Export Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

We prepared this information to answer the most frequently asked questions concerning foreign sales and exports OF OUR PRODUCTS.

We ARE NOT affiliated with any US Government agency and we DO NOT provide export assistance as a business service.

There are three sections: export license, shipping, and payment. Please review this information before sending an e-mail inquiry - your procedural question is probably answered here. Download this document.

Export License

Why is an export license required? The U.S. Government regulates technology, commodities, and software that are critical to United States security and national interests. Much of our equipment is listed in the Commerce Control List (CCL) published by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Some of our products are considered "dual-use" commodities and are strictly controlled. Various controlled commodities (e.g., spark-gap switches, Marx-bank generators) are classified by Export Control Classification Number (ECCN). The ECCN and your country (perhaps your organization as well) determine whether or not a validated export license is required.

What are "dual-use commodities"? Dual-use commodities are items that have both civilian and military applications.

Is a license exception possible? Yes, in general, shipments to Australia, Canada, Japan, NATO countries, and Western Europe do not require a validated export license as long as you are the ultimate consignee and end user. We will advise you whether or not a validated license is necessary.

I work at a scientific institute in another country but my application is non-military, is an export license still required? Absolutely!

How do I determine if my country or institute is subject to export restrictions? We make a preliminary determination and advise you before accepting an order. U.S. Government authorities also examine the most current regulations and restrictions during evaluation of the export license application. Specifically, we cannot export to Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria under any circumstances. You may examine some of these restrictions at the following web sites:

Debarred List (U.S. Department of State)

Specially Designated Nationals List (U.S. Department of Treasury)

Table of Denial Orders (U.S. Department of Commerce)

What information or documentation is required from me? U.S. regulations require that we have an acceptable purchase order and a signed original copy of Form BIS-711, Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser. We cannot process your license application until these documents are in our hands.

Where do I obtain a copy of Form BIS-711? This form and detailed instructions are available directly from our web site:

U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security Form BIS-711

What are my obligations once an export license is granted? You must continue to abide by all U.S. export control laws, including provisions of the U.S. Export/Re-Export Requirements and Enhanced Proliferation Control Initiative. An export license allows us to ship your order to you at your address and for the use described in the application. You agree not to use our equipment in an unauthorized manner or to ship it to another country without obtaining a re-export license from the U.S. Department of Commerce. If necessary, we can assist you with this application. Note that this does not restrict your ability to return products to us for warranty service. Simply reference the original validated license number and state "Returned to original manufacturer for warranty service".

How do you apply for a license? We are authorized to make electronic application for an export license using a secure site. Status information is also available from this service. No, you may not obtain direct access to this information or to this site.

How long does the review process take? Typically 3-6 weeks IF you provide sufficiently detailed information. There is a common misconception that applications are reviewed by technically incompetent bureaucrats: THIS IS NOT TRUE! There are multiple levels of review during processing. We frequently receive telephone calls from pulsed power experts at major national laboratories who are asked to provide technical opinions concerning our applications.

Is there any recourse if a license application is denied? Generally speaking, no. The appeals process is complicated and we cannot spend the extra time on such efforts.

How long is a license valid? A minimum of 30 days but sometimes up to 1 year. If your payment terms are Cash in Advance, then we must have immediate payment once we notify you of acceptance, otherwise the license will expire.

What is the license procedure for custom products that require longer than 30 days to manufacture? Custom products and complete pulsed power systems require greater than 30 days to manufacture, so we do not file an export license application immediately. We ask for a "Letter of Determination" from the appropriate U.S. authorities. They advise us if current restrictions are in force and the probability for a successful application. Therefore, you may order a longer lead-time product or system with confidence that an export license will be granted as the completion date approaches.

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How do you ship? We ship via UPS or DHL, FOB Lewis Center, Ohio (Columbus area), United States of America. The shipping service level is at your discretion.

Do you use other carriers? We prefer UPS and DHL because (a) service is available in all countries where we are allowed to export, (b) custom clearance is streamlined, (c) packages are treated with care, and (d) e-commerce, including tracking, are excellent. We may be able to use an alternate carrier if they operate within the U.S. and if you provide us with your account number.

What other shipping information is needed? We must have your UPS or DHL account number and your tax identification number (e.g., GST, RFC, VAT, IN, EIN, or as locally required) for international shipments, and you will be billed directly for all transportation costs, import taxes, and import duties, if applicable. If you fail to provide this information, your shipment may be delayed significantly since the carrier must call you to make arrangements for payment of these charges. Additional fees may also apply in this case.

Why do you need a tax identification number? We don't, but both the U.S. Government and your country's government use these numbers to assess taxes and duties, and to monitor export/import activities. If you examine any international waybill you will see a place for this information for both exporter and importer. If you fail to give us this information, then your shipment may be delayed by customs.

I do not have either a DHL or UPS account. Are there other options? DHL has a prepayment program. We provide you with the weight and dimensions of your shipment. You then go to your local DHL office and make payment in your local currency. DHL makes arrangements to pick up your parcel from us and deliver it to your location. You are still responsible for any import duties or taxes imposed by your government. Please make inquiries to your local DHL office - we cannot provide more information on this service.

How much will import taxes and duties cost? Duties and taxes imposed by the country of import must be paid by the purchaser or consignee. Our equipment prices do not include these costs. Call your local customs office prior to purchase to obtain information on import duties and taxes; we have no access to this information and cannot provide an estimate of these additional costs.

Will you ship my order to a third party? No, under no circumstances. As discussed previously, our commodities are strictly regulated and, as a matter of company policy, we will not ship to an intermediary or third party, including sales representatives, import/export houses, or distributors.

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Why are your export prices higher than your domestic prices? Time and effort are required on our part to submit a license application and/or to prepare export documents. We also incur other incidental costs associated with foreign sales. We try to keep our prices as low as possible, but these associated costs must be recovered.

Do your prices include shipping? No. Our Standard Terms and Conditions of Sale are FOB our location; you are responsible for all shipping charges.

Will you grant Net 30 Day payment terms? Credit terms are extended to U.S. Fortune 1000 companies, recognized governmental entities and research institutes in all countries and, of course, to our established customers in good standing. Payment terms for others are Cash in Advance (CIA). As a small business, we have neither the resources nor the time to determine the credit worthiness of unknown foreign customers.

Will you prepay the shipping charges for us? Yes, if you have established credit with us or if you have paid for your order by Cash in Advance. Also, see the answer above in Shipping regarding local prepayment using DHL services.

Will you prepay the import duties and taxes for us? Absolutely not - see the answer above concerning "import duties and taxes." We cannot determine these charges before shipment.

How do we make payment? Payment must be made in U.S. Dollars (USD). Many large research organizations and international corporations have corresponding banking arrangements in the U.S. and can pay us directly by a check drawn on a U.S. bank. Otherwise, we accept payment by direct international wire transfer. We will provide wire transfer instructions with our invoice.