Import and Export Resources

If your small or medium-sized business is looking for new revenue opportunities, we encourage you to considering exporting your products to international markets. We also understand that if your business imports goods, that duties and excise taxes cut into your bottom line. Fortunately, we can connect you to key partners that can help your business grow through international markets.

Ohio SBDC Export Assistance Network

International markets provide opportunities for businesses to increase sales and create jobs. Many small companies don't have the expertise or resources to expand their business into international markets. The Ohio SBDC Export Assistance Network helps companies to expand globally by providing in-depth counseling, international market research advice on exporting.
Free to low-cost services include:
  • Cultural and Language Assistance
  • Custom Market Research
  • Due Diligence
  • Export Education: documentation, logistics, etc.
  • Export Readiness Assessments
  • Financial Assistance
  • Identifying Local Marketing Tools
  • International Partner Searches
  • Local Product Requirements
  • Trade Missions
In Summit County, the Ohio SBDC Export Assistance Network operates through the Summit Medina Business Alliance (SMBA). Click here to connect to the SMBA.

U.S. Export Assistance Center

Operated by the U.S. Commercial Service, the Export Assistance Center (USEAC) helps companies that are looking to begin exporting, as well as companies looking to expand to additional international markets. USEAC leverages a network of trade professionals across the globe to connect your business with new and lucrative opportunities. Services provided by USEAC include the development of trade finance and insurance strategies, trade counseling, market intelligence, business matchmaking, and commercial diplomacy you need to connect with lucrative business opportunities. Learn more about USEAC and its services here.

Foreign Trade Zone 181

The U.S. Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) program is a unique global supply chain management tool that assists U.S. companies engaged in international trade by offering significant, ongoing cost savings to help them compete in the global marketplace. There are more than 250 zones in the U.S. Foreign Trade Zone 181 (FTZ 181) currently operates in Summit County, and nearby Stark and Richland Counties.The Northeast Ohio Joint Office of Economic Development is the grantee of authority to operate FTZ 181, and Summit County currently administers FTZ 181.

A foreign-trade zone is a designated area within the United States that is considered to be outside the stream of international commerce. Certain types of merchandise may be admitted into the zone without being subject to customs duties or certain excise taxes. There are two types of zones: General Purpose Zones and Subzones. A General Purpose Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) site is established to accommodate a number of companies and multiple activities. It is typically defined as an industrial or commercial park. Public warehouse operations also operate as General Purpose Foreign-Trade Zones. A Subzone is a special purpose zone established for a single company.
Typical foreign trade zone users:
  • Most automotive assembly plants and OEM suppliers
  • Oil refineries
  • Distribution companies
  • PL public warehouse operators
  • Textiles
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Instruments, electronics, computer manufacturers
Benefits of the foreign trade zone program include:
  • Duty Deferral: delay payments of duties until the inventory leaves the zone
  • Duty Reduction: pay the lower of the component or finished product duty rates
  • Duty Elimination: eliminate duty on products that are re-exported, rejected, scrapped or destroyed
  • Direct Delivery: bypass congestion at sea ports by applying for authority to receive product, break seals and clear customs within the FTZ facility
  • Weekly Entry: reduce merchandise processing fees by combining shipments on one entry filed weekly
  • No Import Quotas: inventory stored in an FTZ is not subject to import quotas
Your company may benefit from foreign-trade zone status if even only one of the following criteria applies:
  • Do you import high-value products?
  • Do you import a product in high volume?
  • Do you export?
  • Is expedited delivery important to you?
  • Do you receive multiple shipments in a week?
  • Are your products subject to import quotas?
  • Do you currently apply for duty drawback?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zone program might be a way for your company to reduce paperwork, improve cash flow, increase flexibility and save time. Please contact us to learn more about FTZ 181.
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