Exporting Pet Products: Resources
The maze of regulations and requirements relating to exporting your products can be daunting. There are numerous steps involved, depending on the product and where it will be going. A quality freight forwarder should be able to direct you toward the necessary requirements for each country and product. APPA has a cooperative agreement with Blue Tiger International and they have worked closely in advising APPA members as to the requirements for shipping goods overseas. Contact Tom Cook at tomcook@
The following page is not intended to tell you “how-to” export your product, but will provide links to various resources where you can learn more about exporting and the various considerations involved. The U S government provides numerous programs to assist U S companies with their export programs. By examining some of the links provided below, you can become more familiar with what is required to export your product.
The US Department of Commerce
The U S Commercial Serviceor Export.gov is the global business solutions unit of the Department of Commerce and assists businesses that want to export. The Web site states that “Export.gov provides online trade resources and one-on-one assistance for your international business – whether you’re just starting or expanding your global sales.” They assist businesses by:
- Providing market research.
- Providing trade events to promote products to qualified buyers.
- Introductions to qualified buyers and distributers.
- Counseling businesses through the steps of exporting. Numerous resources can be found on the export.gov web site to give exporters a basic understanding of some of the export issues, such as:
- The Trade Information Center administered by the International Trade Administration of the U S Department of Commerce provides a lot of useful information on export requirements. Some examples of the type of information offered, is as follows:
- Answers to export questions:
- Whether you need a Certificate of Origin.
- How to classify a product for export using the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, also called the Harmonized System (HS), to describe products for customs purposes.
- How to obtain an FDA Export certificate for FDA regulated products.
- Information as to whether you need an export license.
- Country and regional trade information.
- Information on NAFTA
- Tariff and import fee information.
- Export resources.
For additional information on export licensing or about exporting in general call the Trade Information Center at 1-800-USA-TRADE.BuyUSA.com is a web site, available to those registered with the U S Commercial Service, which acts as a matchmaker between those looking to purchase U S goods and those selling those good. The Commercial Service has a network of export and industry specialists located in more than 100 U.S. cities and over 80 countries worldwide.
The Government Printing Office's Export Administration Regulation Web site contains an up-to-date database of the entire Export Administration Regulations (EAR), including the Commerce Control List, the Commerce Country Chart, and a link to the Denied Persons List. These items include goods and related technology,including technical data and technical assistance, which are designed for commercial purposes, but which could have military applications, such as computers, aircraft, and pathogens.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS): FAS “works to improve foreign market access for U S products, build new markets, improve the competitive position of U S agriculture in the global marketplace, and provide food aid and technical assistance to foreign countries. FAS has the primary responsibility for USDA’s international activities” such as “market development, trade agreements and negotiations, and the collection and analysis of statistics and market information. It also administers USDA’s export credit guarantee and food aid programs, and helps increase income and food availability in developing nations by mobilizing expertise for agriculturally led economic growth" FAS maintains a web page on basic considerations for exporting that could be a helpful place to begin.
- FAS has a Web Page devoted to exporting pet food and ingredients used for pets foods to the European Union with detailed requirements. All pet food imported from the U S into the European Union has to meet requirements relating mainly to health and labeling aspects. These requirements are generally harmonized throughout the 25 EU member states but they are scattered over different pieces of EU legislation. The Veterinary Services Divison of Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the USDA provides the required Health Certificates online.
- The online GAIN database has reports on the markets for agricultural commodities. The online GAIN database includes more than 25,000 reports submitted by FAS attachés located in FAS offices overseas. The GAIN database can provide U S exporters the market information needed to make intelligent export decisions. They often contain original research on specific countries and may contain information on both buyers and competitors.
- Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS): AMS describes their services as offering “an array of valuable services that give buyers and sellers of agricultural products a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.” These include:
- Voluntary quality and product description standards, including official USDA standards for agricultural commodities.
- Fee-based, voluntary product certification and production/processing verification serviceswhich provide independent, third-party assurance that contractual agreements, foreign government requirements, and other requirements are met.
- Market and Shipping Information, including market news for specific commodities and countries, ocean freight rate bulletin, and country transportation reports.
The US International Trade Commission (USITC)
The USITC is an independent federal agency that compiles the International Tariff Codes and investigates violations of trade laws.
- The Harmonized Tariff Schedule comprises a hierarchical structure for describing all goods in trade for duty, quota, and statistical purposes. Harmonized Tariff Codes for Animal Feeds are in parts of Chapter 12 and Chapter 23 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule. Preparations used for animal feeding, including dog and cat food, bird food and other pet food are under section heading 2309.
- Industry and Market Analysis:The USITC conducts industry and economic analysis on various industry sectors. The Commission's analysis is used to contribute to the development of sound and informed U.S. international trade policy and to the public debate on issues relating to U.S. international trade and competitiveness.Trade Remedies: USITC determines whether imports injure or threaten to injure U S industries under a number of trade laws.
- Trade Remedy investigations at the ITC include:
- The Automated Export System (AES) is the electronic way to file the Shipper's Export Declaration (SED) and ocean manifest information directly to U.S. Customs.
- Export Documents, Licenses and Requirements: The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is responsible for ensuring that all goods entering and exiting the United States do so in accordance with all applicable U.S. laws and regulations.