the zone for the domestic market. In addition, there are no duties paid on merchandise shipped from one FTZ to another. There are significant administrative costs for businesses that are located in a FTZ and that establishing operations in a FTZ may not be beneficial to companies that are not active exporters.
There are limitations on what operations can occur in a FTZ. Merchandise entering a Foreign Trade Zone may be:
Retail trade is prohibited in FTZs. Production activities performed on foreign goods must be specifically authorized by the FTZ Board.
The International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce recognizes five FTZ's in New Jersey, they are:
Location: Mt. Olive, New Jersey
Street Address: 33 West State Street - 4th Fl., Trenton, NJ, 08625
Street Address: 4 World Trade Center -17th Floor, 150 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10007
Street Address: P.O. Box 129, 101 Joseph A. Balzano Boulevard, Camden, NJ 08103
Location: New Jersey
Street Address: McDade Administration Building-CAB-423, 640 South Broad Street, Trenton, NJ 08650
Street Address: 231 Third Street, Lakewood, NJ 08701
- New Jersey Business Action Center’s Office of Export Promotion works with small and mid-sized New Jersey companies interested in expanding their products and services through exporting. It is recommended to bring an early version of your export marketing plan for review.
- U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA). Promotes trade and creates opportunities for U.S. firms; has two Export Assistance Centers in New Jersey. This entity works with established, export ready companies. These centers are the Northern NJ Commercial Service in Newark and Central-Southern NJ Commercial Service in Lawrenceville. Also has country-specific export counseling and customs procedures and information on export licensing. Inquiries can go to 1-800-872-8723.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a federal agency that provides counseling, capital, and contracting expertise to American small businesses. Their programs include exporting and trade assistance.
- District Export Councils (DECs) are organizations made up of business leaders from local communities, appointed by various U.S. Secretaries of Commerce, and they offer trade counseling, market intelligence, business matchmaking, and commercial diplomacy. They can often help businesses that are just beginning to implement their ideas – they may have information on freight forwarding, for example. New Jersey companies are serviced by the New Jersey District Export Council. The Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (Ex-Im Bank) offers a diverse set of business programs and online tools that can streamline the exporting process and expedite sales.