Export Licenses in the U.S.

Who needs an export license?

Not every exporter in the U.S. needs an export license. Exporters need to consider the type of exporting product, the country of destination, the end-use of the product and the end-user in order to determine if the exporting transaction requires a license. The majority of export transactions will not require a license from the U.S. government. However, the exporter needs to perform “due diligence” and determine if any Federal department or agency will require a license. U.S. Government agencies involved in export controls include The Department of Commerce, the Department of State, The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, The Department of Energy, The Drug Enforcement Administration, The Food and Drug Administration and The Department of Agriculture.

Most export licenses are issued by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce and they are issued for transactions involving dual use products. These are products that have a military application, as well as a commercial application. Dual use export licenses are required in certain situations involving national security, foreign policy, short-supply, nuclear non-proliferation, missile technology, chemical and biological weapons, regional stability, crime control, or terrorist concerns. For more information, please visit the BIS website at www.bis.doc.gov.

If you need further assistance with export licenses or export planning, please schedule a free appointment with one of the SBDC’s international trade consultants.