Whether you’re exploring new overseas markets or continuing to do business overseas with established customers, get in the habit of creating a customer file where you’ll document your due diligence for that customer and for each transaction that you’re involved with that customer. This comes in handy especially when you’re in a regulated industry and you need to make sure your products are actually going to the party claiming to buy them (end -user) and that your products will be used for the end use declared by the other party. Speaking of end- user, end-use, remember to ask for an End - Use Certificate and End - User Certificate. These will ensure your buyer is who they say they are and will not transfer to another party (end-user certificate) and depending on product you’ll need also End - Use Certificates. So, compile your research findings for that customer or transaction in one file easily accessible to you and your company and legible that way should questions from Commerce arise you have a paper trail to show you did your due diligence.
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Aida Dismondy is an international trade and government contracts attorney.