Preparing Product for Export
Your products may need to be altered to make them operable, more marketable, or legally compliant in a foreign nation. Here are key considerations.
- Check if your product conforms to standards, regulations or certifications of the foreign country. For instance, if you are exporting to the European Union, your product may need to comply with the European Conformity “CE mark” or if you are exporting to China, your products may need to comply with the China Compulsory Certification “CCC”.
- When it comes to some technical changes or regulations, free trade agreements often specify acceptance of the other country’s certifications. If certifications or regulations may be a concern, consider selling to the U.S.’s free trade agreement partner countries first.
- If your product uses electricity, you may need to adjust the voltage and/or the plug that’s used to connect to sockets in other countries. Some countries also require products to conform to local environmental standards, such as energy-efficiency. For less developed countries, you might need to ensure your product will not be damaged from frequent power outages or surges.
Labeling and Marking
- Product labeling and marking may need to be changed to reflect official languages or metric units of measurement.
- Be sure to research local customs and languages. In some cultures, specific colors signify things you probably don’t want associated with your product, such as death or funerals.
- In addition, check to make sure your product or company name doesn’t translate to or sound like words that mean something completely different in a foreign language. For example, the word “Nova” may refer to a type of star in English, but “No va” means “Not going” or “Doesn’t go” in Spanish.
U.S. Government Regulations
- As the exporter, it is your responsibility to ensure that you can legally export your product according to U.S. government regulations. A small percentage of U.S. exports require a license from a federal government agency. Also be aware that all products may be prohibited from export to certain countries or foreign buyers.