Once you have successfully established yourself in the Montana and the U.S. market, or if you offer a specialty product, you may want to consider expanding into the international arena. While the prospect of entering the export world may seem daunting, there are many resources and experts to help you along the way. Three important items you'll need are market research, buyer contacts, and logistical information on packaging, pricing, and financing. In addition to the Montana Department of Agriculture, here are some other sources to explore.
USDA'S Global Agriculture Information Network (GAIN) provides timely information on the agricultural economy, products and issues in foreign countries that are likely to have an impact on United States agricultural production and trade. U.S. Foreign Service officers working at posts overseas collect and submit information on the agricultural situation in more than 130 countries to USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), which maintains the GAIN reports.
Register at the export.gov website, managed by the International Trade Administration, to gain access to market research and trade leads. You can also complete an assessment on the site to identify how ready your company is for exporting, listen to pre-recorded webinars and learn how to develop an export business plan.
To help U.S. agricultural exporters, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) operates a network of Agricultural Trade Offices (ATOs) in the major markets of Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. These offices specialize in promoting U.S. agricultural products and helping U.S. exporters gain a foothold in new markets. The ATOs supply U.S. exporters with up-to-the-minute information on the market, potential customers, and promotional opportunities.
With trade offices in our Sister State of Kumamoto, Japan, Montana companies have the benefit of a knowledgeable trade representative who can assist with market research, buyer introductions, translation, and clarifying import regulations and tariffs in the Japanese market.
The Montana Department of Commerce web site provides information about HS codes, tariff rates, insurance, shipping, international business etiquette and much more. Contact the Export Marketing Officer for assistance with your specific product and export situation.
International Marketing Assistance Grants are now available from the Montana Department of Commerce to provide financial assistance to qualified Montana small businesses for international marketing efforts in beginning exporting or market expansion.
The WUSATA Branded Program also provides funding assistance to companies for international marketing and promotional activities.
Some other things you'll need to know when exporting are the Harmonized System (HS) code for classifying your commodity, the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code for classifying your business, and federal per diem rates for the countries to which you'll be traveling.
Published: October 13, 2011 4:30:00 PM MDT.
Last Modified: February 8, 2016 9:42:16 AM MST