What is an Export?

Any item that is sent from the United States to a foreign destination is an export. How an item is transported outside the United States does not matter in determining export license requirements.

To determine if an item requires an export license, first, you must identify which U.S. government agency exercises regulatory jurisdiction over the item, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) - Directorate of Defense Trade Control (DDTC) or the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) – Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS).

When making that determination consider the following:

  1. What are you exporting?

  2. Where are you exporting?

  3. Who will receive your item?

  4. What will your item be used for?

Answering the above questions will help determine whether an item is regulated by:

1) The U.S. Department of State (DOS) - Directorate of Defense Trade Control (DDTC)

International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) 22 C.F.R. Chapter1, Subchapter M, Parts 120 – 130.

  1. Review the U.S. Munitions List (USML) and any applicable parts to determine whether an item or activity is subject to the ITAR. Typically military items or defense services are found here. Unless an Exemption or Exception applies, most ITAR items or defense services require an approved Export License or Agreement.

For more detailed information: http://www.pmddtc.state.gov/index.html

2) The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) – Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)

            Export Administration Regulations (EAR) 15 CFR 734.2.

  1. Review the Commerce Control List (CCL) and any applicable parts of the EAR to determine whether an item or activity is subject to the EAR. Typically dual-use and commercial items are found here. Just because an item or activity is subject to the EAR does not mean that a license or other requirement automatically applies. A license or other requirement applies only in those cases where other parts of the EAR impose a license or other requirement on such items or activities.

For more detailed information: www.bis.doc.gov

Many small businesses may ask why they should export. The benefits of exporting can be substantial from increasing sales and revenues, to diversifying your markets so you are no longer dependent on any one market, overall increasing your competitiveness in the world market. The benefits of exporting can far outweigh the costs, but being successful requires a commitment of resources, both people and financial, solid market research and clear headed thinking. 

Pamela McIntyre (TN DEC Member)

 

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