25 Awesome Research Sites for the U.S. Compliance Connoisseur

Posted by Jim Conrad
Blog originally posted on 18/06/2020 02:47 PM


When it comes to compliance, there are a multitude of things to juggle. I’m often asked for a link to one government site or another and there are certainly hundreds of sites to choose from.

Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees.  Here is a list of websites that contain some basic guidelines for a laundry list of compliance issues. 

  1. Accredited CPSC Testing Labs
    A comprehensive list for importers of children’s products & ASTM Standards.

  2. Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms
    This site will help you to locate firearms regulations and related enforcement programs.

    This site will help you to understand about the permit and certification process and has a variety of manuals & guidelines.

  4. BIS
    A great site for policy, guidance, and news for the export of dual-use items.

  5. Customs and Border Protection
    A lot of the old links have been “retired” with no redirects. The color scheme is difficult but this is still THE site for import/export compliance.

  6. Census Schedule B
    We advise our clients to classify for export using the Harmonized Tariff whenever possible, but for those who still use Schedule B…..  The newsroom is still a decent read.

  7. Consumer Product Safety Commission
    News regarding the latest product recalls, standards, and rulemaking for importers and consumers.

  8. Department of Fish and Wildlife
    Protecting wildlife and plants.  Information about CITES, the Lacey Act, port permits, and information about licensing and fees.

  9. Drug Enforcement Administration
    You will find information on the Controlled Substances Act as well as drug fact sheets and diversion control.

  10. Environmental Protection Agency
    Some of our staff use this site quite a bit – regulations, policy, enforcement of toxic substances.

  11. Federal Trade Commission & Made in the USA
    Made in USA rules, health claims, and my favorite - the “Do Not Call List” if you can’t stomach phone solicitation while you’re having dinner.

  12. Food & Drug Administration
    There is little in the way of formal training for FDA issues so this has become one of my favorite sites for links to the regulations about medical devices, drugs, radiation-emitting products, etc. as well as a listing of laws and products that the FDA has jurisdiction over.

  13. Hazardous Materials
    Everything you need to know about transporting hazardous materials by truck, train, air, sea, and pipeline.  A well-constructed, simple user interface.

  14. International Chamber of Commerce
    The Chamber site has a lot of “news of the day” articles as well as information about the trade community’s favorite – understanding INCOTERMS® 2020.

  15. Library of Congress
    The Library of Congress is a beta site for active legislation and public laws.  It’s a great resource for researching upcoming trade legislation.

  16. The United States International Trade Commission 
    Research tools are found here – ADD/CVD investigations, Intellectual property investigations, and on-line Harmonized Tariff Schedule.  Be careful with the Harmonized Tariff Schedule as we’ve found errors from time to time.

  17. U.S. Harmonized Schedule 
    Direct link to the HTS – A big help since it’s searchable. I go here first and then confirm with the printed version. 

  18. U.S. Munitions List
    Here is Title 22 - Chapter I – Subchapter M - Part 121. Simply put, the U.S. Munitions List for defense articles and defense service exporters. 

  19. U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission 
    Pretty useful information for businesses in the medical and research industries.  Regulations, guidance, licensing & inspection information.

  20. World Trade Organization
    Everyone involved in international trade should visit this site. You’ll find information on customs valuation, ADD/CVD, rules of origin, safeguard measures, import licensing, and a vast library of trade topics.

  21. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    The go-to United States government agency for health and safety facts. Essential information regarding Covid-19 outbreaks that is continually updated.
  1. International Trade Administration
    You will find export solutions, trade data analysis, and helpful research for foreign markets as well as links to other valuable information about exporting at the ITA site
  1. Customs and Border Protection Liquidation Lookup 
    CBP no longer mails liquidation courtesy notices to importers, but here’s a quick and easy way to know the dates that your import entries have liquidated.
  1. ACE Portal 
    Export data is somewhat meager in ACE but you’ll find comprehensive import entry data for your company. Once your application is approved, you can find entry information, protest status, and a lot more in formats that can be extracted for analysis.  Every importer should utilize the ACE Portal as it is CBP’s system of record for your imports.
  1. Office of the United States Trade Representative
    The USTR site has great information regarding Section 301 investigations, free trade agreements, enforcement actions, and ongoing negotiations on textile & apparel, agriculture, intellectual property rights, and the environment. You’ll also find current news about changes in trade policy for the United States here.

Have a favorite of your own that didn't make the list? Let us know in the comments below. 

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Topics: Compliance Training

Blog originally posted on 18/06/2020 02:47 PM

Jim Conrad

Written by Jim Conrad

Jim joined Tradewin in 2009, continuing a successful career in international logistics and trade compliance that began in 1980. He has spent more than three decades in leadership roles overseeing international trade compliance including the positions of corporate Director of Operations and as Chairman of the Board of Directors for a large U.S. shipper’s association. Jim’s technical background covers a wide range of international trade areas including harmonized tariff classification, valuation, anti-dumping and risk analysis. Jim is a graduate of North Shore Community College and majored in Business Administration at Salem State University. He is a member of the International Compliance Professionals Association and a U.S. Licensed Customs House Broker.