Export Declaration The Ultimate FAQ Guide 1 1

Export License: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

If you have any question about export license, you will find the answer right here.

So keep reading to learn more.

What Is An Export License?

Export license refers to a shipping document issued by the government which allows products shipping to a foreign country by authorized individuals or companies.

Export License

Export License

Why Is Export License Important?

In the International market, exportation and importation of products are carried out under certain rules and guidelines.

An export license happens to be one of the requirements for shipping certain goods to a foreign country.

Keep in mind that not all goods will need it.

Factors such as; nature of goods, end-use of the products, and trade activities will determine whether or not an export license is needed.

An export license is important, especially when dealing with expensive and high-value goods. It provides safety to the goods being shipped as it can be presented as a report of the goods.

Who Issues Export Licenses?

An export license is issued by an authorized licensing agency.

This is done after carefully analyzing all factors regarding the export transaction.

Do All Countries Require An Export License When Exporting Goods?

Not all countries require an export license when exporting goods.

Most people fail to understand that type of products being exported, destination, and usability also determine whether or not you will need export license.

In addition to that, trade relations among different countries or regions also determine whether or not you might require an export license.

If you need additional information regarding your exportation, you must confirm with your local authorities for any further requirements.

Are Export Licenses The Same For All Kinds of Shipments?

The export license will vary depending on the use of the product as well as the export destination.  Nevertheless, export license requirements remain similar despite the shipment method or transmission.

How Can I Get An Export License?

The first thing you need to ask yourself is whether you need an export license.

Some basic consumer goods don’t often require an export license and the process for acquiring one is not difficult.

Before sending your application, seek to find out whether the classification of your goods has a specific Export Control Classification Number.

This number gives a description of the products and the licensing requirements needed.

Different countries have different systems and therefore confirm with your local authorities to ensure that you have everything done as per the system.

After confirming if you require one, you will need to apply for the export license.

While some systems only accept electronic submissions, some accept both documentation and electronic submissions.

Supporting documents might also be required during the export license application process. Some of them might include;

  • Letter of explanation
  • Address
  • Bank certificate
  • A copy of the purchase order
  • Proof of payment
  • Application form for the export license

Once you have confirmed that everything is in place, you can submit your application. Processing of the export license might take around 2-6 weeks after which you will receive your export license.

It is important to know that certain factors can delay your application. Such factors are not limited to;

  • Failure to sign the application.
  • Submitting a handwritten application instead of a typed one.
  • Not giving a full explanation to the products that you intend to export.
  • Failure to explain the specific end use of the goods.

Depending on the type of export license, the validity period normally ranges from 6 to 12 months after being issued. However, this can vary based on certain factors.

How Do I Determine If I Need Export License?

To determine whether you need an export license, the first thing you can do is check whether your products are controlled by BIS. Analyze the Commerce Control List to see if your products have an Export Control Classification Number.

If they have a number, compare the number to the Commerce Control List to confirm the license requirement for your items.

Structure of ECCN

Structure of ECCN

Do I Need An Export License For All Goods I Ship Out Of The Country?

No, you don’t need an export license for all goods you ship out of the country. However, you shouldn’t assume that your products don’t need an export license.

Exporting some products might need an export license and failure to stay compliant can result in harsh repercussions.

The reason as to whether or not you might need an export license will be determined by the following factors;

  • Destination of your goods – Different countries have different product control policies and trade agreements that might determine the acquisition of an export license.
  • End use of the products – You need to ensure that your end-user is authorized to freely use the product.
  • Nature of the goods being exported – Most if not all controlled goods require an export license.

Some of these controlled products might include;

  1. Goods used for torture
  2. Radioactive goods
  • Products designed for military use
  1. Dual -use-items which are used for both military and civil purposes.
  • Licensability of trade activities – Exporting your goods to foreign countries might attract the need for an export license.

How Long Does It Take To Get An Export License?

The time taken to get an export license can range from 2-6 weeks or more.

The length of time taken will depend on a couple of factors such as how accurate you fill the forms.

Filling the forms wrongly might otherwise slow down the process.

Is There A Difference Between Export License And Import License?

Yes, just like import is different from export so does an export license differ from an import license.

Export license refers to document issued by government to allow shipment of goods to a foreign country by an authorized individual or company.

Conversely, import license refers to a document issued by the government to allow entry of goods into the country from other foreign countries.

One of the major purposes of an import license is to regulate the goods being brought into a country. This is mostly done to facilitate the thriving of local industries by preventing competition from foreign goods.

What Are The Contents Of An Export License?

An export license includes the following details;

  • Details of the products being exported
  • Mode of transport to be used
  • The expiry date of the license
  • Details of the exporter
  • Destination of the goods being exported
  • The reference number of the applicant
  • Date of issuance
  • Signature of the authorities
  • Quantity of products being exported
  • The immediate consignee in the foreign country
  • The export license number
  • Address of the place of issuance

Apart From Export License, Which Other Documents Do I Need To Export Goods?

An export license is not the only document you need to achieve successful exportation.

You will need to present other supporting documents for customs officials to efficiently allow the exportation of your products.

Other documents you might need for your exportation include the following;

  • Bill of lading – A bill of lading is an export document issued by a carrier and acknowledges the receipt of goods.

It contains all the details about the products being exported together with the destination of the goods. Additionally, a bill of lading also outlines the terms and conditions of carriage.

There are three types of bills of lading documents which include;

  1. Inland bill of lading – It is a contract between the shipper and carrier which serves as the receipt of goods via overland transportation.
  2. Ocean bill of lading – Just like the island bill of lading, an ocean bill of lading serves as a receipt of goods via the sea.
  • Air Waybill – An air waybill is a contract between the shipper and the carrier to acknowledge receipt of goods transported via air.
  • Commercial invoice – A commercial invoice is a trade document issued by the seller to the buyer.

It gives a description of the goods being transported and the total amount payable.

A commercial invoice is one of the most important documents requested by customs officials. It provides details of the destination, contents, value, and origin of the shipment.

  • Proforma invoice Unlike an invoice, a proforma invoice is issued by the seller to provide cost estimates of the goods. Additionally, it includes the shipment time as well as the terms of sale and payment agreed upon.
  • Certificate of origin –this is a trade document that states that the products are not only produced and obtained but also manufactured in a particular country.

In simple terms, it declares where the goods come from.

Certificate of Origin Sample

Certificate of Origin Sample

  • Packing List – A packing list is a document that describes every aspect of the contents being exported. The type of goods, amount, weight, markings, size, and any special instructions for the shipment is included in a packing list.
  • Dangerous goods forms – Just as the name implies, a dangerous goods form issued when exporting goods that are perceived to be hazardous. The document certifies that the goods have met the required standards before being exported.

Exporting such goods is always very tricky owing to the several restrictions in place.

Therefore, before indulging in such, ensure that you confirm if your products lie under the dangerous goods classification and take necessary actions.

  • Export declaration – For the customs officials to control exports, they will ask for the export declaration of your goods. This document simply provides information about the goods being exported.
  • Certificate of manufacturer – is given by manufacturer to buyer certifying that goods have been manufactured and are ready for pickup with all risks transferred to buyer.
  • Shipper’s letter of instruction – provided by the exporter outlining all the requirements to be met during the handling and transportation of the goods.
  • Dock receipts – Once your goods are received by your shipping company, they will issue you with a dock receipt. It acknowledges the receipt of goods by the shipper.
  • Inspection certificate An inspection certificate certifies that the goods have passed through inspection and meet the listed terms in a sales contract.
  • Insurance certificate An insurance certificate is meant to cover your goods against any loss or damage while in transit.

What Is An Export License Number?

An export license number comprises five characters that are alphanumeric and which are used in the grouping of exports.

This is done to assess whether or not an export license is needed.

The first character indicates the product’s broader features such as electronics or nuclear materials.

The second character indicates the product’s group which can either be grouped as software or material among other groupings.

What Is A Validated Export License?

A validated export license refers to a document that is issued by the government allowing the shipment of specified products to other countries.

The license is often valid for a specified period in which the exportation is to be carried out.

What Are The Requirements For A Food Export License?

Getting a food export license will depend on the laws and regulations enacted in the destination country you are exporting to.

For instance, most countries will put strict measures on the exportation of staple food to protect the sufficiency of the country.

With that in mind, expect to incur a higher cost when exporting such restricted foodstuffs. Nevertheless, some of the common requirements include health and safety certifications to prove that food is safe for human consumption.

Also, you need to ensure that the product being exported has enough shelf-life left and well packaged.

Additionally, the labeling on the packaging should list all contents and details of each food product.

Depending on the country you are exporting from, you will need to present additional supporting documents for you to get food export license.

Therefore, ensure that you keenly enquire from your local authorities of any other possible requirement needed by them.

Do Export Licensing Requirements Change Depending On The Method of Shipment?

The method of shipment used doesn’t affect the export licensing requirements and this is inclusive of technology shipments.

With the current trends, items such as technology can be easily exported through the internet or via hand-carried items.

How Much Does An Export License Cost?

On average, export license costs can range from $24 -$55 or more.

The cost might vary from one country to the other and therefore it is safe to confirm with your local authorities.

How Long Is An Export License Valid?

An export license is normally valid for up to 6 months since the date issued.

It’s important to note that the validity of an export license will also vary based on the type of export license.

For instance, an Open Individual Export License is normally valid for as long as 5 years.

On the other hand, the Standard Individual Export License is valid for up to 2 years.

Who Is Responsible For Export License?

The exporter always plays a major role in any export procedure as he or she is the one who initiates everything.

That said, it’s worth noting that the exporter is responsible for the export license.

The exporter should ensure that all rules and guidelines are followed to avoid penalties during exportation.

He or she should find out whether or not the goods being exported will require an export license and be well informed.

What Are Export License Exceptions?

Export license exception refers to permission that authorizes you to export or re-export products.

It is subject to Export Administration Regulations that would otherwise need licensing.

This is often carried out under stated conditions and includes products categorized under the Jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce.

China Customs

China Customs

How Do I Determine Export License Exceptions?

There are four steps to help in determining export license exceptions.

The first step is to find your product classification in the Commerce Control List (CCL).

There are 10 product categories in the CCL therefore you need to know where your products fall.

Once you find your product classification, you will come across the license exceptions for that classification in the CCL.

The CCL is also where you will find the conditions under which the exceptions apply.

Check in the Commerce Country chart if there’s an “X” in the box or any other requirements. If not, the product doesn’t require any license.

Review the license exceptions and ensure that you meet all criteria. If your products qualify, you are free to use the license exception.

What Are Export License Requirements For Hazardous Goods?

Some of the export license requirements for hazardous goods are not limited to;

  • Hazardous goods should have special packaging to prevent them from causing harm.
  • You should have your products appropriately labeled. The labeling should be translated to the language of the destination country.
  • Exported hazardous items should have the necessary documentation.
  • Hazardous goods should be exported by authorized and registered companies or individuals.
  • You should not export hazardous materials 6 months to their date of expiry.

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