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What to Know about Shipments to Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories
January 04, 2023 Ken Click, Business Development Specialist

EXIM’s mission is to support American jobs by facilitating the export of U.S. goods and services. This support extends beyond the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia to Puerto Rico and all other U.S. Territories (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands). The agency has staff dedicated to serving exporters in these areas, including Regional Directors and specialists who work with minority, women, veteran, and disabled-owned businesses to help them access EXIM financing. According to the 2021 EXIM Annual Report, the estimated value of EXIM-assisted exports for Puerto Rico over a ten-year period from 2011 through 2021 was nearly $300 million.

Questions about EXIM support occasionally arise from small businesses based in the continental U.S. (CONUS) who are negotiating purchase orders with buyers based in Puerto Rico and/or other U.S. Territories. In these situations, the CONUS-based small business is not eligible for EXIM Export Credit Insurance (ECI) because the shipment is classified as a domestic, not international sale. For example, a small business in Texas invoicing a buyer based in Puerto Rico would be unable to obtain an EXIM ECI policy for the transaction in question.

Despite the domestic classification of these types of shipments, it’s important to note that Electronic Export Information (EEI) filings are still required between U.S. states and Puerto Rico as well as from U.S. states and Puerto Rico to the U.S. Virgin Islands when the shipment falls under the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR), according to the International Trade Administration. The EEI filings, which are submitted into the Automated Export System (AES), contain information such as the type of goods along with their value, origin, and who is responsible for them. Government agencies then use this AES information for several purposes, such as checking for export compliance.

For more information about EXIM’s eligibility criteria, click here to schedule a consultation with an EXIM trade finance specialist.

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EXIM’s Blog postings are intended to highlight various facets of exporting, but the postings are not legal advice, and are not intended to summarize all legal requirements associated with exporting.