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Exporters are business professionals who prepare and manage the shipment of goods produced domestically to other countries. In most cases, the exporter works with the buyer to process the order, then schedules the shipment and ensures that all relevant paperwork associated with the process is properly filed. While some people and companies involved in the business of exporting focus on niche markets, other exporters focus on providing shipment services for all types of goods and services.
Managing exports is considered the opposite of managing imports. Importers have the responsibility of arranging for the transport of goods and services produced internationally into a domestic environment. With exports, the process makes use of the same channels and is subject to many of the same regulations, although not all countries apply the same regulations and tariffs to both import and export activity.
Both companies and individuals can function as exporters. Individuals may be connected with larger corporations who require raw materials from international sources in order to operate at a profit. When this is the case, the company may establish its own import/export division and handle the two processes in house. There are also individuals who providing exporting services to small businesses who do not have a great deal of volume, but do have an established relationship with an international client.
It is not unusual for exporters to work with all sorts of finished goods as well as raw materials. For example, many countries produce packaged foods that are sold all over the world. The manufacturers of these foods rely upon the exporter to make sure each shipment is scheduled for delivery on time. Exporters also work to make sure each shipment is prepared according to governmental regulations at the point of origin and the point of termination for the shipment, thus minimizing the chance that the delivery would be delayed in customs.
Training for work as an export professional often calls for a solid working knowledge of shipment laws and regulations, the ability to understand and calculate tariffs and shipping expenses properly, and a commitment to detail. Some background in business and business law can also be very helpful in many instances. In some countries, exporters are required to be registered with the government before they can function in their profession, and may be subject to periodic review in order to retain their certification. Where it is necessary to obtain government credentials, there are usually specific educational qualifications that must be met as part of the certification process.