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Exporting from the United States

If you are exporting from the United States, there are a few things that you might like to know:

One of the key areas that is confusing to many is the United States Principal Party in Interest (USPPI).

The USPPI is the party in the United States that receives the primary benefit, monetary or otherwise, of the export transaction. In other words, if you receive a purchase from an overseas party and you are invoicing them for the product, you are the USPPI regardless of the terms of sale, or Incoterm used.

Why is this important to understand? Let’s look at the responsibility firs that is required as the USPPI:

  1. Determine Commodity Jurisdiction – what U.S. government agency controls your product? Are they subject to Export Administration Regulations, the US Dept. of State International Traffic and arms regulations, or any other government agency? Does it require an export license? As the USPPI this must be determined by you!
  2. Know your customer – It is important to know who is ordering the goods and what the end use is. Verify that the parties involved in the transaction do not appear on any of the U.S. Governments lists of restricted parties. If they do appear, you need to do some research!
  3. Classify your Products – you are required to classify for statistics the Schedule B or US Harmonized Tariff (USHTS) and license determination. You know your products better than anyone, so it’s important to classify them properly.
  4. File the Electronic Export Information (EEI) – as the USPPI the filing of this information in the Automated Export System is your responsibility. You may; however, authorize Tigers to perform this on your behalf by providing a Power of Attorney to Tigers to allow Tigers to legally submit this information to the U.S. Government.
  5. Maintain shipment records – according to the regulations of the government agency 5 years of retention is standard. Although there are some additional requirements for ITAR controlled goods.

Why is this important to know? A good example where parties are confused at the regulation is perhaps the routed transaction. When the US party agree to the Incoterms of Ex-Works or EXW. This incoterm generally means that the seller (USPPI) makes the goods available at his/her premises. The buyer arranges the pickup of the freight from the supplier’s designated ship site, owns the in-transit freight, and is responsible for clearing the goods through Customs.

What does this mean to the USPPI? In many cases the USPPI incorrectly assumes that the buyer, or foreign party, is responsible for the export of the goods. While this is partially correct, the foreign party does handle the transportation, the USPPI is still responsible for supplying the proper information in the transaction. The USPPI responsibility does not stop at their door for the U.S. government export regulations.

Tigers has developed a one page document that outlines the USPPI responsibilities (two pages if received electronically) that will explain the responsibilities a bit more. This is available by contacting your local Tigers office or feel free to send an email request to

Additional resources are available online at:

Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security: – managed by the International Trade Administration in collaboration with: U.S. Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, Dept. of Agriculture, SBA, OPIC, USTDA, Dept. of State, USTR, Dept. of Treasury: