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A New Tool for Understanding Export Regulations

A New Tool for Understanding Export Regulations

By David Glaccum, SBA Official
Published: February 27, 2019 Updated: February 27, 2019

Written in cooperation with Lani Tito, Export Administration Specialist, Bureau of Industry and Security, Department of Commerce

Even though we know small businesses that export grow faster, add jobs faster, pay higher wages, and have better long-term financial success, we sometimes find that small businesses with export potential are slow to pursue these opportunities because they do not understand the rules of the game and are not sure where to turn.  

Are there U.S. laws or regulations to review?  Is an export license necessary?  Are there any restrictions on selling to any people or places?

Rather than risk doing something wrong, they forgo an export sale or shy away from potentially lucrative business opportunities.

To address these concerns, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) recently launched a new Small Business Webpage full of numerous, useful online resources.

The webpage provides an introduction to the requirements of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), and features a new BIS training video “Export Controls: A Quick Start Guide,” with basic information a potential exporter may need to get started with the EAR.

Other training videos are also now available on the BIS Online Training Room.  Check out “Export Controls: Classifying your Item” to learn more about Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs) and the meaning of EAR99.

Visit the Export Controls Basics page for the following brochures: Introduction to the Commerce Department’s Export Controls, How to Determine an Export Control Classification Number, and Frequently Asked Questions to Export Licensing Requirements.

The Small Business page also provides a direct and easy way for small companies, individuals, and those new to export-controls, to contact one of BIS’s regulatory counselors for assistance.

Here are a few more resources for those of you looking to grow your business through international sales:

To assess your current export readiness, check out these Export Readiness Assessment Tools.

Need help with your export business planning or assistance finding export financing solutions?  Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

You can also visit for videos with tips to getting started and links to other resources available to small business exporters and those aspiring to sell products and services overseas.

Tap into these great resources to start or expand your global market footprint. 

About the Author:

David Glaccum

SBA Official

David Glaccum is the Associate Administrator for SBA's Office of International Trade