Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Get answers to common questions and more specific situations about all kinds of businesses.

How do I export goods and services out of New Jersey?

The Office of Export Promotion works with New Jersey’s small and mid-sized companies interested in expanding their products and services through export. Companies interested in global business activity can tap into a number of resources available through NJBAC’s Export Promotion unit.

Most recently, the Office of Export Promotion received the President’s E Star Award for Export Service during an award ceremony at the U.S. Department of Commerce headquarters in Washington, D.C. The E and E Star Awards are the Nation’s highest honor for export excellence. Created in 1961 through an Executive through an Executive Order by President John F. Kennedy, the awards afford suitable recognition to persons, firms, or organizations that contribute significantly in the effort to increase U.S. exports.

Global Business Advocacy

Research shows that businesses who export their goods and services have significantly greater growth potential.  Entering into the Global Marketplace is easier than you think and our Global Business Advocates will be your guide to help navigate your way to international success and:

  • Provide free consulting services
  • Offer educational opportunities and acquaint you with resources to learn more about exporting basics, regulatory compliance, customs procedures, reporting and other topics.
  • Help you develop a viable export plan
  • Offer guidance in identifying global business opportunities
  • Help you locate buyers and potential markets and test local demand
  • Connect you with partners for joint ventures and strategic alliances
  • Help you navigate the complexities of exporting once you've entered the global marketplace by connecting you with federal resources available for obtaining payment
  • Guide you through foreign custom procedures and regulatory compliance policies and getting your products cleared through customs
  • Provide government-to-government advocacy

The Office of Export Promotion administers the highly successful NJ State Trade Expansion Program (NJSTEP) grants through a competitively awarded grant with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The New Jersey Department of State’s successful NJSTEP program has been awarded funding for six consecutive years and has advised and assisted hundreds of businesses of the millions of dollars of export sales around the world. To learn if your business qualifies.

The Office of Export Promotion also collaborates with universities and various organizations, like the U.S. Export Assistance Centers, in an effort to develop small businesses into new exporters and help existing small business exporters expand their markets through co-sponsored training and services.

For more information call the Business Action Center's Helpline at 1-800-Jersey-7.

Other Resources

  • Business Development Assistance provides volunteer consultants with international trade experience from Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) to help small businesses entrepreneurs make a preliminary assessment of their export marketing plans. In addition, export- training programs are co-sponsored by the SBA with various colleges and other organizations interested in international trade promotion.
  • SBAtlas is a program where international market information is available for specific products that a small business is planning to export. Small firms can receive general information on whether there is a market for their products overseas, what the trends have been in these markets and what competition they will encounter in specific country markets.
  • The Export Legal Assistance Network comprises volunteer attorneys who provide New Jersey companies with a free one-hour consultation on subjects such as basic contractual agreements, letters of credit, joint venturing and licensing agreements, as well as an overview of legal requirements involved in entering particular markets. Comprised of knowledgeable lawyers from the Federal Bar Association, will provide an initial legal consultation free of charge to companies in the beginning stages of exporting. They offer information regarding basic contractual requirements, taxes and regulations, banks, freight forwarders, insurance companies and state and federal programs to expand into particular markets.

To get in contact with the Export Legal Assistance Network visit:
Tel: 1-800-USA-TRAD(E) (1-800-872-8723)
Fax: (202) 482-4473

Available on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Web site

District Export Councils (DECs)

District Export Councils are organizations of business leaders from local communities, appointed by various U.S. Secretaries of Commerce, whose knowledge of and expertise in international business provides a source of professional advice for their region’s local firms. DECs are closely affiliated with the U.S. Commerce Department’s Export Assistance Centers and the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service.

New Jersey companies are serviced by the following DECs:

Export.Gov is a website where future international trade promotions are advertised.

It also brings together brings together US Government resources to assist U.S. businesses in planning their international sales strategies and succeed in today’s global marketplace. More information is available at:

US Customs and Border Protection

In order to avoid potential problems in the clearance of your merchandise, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) strongly recommends that you familiarize yourself with CBP policies and procedures prior to actually importing/exporting your goods. You should also be aware of any entry requirements specific to the particular commodity you are importing/exporting, including those of other federal agencies. To assist you, we offer the following tips for new importers and exporters.

CBP does not require an importer to have a license or permit, but other agencies may require a permit, license, or other certification, depending on the commodity that is being imported. CBP acts in an administrative capacity for these other agencies, and you may wish to contact them directly for more information. You can find links to other government agencies and departments at There is a listing of other government agencies in the appendix section of the publication

When members of the trade community or individuals from the public request information from CBP, there are circumstances when the information being sought can be provided only if the request is pursuant to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The CBP Web site has a comprehensive explanation of the agency FOIA program, including background and general information about FOIA law, FOIA regulations, and specific instructions making a FOIA request.

General Inquiries: (1-877) CBP-5511

International Callers: (202) 325-8000

TDD: (1-866) 880-6582

Trade Advocacy

The State assists New Jersey companies with specific trade or export related issues in an effort to overcome trade barriers, bureaucratic problems, or unfair trading practices. Advocacy service includes:

  • Support of New Jersey companies’ products and services in international procurement competitions
  • Assistance for New Jersey companies to receive payments for exported products
  • High-level, government-to-government advocacy on behalf of New Jersey firms competing for international projects

Further information can be obtained by contacting the New Jersey Business Action Center at (866) 534-7789 or U.S. Department of Commerce Advocacy Center at:

U.S. Department of Commerce

4th Street & Constitution Avenue, NW, Rm. 384-A

Washington, DC 20230

(202) 482-3896 / voice

(202) 482-3508 / fax

Office of International Trade and Investment (OITI)

Housed within the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA), OITI’s mission is to foster sustainable job growth and innovation by widening New Jersey’s global reach and supporting international trade and investment. OITI undertakes multiple initiatives with an emphasis on establishing international partnerships and attracting new investors to the State through the following efforts:

  • Creating the State’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) attraction strategies
  • Liaising with the foreign diplomatic and business community in the greater New Jersey/New York region
  • Coordinating Governor-led international trade and investment missions, and organization of incoming business delegations from foreign countries
  • Designing new programs and initiatives for international company recruitment and retention
  • Participating in international trade and investment promotion events to showcase New Jersey as a leading FDI destination in the U.S.
  • Advising foreign businesses and investors on the opportunities offered by the EDA’s incentive programs; and introducing them to relevant State agencies and private business organizations
  • Establishing partnership agreements with international sister agencies
  • Coordinating the State’s overseas network of promotion centers

For more information call the EDA at (609) 858-6700.

International Trade Administration (ITA)

Through its Export Assistance Centers, the International Trade Administration:

  • Promotes trade and investment, and ensures fair trade at home and abroad through the rigorous enforcement of U.S. trade laws and agreements
  • Creates opportunities for U.S. firms by providing focused export assistance and market research, and fostering level playing fields for American business around the world
  • Directs efforts to promote the United States as the leading destination for foreign investment

ITA has two Export Assistance Centers in New Jersey. The offices which work with established, export ready, companies to help them sell their U.S. made (must have 51% U.S. content) goods and services to foreign markets.

The Export Assistance Centers are as follows:

  • Northern NJ Commercial Service, Newark
  • Central-Southern NJ Commercial Service, Lawrenceville

For more information, go to:

Additional Sources of Import Assistance

  • Foreign Embassies and Consulates in the United States – Promotion of their country’s goods and services:
  • Customs Importation Guidelines for Commercial Importers – Importing into the United States:  
  • Freight Forwarders: Local business telephone listings often feature a freight forwarder or transportation heading. The National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America provides exporters with information on their members.

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