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The Bahrain – U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
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1.
EXPLAIN THE FREE TRADE AGREEMENT TO ME IN SIMPLE TERMS SO I UNDERSTAND IT FROM A BUSINESS PERSON'S POINT OF VIEW?
2.
WHAT STEPS DO I TAKE TO EXPORT TO THE UNITED STATES?
3.
WHAT ARE THE DOCUMENTARY REQUIREMENTS FOR ME TO EXPORT TO THE UNITED STATES?
4.
WHAT IS GOVERNMENT DOING TO ASSIST ME IN EXPORTING TO THE US?
5.
HOW DO I SECURE A VISA FOR US ENTRY SHOULD I DECIDE TO TAKE A BUSINESS MISSION TO THE US?
6.
WHAT PRODUCT PACKAGING AND LABELING REQUIREMENTS MUST I TAKE INTO ACCOUNT?
7.
WHAT ARE THE TECHNICAL AND QUALITY STANDARDS THAT I MUST TAKE INTO ACCOUNT?
8.
HOW WOULD I FIND RELEVANT TRADE LEADS? HOW DO I CONTACT AN APPROPRIATE PARTNER?
9.
HOW DO I IDENTIFY CURRENT TRENDS AND COMPETITORS IN MY SECTOR?
10.
WHAT DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS (MODE OF ENTRY) ARE AVAILABLE FOR EXPORTING TO THE US?
11.
HOW DO I MAKE MY PRODUCT MORE COMPETITIVE IN THE US MARKETPLACE?
12.
IS EXPORT FINANCE ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE AND WHAT OTHER FINANCIAL ISSUES SHOULD I CONSIDER?
13.
WHAT LOGISTICS SUPPORT SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE TO ME FOR EXPORTING TO AND IMPORTING FROM THE US AND HOW DO I USE THEM?
14.
HOW DO I IDENTIFY MY PRODUCT’S CUSTOMS DUTIES AND FEES?
15.
HOW DO I REGISTER MY COMPANY IN THE UNITED STATES?
 
End Notes
iUnder US regulations implementing the FTA, the words “imported directly” mean:
  • (1) Direct shipment from the territory of a Party into the territory of the other Party without passing through the territory of a non-Party;
  • or
  • (2) If the shipment passed through the territory of a non-Party, the good, upon arrival in the territory of a Party, will be considered to be ‘‘imported directly’’ only if the good:
    • (i) Remained under the control of the customs authority of the non-Party; and
    • (ii) Did not undergo production, manufacturing, or any other operation outside the territories of the Parties, other than unloading, reloading, or any other operation necessary to preserve the good in good condition or to transport the good to the territory of a Party. Operations that may be performed outside the territories of the Parties include inspection, removal of dust that accumulates during shipment, ventilation, spreading out or drying, chilling, replacing salt, sulfur dioxide, or aqueous solutions, replacing damaged packing materials and containers, and removal of units of the good that are spoiled or damaged and present a danger to the remaining units of the good, or to transport the good to the territory of a Party. See United States-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement [“BFTA Rule”], [US] Federal Register Vol. 72, No. 199 (Tuesday, October 16, 2007) (amending 19 CFR PARTS 10, 24, 102, 162, 163, and 178), available at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2007/pdf/07-5062.pdf
iiSee BFTA Rule at note 3, above
iiiThe legislative tent of the US Congress intent in enacting 19 USC. 1304 was “that the ultimate purchaser should be able to know by an inspection of the marking on the imported goods the country of which the good is the product. The evident purpose is to mark the good so that, at the time of purchase, the ultimate purchaser may, by knowing where the goods were produced, be able to buy or refuse to buy them, if such marking should influence his will.” See United States v. Friedlaender & Co., 27 C.C.P.A. 297 at 302 (1940).
ivSee Section 134.41(b) of the [US] Customs Regulations, 19 CFR §134.41(b).
vSee 19 CFR §102 and CPB Informed Compliance Document, What Every Member of the Trade Community Should Know About: Marking Requirements for Wearing Apparel (May 2008), available at www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/trade/legal/informed_compliance_pubs/icp039.ctt/icp039.pdf
viSee International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), INCOTERMS 2000©, available at www.iccwbo.org/incoterms/id3040/index.html www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/text/treaty.html
viiSource: Root, F. R., Entry Strategies for International Markets (1987).
viiiTwo categories of subsidies are prohibited by Article 3 of the SCM Agreement. The first category consists of subsidies contingent, in law or in fact, whether wholly or as one of several conditions, on export performance (“export subsidies”). A detailed list of export subsidies is annexed to the SCM Agreement. The second category consists of subsidies contingent, whether solely or as one of several other conditions, upon the use of domestic over imported goods (“local content subsidies”). These two categories of subsidies are prohibited because they are designed to directly affect trade and thus are most likely to have adverse effects on the interests of other Members. See http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/scm_e/subs_e.htm.
ixZawya Business Development Newsletter, Tamkeen's clarion call to construction industry SMEs for GulfBID 2009 (ABQ Zawya Ltd. 2009), available at http://www.zawya.com/Story.cfm/sidZAWYA20090402124503/Tamkeen's%20clarion%20call%20to%20construction%20industry%20SMEs%20for%20GulfBID%202009

 
Sources
iA Basic Guide to Exporting, US Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Washington DC, 1998.
ii Canada is a member of the North American Free Trade Agreement and is the largest exporter to the United States. The Government of Canada has published a number of guides to assist Canadian businesses in exporting to the US that may be a useful resource to the Bahraini business seeking to export to the US, for example – Exporting to the United States, A Team Canada Inc. Publication, Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2005.
  • Exporting to the United States: A Guide for Canadian Businesses, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (FAITC), 2008.
  • Step-by-Step Guide to Exporting, Prepared by Write-Away for the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, 2008.
  • iiiExporting to the USA, Getting Started – A Practical Guide, UK Trade and Investment, 2003.
    ivJordan-US FTA: FTA Toolkit for Exporters (www.jordanusfta.com)
    v “Trade Secrets – The Export Answer Book for Small and Medium-Sized Exporters”, A joint publication of OCIPED and the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO (ITC).
    viUS Department of Commerce paper entitled “Visas and Foreign Direct Investment: Supporting US Competitiveness by Facilitating International Travel.”
    Common Resources
    Bahrain–US Free Trade Agreement
    US Department of Commerce
    Bahrain Embassy to the United States
    US Embassy in Manama, US Commercial Service
    US Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
    Bahrain Ministry of Interior – Customs Affairs
    Business.gov (The official business link to the US Government)
    US International Trade Commission (ITC)
    National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA)