8.5 Protect Your Online BrandProtect Your Online Brand
Are you aware of - and abiding by - any foreign laws and regulations pertaining to your product/brand?
In any given market, there are many local rules and customs regulations in any given market that products and businesses must follow in order to legally or successfully do business or make sales. Examples include the following:
- local, in-country business licenses
- legal considerations
- foreign standards and certification
- power usage requirements (110 volt or 220 volt? 60Hz or 50Hz?)
- product labelling requirements
- prohibited ingredients (GMOs, Yellow 5 food dye, mercury compounds, etc.)
ITA’s Country Commercial Guides can help with you determine your obligations. These guides are customizable to show the factors you are interested in, e.g. selling U.S. products and services, trade regulations, customs and standards, etc.
What are the patent, trademark and copyright requirements in your overseas target market(s)?
There is no “international intellectual property rights (IPR)”- meaning that your U.S. patents and IPR can only be guaranteed in the U.S. Every country has its own patent law separate from that of the U.S., so it is important to obtain legal counsel and conduct due diligence on your target overseas markets and partners. The U.S. Intellectual Property (IP) Attaché Program officers can help those businesses looking to enter foreign markets or conduct business abroad.
Are you screening your customers to ensure buyers are approved to receive U.S. goods?
The U.S. has restrictions on the sale of certain products and materials to specific foreign markets (eg: ammunition to Iran), as well as certain people and companies on a Consolidated Screening List . Some products considered “dual civilain-military use” require an export license. Although he majority of consumer goods will not fall under this category, U.S. exporters will still need to abide by any and all export regulations, even when selling through cross-border ecommerce. Ensure you do your due diligence and investigate any possible restriction before you sell.
USG provided resources:
We always recommend contacting a local International Trade Specialist or Global eCommerce Specialist within the U.S. Commercial Service’s worldwide network to receive free counseling. Through our International Expansion Blueprint service, our trade professionals can help map out a global ecommerce strategy and to determine which markets might be best for your product or service. Also, you can do some preliminary homework by taking advantage of the Country Commercial Guides (CCGs). Produced by U.S. embassies and consulates abroad, the CCGs provide the latest “boots-on-the-ground” market intelligence on more than 140 countries.
Industry provided resources:
Related Export.Gov Articles:
- Export Management & Compliance: https://www.export.gov/article?id=Compliance
- Protecting Your Intellectual Property: https://www.privacyshield.gov/article?id=Intellectual-Property-ecommerce
- Intellectual Property Rights (IPR): https://www.export.gov/article?id=Intellectual-Property
- Patent Law: https://www.export.gov/article?id=Patent-Law
- Minimizing Fraud: https://www.privacyshield.gov/article?id=Minimizing-Fraud
For Further Consideration:
• Choosing an eCommerce Channel Mix
• Identify eCommerce Market Opportunities
• Optimize Your User Experience (UX)
• Build Your Digital Brand
• Getting Paid from Cross-Border eCommerce
• Ship Your eCommerce Products
• Manage After-Sales Service
• Price Your eCommerce Products
This article brought to you by the eCommerce Export Resource Center DISCLAIMER: Links to websites outside the U.S. Federal Government, or the use of trade, firm, or corporation names within the International Trade Administration websites (export.gov and trade.gov) are for the convenience of the user. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the U.S. Commerce Department of any private sector website, product, or service. When selecting links, be aware that you are subject to the privacy and security policies of the owners/sponsors of the outside website. Prepared by the International Trade Administration. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.
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