Export FAQ

The Kansas Department of Commerce International Division provides answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) directed to their department.

Do I need a license to export from the United States?

Most goods do not require a license and can be cleared by entering “NLR” (no license required) on the Shipper’s Export Declaration. Licenses are generally required for high-tech or strategic goods or goods shipped to certain countries where national security or foreign policy controls are important. 

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) administers export licenses and regulations. The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) require a license for certain activities and items, e.g. commodities, software and technology, if one of 10 general prohibitions apply and the export or re-export is not eligible for a license exception.

What are Harmonized System Codes?

The Harmonized System is an international method of classifying products for trading purposes. This classification is used by customs officials around the world to determine the duties, taxes and regulations that apply to the product.

What are Incoterms and how are they used in exporting?

Incoterms is a codification of the terms used worldwide in foreign trade quotations and contracts. They clarify the responsibilities of the buyer and seller in international commerce. Examples are EX works and CIF.

What are Schedule B codes?

Schedule B is a U.S. adaptation of the international Harmonized System. Schedule B codes are used to classify products for export and are administered by the U.S. Census Bureau.

What is a Carnet?

Carnets are “Merchandise Passports.” They are international customs documents that simplify customs procedures for the temporary importation of various types of goods. In the U.S., two types are issued: ATA and TECRO/AIT Carnets. ATA Carnets ease the temporary importation of commercial samples (CS), professional equipment (PE) and goods for exhibitions and fairs (EF). 

They facilitate international business by avoiding extensive customs procedures, eliminating payment of duties and value-added taxes (minimum 20% in Europe, 27% in China) and replacing the purchase of temporary import bonds. TECRO/AIT Carnets, used between the U.S. and Taiwan only, appear similar to, and serve the same function as, the ATA Carnet. TECRO/AIT Carnets result from a bilateral agreement between the US and Taiwan, covering only commercial samples (CS) and professional equipment (PE). Merchandise entering countries in addition to Taiwan may also be accompanied by an ATA Carnet.

What is a Certificate of Free Sale?

Document required in certain countries or for certain commodities (such as food products, ingredients), certifying that the specified imported goods are normally and freely sold in the exporting country’s open markets and are approved for export. We can assist you with providing your customer with this certificate. To request a Certificate of Free Sale from the Kansas Department of Commerce, contact April Chiang at April.Chiang@ks.gov or (785) 296-5473.

What is a Certificate of Good Manufacturing Practices?

The GMP ensures that all elements of the manufacturing process are reviewed to provide assurance that safety and quality is built into products during manufacture. Companies that have regular inspections of their facilities from outside sources are usually eligible for certification. If you have further questions on how to obtain one, contact April Chiang at April.Chiang@ks.gov or (785) 296-5473.

What is a Certificate of Origin?

A Certificate of Origin is a document signed by the exporter and witnessed by a semi-official agency, like a Chamber of Commerce, and required by certain foreign countries for tariff purposes. It indicates that the country originating the specified goods is indeed the exporter’s country.

What is the Denied Persons List?

The Denied Persons List is a list of individuals and entities that have been denied export privileges. It also prohibits any dealings with a party on this list that would violate the terms of its denial order.

Where can I get information on country-specific tariffs or duties?

Tariffs or duties are a tax levied by governments on the value of products imported from one country into another. Before you export to any country, you need to determine what the tariff rate is on your product(s) as well as any import fees for that country. Please use the free Customs Info Database to search for tariffs or duties rate.