Trade Compliance in the United States

Overview by
International Conventions
Member of World Trade Organisation
Member of OECD
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Party to the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls For Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies
Party of the International Coffee Agreement 2001
Main International Economic Cooperation
These are the countries that signed a Free Trade Agreement with the USA: Australia, Bahrain, CAFTA-DR (The Central America-Dominican Republic-United States Free Trade Agreement ), Chile, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), Oman, Peru, Singapore.


More information about the Free Trade Agreement in USA. Authorities have recently launched an online Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Tariff Tool.

Party of the ATA Convention on Temporary Admissions and Use of the Carnets

As a Reminder, the ATA is a System Allowing the Free Movement of Goods Across Frontiers and Their Temporary Admission Into a Customs Territory With Relief From Duties and Taxes. The Goods Are Covered By a Single Document Known as the ATA Carnet That is Secured By an International Guarantee System.
Look Up the Other Member Countries And Read the Web Pages of the World Customs Organization Devoted to the ATA Carnet.
Party of the TIR Convention

As a Reminder, the TIR Convention and its Transit Regime Contribute to the Facilitation of International Transport, Especially International Road Transport, Not Only in Europe and the Middle East, But Also in Other Parts of the World, Such as Africa and Latin America.
The UNCTAD Website Allows You to Read the TIR Convention, See the List of Member Countries And to Find Further Information.
Accompanying Documents For Imports
  • Entry Manifest (CBP Form 7533) or Application and Special Permit for Immediate Delivery (CBP Form 3461) or other form of merchandise release required by the port director,
  • Evidence of right to make entry,
  • Commercial invoice or a pro forma invoice when the commercial invoice cannot be produced,
  • Packing lists, if appropriate,
  • Other documents necessary to determine merchandise admissibility.

    Click Here for more information about documents needed for imports in the USA
Free Zones
The Miami Free Trade Zone.
For Further Information
US Customs and Border Protection
US department of Commerce
US State Department , Services and consular affairs.
Non Tariff Barriers
Farm products are subject to both the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the USDA (US AGRICULTURAL DEPARTMENT) rules.
- Dairy products require an import license and quotas do exist. Products should conform to the strict sanitary and labeling rules. A description of ingredients is also required.
- Most fruits, vegetables and hazelnuts are subject to import licenses. The APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) analyses the risks of disease.
- Meat-based products can only be imported via ports with checking sanitary installations authorized by the USDA. The APHIS examines all goods.


Nearly 20% of all imports into the US are food and food products. In 2002, Congress passed the Bioterrorism Act as a part of its ongoing effort to fight terrorism. The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 (Bioterrorism Act) requires that FDA develops two systems: one to support the registration of facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food products intended for consumption in the United States and one to receive prior notice before food is imported or offered for import into the United States, beginning on December 12, 2003. Prior notice must be submitted electronically at Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Manufactured goods should also conform the American standards, which implies potential additional costs. Electric equipment should be systematically guaranteed by a third part. There are not less than 2,700 municipal or federal authorities able to distribute safety certifications, and they do vary from State to State. As there is no central source of information about the normative aspects, it is imperative to inquire beforehand with the help of an importer.
Whatever the nature of the product is, documentation is important, especially in terms of invoice and certificate of origin. The documentary formalities are notably very heavy for textiles import (above a part of 5 % in the composition of the textile product, all the products should be listed very precisely). The labeling rules can also generate important additional costs.
Finally the USA applies a certain number of embargoes, forbidding the import of products manufactured with components originating from the following countries: Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of Congo Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, North Korea, Sudan, Syria and Zimbabwe.

Sectors or Products For Which Commercial Disagreements Have Been Registered With the WTO
Please click here to see al the USA commercial disagreements have been registered with the WTO.
Assessment of Commercial Policy
USA’s commercial policy, as seen by the WTO
Barriers to exchanges
Barriers to exchanges, inventoried by the EU
Sanitary and phytosanitary barriers, inventoried by the EU
Find more on about Trade Policy in the United States.

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