Trade Regulations & Barriers: Intimately Know Them
Antidumping Duties Extra duties used to offset goods brought into the U.S. to be
sold at less than its fair market value.
Countervailing Duties Additional duties assessed to counter subsidies provided to
the merchandise that is exported into the U.S.
Import Quotas Control of the quantities of classes of goods imported into the United
States. The rules are determined by the U.S. legislature and executed by the U.S.
Customs. Import Quotas can be either Tariff-rate or Absolute.
permit the entry of goods at a lower tariff for a specific time. Goods brought in
beyond the quota will receive a higher duty.
Absolute quotas - no more than the quota
will be allowed to be imported.
With the decrease in tariffs over the past two decades, there have been new trade
regulations imposed by the U.S. Legislature to protect American businesses from unfair
trade practices. There are also restricted imported classes of goods making it
illegal to bring them into the country. As an importer of goods into the U.S., you
must familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations.
Photo Credits: Marcel Goldsein and Chutiporn Chaitachawong
If you are thinking about importing those famous fighting Praying Mantis bugs for
the U.S. Market, you better think again. There are numerous restricted classes of
goods. Here are some of them which you should be aware of:
Dairy products, cheese & milk -this is under the strict control of the Food & Drug
Administration. You must have a special license to import most cheeses.
Nuts, fruits and vegetable - some groups must meet the U.S. regulations in terms
of size, quality and maturity. You must have a certificate from the Food Safety
and Inspection Service of the Department of Agriculture.
There are other goods under
the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the Department of Agriculture rules: insects,
livestock & animals, meat & meat products, poultry & poultry products.
Plants and plant products -Depending on your plant’s category, there may be rules
imposed by the Department of Agriculture. When in doubt, check first.
Foods and cosmetics - Before you decide to import special plant roots from China
promising long life, check with the Food & Drug Administration to make sure that
you are not violating their rules for false advertising.
Arms, ammunition, explosives & war devices - Forget it. The answer is no unless
under special permission from the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco
Household Appliance - under the regulations of Department of Energy.
Biological Drugs - regulated by the Food & Drug Administration .
Gold or silver - no special rules for jewelry but raw gold and silver fall under
the Justice or Treasury Departments.
Furs & textiles - rules governed by the Federal Trade Commission.
Alcoholic drinks - fall under the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms of the
Petroleum - check with the Department of Energy.
This is only meant to be a sample list and may seem discouraging. However, for most
small importers, your goods may not even fall under any restricted categories. If
it does, a call to the appropriate department should give you the right information
on what to do.