Anyone who is a "person" within the meaning of that term in Title III is eligible to apply for an Export Trade Certificate of Review. Although the term "person" does not include foreign entities, U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies would be eligible if incorporated in the U.S. Under this definition almost any individual or legal entity that is a resident or citizen of the United States can apply for a certificate of review.
A good place to start when applying for an Export Trade Certificate of Review is the Guidelines for the Issuance of Export Trade Certificates of Review. The guidelines contain information regarding eligibility, the application process, and examples of certifiable activities.
A source for examples of the types of activities that have received certification are ETCA's Federal Register Notices. When a Certificate is issued, a notice of issuance is published in the Federal Register. The Federal Register notices contain summaries of the operational aspects of a certificate: Export Trade, and Export Trade Activities and Methods of Operation.
A printable application form in PDF format is available on this site. An application form can also be obtained by contacting ETCA. A sample application based on the hypothetical export collaboration of pasta makers is also available. ETCA staff members are available to answer any questions and to guide applicants through the application process. There is no charge for any of these services.
II. Item by Item Instructions for Completing the Application.
This item is self-explanatory: the name and address of the "person" applying for the certificate of review is entered here. The U.S. entity whose name is entered here will be the certificate holder. If the applicant has any controlling entity (for example, the applicant is a subsidiary of another company), that information would be provided here. If the applicant has no controlling entity then none should be entered.
The response to this portion of Item 1 identifies the individual who will serve as the contact person for the applicant during the entire application process. It is to the contact person that ETCA will address all correspondence, and who ETCA will contact regarding any questions that may arise about the application, or with any requests for additional information. Typically, the contact is an employee of the applicant or the applicant's legal counsel.
The members of a Certificate are all the firms or entities that will be covered by and receive the protection of the Certificate other than the applicant itself. (For example, if the applicant is a trade association, the members of the Certificate would be those members of the trade association who elected to receive the protection afforded by a Certificate.) If any member has a controlling entity, the name of the controlling entity and its address should be provided as well.
In response to this item, a copy of any legal instrument under which the applicant is organized should be submitted. Typically, the legal instrument will be articles of incorporation, partnership agreements, etc.
In response to this item the applicant's most recent corporate annual report should be provided. If the applicant is not incorporated, or if the applicant does not normally issue an annual report any document containing inform should or other similar document , should be provided. If no such document is available, that fact should be noted in response to this item.
Typically most, if not all, of the information requested in this question is contained in the applicant's annual report. In response to this question please provide a summary of the requested information as well as a copy of the annual report itself. If an annual report is not produced, or if any of the information required for this item is not present in the annual report, it should be provided separately.
The response to this item will differ depending upon the particular applicant and application. Some possibilities are:
1) Applicant is a company formed in connection with the application for a Certificate of Review: In this circumstance the response would be some variation of, "The Applicant is a newly formed company which has yet to conduct any operations, domestic or export. Applicant's purpose is to promote the export of its members widgets."
2) Applicant is a preexisting entity such a trade association. In this circumstance the response would be some variation of, "The applicant is a trade association of U.S. widget manufacturers. Applicant engages in activities designed to meet the needs of its members and to promote widget sales and public awareness of widgets."
3) Applicant is one of a group of firms that has assumed the "role" of applicant for the purpose of the application and fulfilling reporting requirements, or the applicant is the firm to be covered by the Certificate. In either of these circumstance the response would be some variation of, "The applicant is primarily engaged in the production and sale of widgets. The applicant operates three widget factories located in the south western United States. Widget sales and production are described on pages 6-9 of the Applicant's (attached)Annual Report. The applicant serves the home widget market and various industrial markets in both the U.S. and abroad. The applicant also operates several logistical support entities which offer services to third parties. The locations of the applicant's operations are described on pages 10-11 of the Applicant's Annual Report. The applicant has customers in Southwestern and Midwestern United States and in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden."
Item 5 asks for the same information as Item 4, but with respect to each and every member that is to be covered by the Certificate in addition to the applicant. The responses for each member should be along the lines of,
"Member X is primarily engaged in the production and sale of widgets. These activities are supported by sales, procurement, and administrative offices located in the United States, Europe, and the Pacific Rim. applicant operates three widget factories located in the south western United States. In addition to the above listed locations Member X sells widgets in Brazil, Morocco, and Easter Island."
Note that the information being requested in this Item is with regard to the applicant's officials only. Information about officials of the individual members needs to provided only for any individual who is affiliated with both the applicant and a member. For example if Ms. X who is president of Member X was also on the board of directors for the Applicant, her relationship with Member X should be mentioned in the response to this item. A second example where information about a member's official needs to be included in the application would be if Mr. X, who is one of Member X's board members was also on the board of directors of Company Y, (which is not a member of the proposed Certificate), and Company Y is a widget producer. (Such a situation might arise if Member X were a subsidiary of Company Y.) Finally, if Mr. Z is on the board of directors of the Applicant, and also affiliated with of Company Z, (which produces widgets that relationship), Mr. Z's relationship with Company Z Should be mentioned.
The responses to item 7(A) will vary from application to application. For an applicant that is a trade intermediary whose products to be exported vary from transaction to transaction the response should be "all products." Since a Certificate covers only those products that are listed in the Certificate the response "all products" saves the intermediary from either having to amend their Certificate to add additional products or having export transactions that were not covered by the Certificate. Conversely, if the applicant does not itself actually sell any products, (e.g. if the applicant is a trade association) then the response should be along the lines of, "Applicant neither engages nor does it intend to engage in export operations."
When the applicant is a manufacturer, or an intermediary that specializes, the response to this question will consist of descriptions of the products the applicant wishes to export. For example, " Applicant wishes to export rotary 6 & 9 inch widgets for industrial and home applications." Typically the applicant would include an overview of the U.S. widget market, what widgets are used for and who consumes 6 & 9 inch widgets.
Responding to Item 7(B) is optional. a Although the item asks for 7-digit code, we realize that it can be difficult to find the information at that level of refinement. Consequently, 4-digit codes have been used in some applications. The relevant NAICS code may be used in place of the now obsolete SIC code.
The recommended response to Item 7(C) is "World-wide". The Certificate covers transactions only when they involve countries mentioned in the Certificate. For a firms to have coverage for transactions involving a new market not listed in the Certificate would necessitate amending the Certificate. Conversely, the response world-wide results in coverage already being in place whenever a firm expands into a new geographic export market. If an applicant wishes to restrict the Certificate to those areas in which it currently operates or intends to operate, that is an acceptable response.
A response to Item 8(A) takes one of two forms depending upon where the applicant's and member's products are sold:
1) If the applicant and/or a member sell domestically only in regional markets or certain states, the response should mention those areas: "Northwestern U.S." or "Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia."
2) If the applicant and/or a member sell everywhere in the United States, the response should be "nation-wide" or "throughout the U.S."
Sales figures provided in response to Item 8(B) should be broken by product. For example, "Applicant had total domestic sales of $12,000,000 of which $7,000,000 was industrial 6 inch widgets, $3,000,000 was industrial 9 inch widgets, and $2,000,000 were home-consumer 6 inch widgets. Applicant had $500,000 in export sales all of which consisted of sales of 9 inch industrial widgets." "Member X had total domestic sales of $5,000,0000, of which $4,000,000 was comprised of sales of 6 inch industrial widgets, and $1,000,000 was comprised of sales of home-consumer 6 inch widgets. Member X had no export sales in the past two fiscal years."
This information can usually be obtained from an industry trade association or the relevant state or federal agency that deals with the industry: e.g. the Departments of Commerce, Agriculture, Energy etc. Response to this item may be waived if it would be burdensome for the applicant to obtain the necessary information.
Response to this item represents the heart of the application. It is here the applicant specifies exactly what activities they want certified. Responses to Item 10 will depend on the industry, the product or services involved and the export behaviors and activities the applicant wishes to have certified. Two general guidelines that to be follow when responding to this Item are:
Don't restrict yourself to activities mentioned in the guidelines or those that have been certified in previously issued Certificates. Just because no applicant has received certification for a particular activity in the past does not mean that the activity can not be included in your Certificate. It may turn out that you have thought of a use for a Certificate that has never previously occurred to anyone.
Suggestion: An approach which may be useful when responding to this item is to think in general terms about what it is you want to use the Certificate for, and then to turn to the sample certificates and the Federal Register Notices for guidance on how to express your general goals as the activities to be certified.
Finally, please note that the guidelines contain several examples and discussions relating to possible export activities for which an applicant may wish to seek certification.
Response to this item will depend upon on the exact activities the applicant wishes to have certified.
Response to this item is typically a statement by the applicant that he or she does not believe that any of the products covered by the Certificate will be reimported into the United States. As a result the response can be a rewording of the item, "The applicant does not intend nor reasonably expect that any exported goods or services covered by the proposed certificate will re-enter the United States, either in its original or modified form." However, if there is a reasonable belief that the any of the covered goods may reenter the U.S., those goods should be identified.
In many cases all goods sold under the Certificate will be supplied from the applicant and the member firms covered by the Certificate. In that circumstance this item is not applicable. If it is expected that some goods may be resold which were acquired from suppliers outside of the Certificate, then those suppliers should be identified unless 1) the applicant and members are purely trade intermediaries in which case it is unlikely that there will be any fixed group of suppliers or 2) the applicant and/or members can not reasonably predict at this time the source of any outside supply.
For an export intermediary that handles a large variety of products, or for a shipper's association containing a large number of members from disparate industries a response to this item is impractical if not impossible and will likely be waived. In most other situations:
(a) In response to this item the standard industry definition of the product will suffice in most instances.
In response to parts (b) through (d), it is realized that the applicant may not have ready access to the information required and a waiver may be granted.
A response to this item is optional. Relatively few applicants provide draft Certificates with their applications. If an applicant wishes to provide a proposed draft Certificate see the sample Certificates for guidance on Certificate structure.
To receive expedited review, the applicant must show that a burden will befall the applicant and/or members if the full 90 day review period is employed, and that the circumstances necessitating issuance of the Certificate in less than 90 days were beyond the control of the applicant. In practice, expedited review is infrequently granted.