Government Resources for Small Business Import/Export

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For small business owners who import or export, there are some publications that can help navigate potential compliance and procedural issues associated with the proposed regulations.

The U.S. Government Online Bookstore contains several publications that guide importers and exporters through existing federal trade laws and regulations. Here you will find weekly bulletins with updated rulings, notices, etc. as well as books that inform business owners on how to operate within trade agreements.

Specific publications that can be helpful include the following:

The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated, published by the Office of Tariff Affairs and Trade Agreements (USITC), provides applicable tariff rates and statistical categories for all merchandise imported into the United States; it is based on the International Harmonized System, the global system of nomenclature that is used to describe most world trade in goods. 

Included in the Schedule are the customs regulations in 19CFR (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 19), which are used to administer testing for the Customs Broker License Examination (CBLE)  that is required at least once a year to become a Customs Broker.

Print subscriptions can be obtained at this link:

Customs Bulletin and Decisions, which provides a weekly compilation of decisions, rulings, regulations, notices, and abstracts concerning customs and related T.T. goodsmatters from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the U.S. Court of International Trade. This publication is for those with an interest in staying up to date with the latest rulings.

The most recent issue may be found here: 

Here is a link to the previous issue:

To request a subscription, visit this link:

Free Trade Agreements: 20 Ways to Grow Your Business, a top seller at the Bookstore, takes the mystery out of exporting by analyzing opportunities in country markets where the U.S. government has negotiated preferential access for U.S. companies.  This book provides detailed information on best prospects, insights on the economic and political situation, tips on business culture, and free or low-cost assistance opportunities for entering each market. The book also describes how dramatically trade has grown as a result of the free trade agreements.

Printand eBook format titles can be obtained at this link:

Exporters! Wit and Wisdom of Small Business People Who Sell Globally, profiles 25 American business men and women who battled competitors, fear of the unknown, and personal adversity to build successful small businesses in the global marketplace. Alternately humorous, amazing and inspirational, their storiesserve as valuable advice for readers wanting to follow their examples and grow their international sales through exporting from the United States.

Print and eBook format titles can be found at this link:

This information is courtesy of the US Government Publishing Office in Washington, DC.


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