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Business Across Borders – Understanding International Trade

International trade is a complex process, but also an exciting business opportunity. DHL can help not only with global customs requirements and trade terminology but also with local import and export support and resources.

Learning the Language of Incoterms® Rules and Trade Terms

“Incoterms” is a trademark of the International Chamber of Commerce. Incoterms® rules and trade terms are recognized and accepted as the standard for international trading and are regularly updated as commercial conditions change.

Familiarity with Incoterms® rules will ensure you purchase goods from manufacturers abroad in accordance with applicable regulations, documentation and procedures.

Learning about Customs with DHL

DHL Express has been a global expert in international trade for well over 40 years and now processes several million customs entries every day. As one of the world's largest customs brokers, we use local expertise to understand diverse customs regulations.

That’s why, with DHL as a partner for your small business, its in-house experts are well positioned to help you navigate the complexities of customs compliance and all of the related terminology and guidelines. Understanding the processes and terminology involved will help you enter markets and build a long-term foundation for successful international trade.

What You Need to Know about Exporting

The most important thing to know about exporting is that no business is too small to develop a base of international customers. A critical component of the French economy, exports accounted for approximately 24% of GDP, or nearly $457 billion, in 2010. As record numbers of French companies consider expanding their business to other countries in the EU and beyond, it is more important than ever for you to have access to reliable resources. This guide should help you build a solid base of information for doing business in the international arena.

What You Need to Know about Importing

In 2010, imports to France totaled $532 billion, with machinery, crude oil, automobiles, aircraft, and chemicals topping the list. The country’s major trading partners remain the EU and the U.S. However, it also maintains strong commercial ties with countries in Africa and Southeast Asia and is actively pursuing stronger commercial relations with China, Japan, and countries in the Middle East. As a member of the EU, France committed to maintaining a competitive, open market that is attractive to both importers and their business partners.

Imports serve two important purposes. In addition to satisfying the global consumer’s appetite for goods not manufactured domestically, they provide domestic businesses with raw or partially finished materials needed to produce merchandise for re-export. Businesses of any size can take advantage of the revenue-generating potential that import activity offers. The following resources support your company’s participation in this profitable area of the global economy.

Before you launch your import activity, it’s important to understand your legal, financial, and logistical responsibilities as an importer. This resource covers those topics, provides guidance on finding the right overseas supplier, and offers case studies that illustrate the process of getting started.