Importing from the USA

Importing from the USA

Whether you are an American company exporting your goods to Morocco or a Moroccan company importing American goods into the Moroccan market, awareness of some key information can dramatically improve the outcome of your venture.  Please find below AmCham’s guide to importing American goods into Morocco.

How to Start Bringing American Goods into Morocco?
You are in a favorable position: the American government makes it a priority to assist in increasing American exports and they have established the necessary offices worldwide with qualified officials to assist this aim.  The U.S. Foreign Commercial Service (FCS) based in Casablanca can assist you in all stages of importing American goods. FCS provides you with:

  • Counseling and advocacy on the Moroccan market
  • Market research – Helping you to identify promising business opportunities for you and your company in the Moroccan market
  • Helping to identify potential Moroccan business partners and arranging meetings with the necessary business partners and government officials
  • Putting you in contact with American exporters
  • Helping your company with bid contracts and organizing events that promote your products
  • Lists of Moroccan marketers who will enhance your company’s visibility in Morocco
  • A list of international buyer programs by sector

Exporting to the USA

Exporting to the American market is easier than it might seem.  With the implementation of the US and Moroccan Free Trade Agreement, American-Moroccan trade is more efficient than ever.  There are two main challenges when exporting to the US:

A. Appealing to the American market

Any company exporting goods to the US market should be aware of the broad diversity and the key selling points of the US market.  With these “soft criteria” in mind, you can better develop your business plan and achieve success on the US market. On this page, you can find a number of helpful sources which will assist you in increasing your exports.

B. Adhering to American specifications

Any company exporting goods to the US market must follow the rules and regulations for those specific goods.  These “hard criteria” can block any attempt to export if they are not followed, no matter how successful the product may have been on the US market.  Different regulatory bodies exist in the US to create and manage these rules and laws, with examples being the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), whose regulations are applied by the US Customs Service.  All the information concerning these rules can be found online.

Please find links below to the sites you must consult in order to learn about the rules and regulations that will be imposed on your exported products.

  1. U.S. Customs Service Website: Provides information on exporting to the US.  Information included on the site include export documents, licenses, and documents.  See the latest version of the publication “Importing into the United States”.
  2. FDA Website : Interested in exporting food to the US? The Federal Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) website lists the guidelines for exporting food from Morocco to the US.
  3. USDA Website
  4. EPA Website
  5. US standards institute (ANSI)
  6. The Moroccan Export Control and Co-ordination Center (EACCE)
  7. Morocco Export Promotion Agency (Maroc Export)

Investing in Morocco

According to the new report by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Morocco was the top market reformer in the Middle East and North Africa region in 2000-2010.  Morocco serves as a competitive regional hub due to its’ broad range of incentives for investment, namely its’ diverse regional poles, a competitive cost of production, a strong and modern banking sector, transparent and vigorous IPR laws, a flexible labor law, and several FTAs, including those with major markets such as the EU and the US. The country also provides an excellent platform for reaching a wide range of international markets due to its geographic location and its cultural ties.

Morocco has 16 new regional investment centers to enable you to register your company in a timely fashion (within 48 hours).  These centers help reduce bureaucracy and lower the cost of starting a business.  Morocco has also simplified its’ tax rules by consolidating its’ tax regulations and signing non-double taxation agreements with several countries including the U.S.

The investment division is an agency in charge of promoting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and also provides information to potential investors. According to the United Nations Conference for Commerce and Development, inward FDI in Morocco reached a record high of $2.84 Billion USD in 2013, up 10% from 2011. This increase confirms the uptrend from the previous year (+63%). Morocco is becoming the main destination for FDI in North Africa, receiving 25% of the FDI in the region.

A.   Useful contacts for investing in Morocco, including market overviews and business environment briefings

Morocco Commercial Guide by FCS

Moroccan Investment Development Agency (AMDI)

Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN)

Tanger Mediterranean Special Agency (TMSA)

Tanger Free Zone

B.   Reports on Morocco

Doing Business 2013

IMF report

C.   Setting your company? Where to start?

List of attorneys members of AmCham (PDF)

List of audit and accounting firms members of AmCham (PDF)

List of insurance companies members of AmCham (PDF)

D.   List of Regional investment centers by region in Morocco (PDF)
E. Professional associations
F. Other links

National Small Business Promotion Agency – ANPPME

Trade shows in Morocco

Morocco business Directory

Investing in the USA

The U.S. government’s pro-investment policies make it a leader in the reception of international investment. As a signatory to many Free Trade Agreements, the U.S. is a strong believer in the idea that the free movement of capital stimulates economic growth.  It is this belief that drives the U.S. to promote investment within its borders.  U.S. laws on incoming FDI are designed to encourage stability and to create opportunities that will gain positive returns.  FDI of any type is welcomed, with the exception of those that compromise U.S. National Security.

Invest in America, an agency under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the body in charge of promoting FDI within the U.S.  The agency provides valuable information for potential investors.  Invest in America’s List of Comprehensive Investment Guides for Investing in the U.S. should help answer all the questions you may have regarding the investment of your funds in the U.S.

The followingU.S. Investment Guides can be found at the Invest in America site:

  • Baker & McKenzie Legal Guide to Doing Business in the U.S.
  • HLB International Doing Business in the United States
  • KPMG Guide to International Business Location
  • KPMG Investing in the U.S.- A Guide for Foreign Companies
  • Deloitte International Tax and Business Guide for the United States of America

The PricewaterhouseCoopers website also contains an abundance of information for helping start your business.

Other useful links for investing in the USA

A.   Legal information

Legislative information

U.S. Government Printing Office

Federal Register

Code of Federal Regulations

Public and private laws

FindLaw

B.   Business Information Sources

U.S. Commercial Service

ThomasRegister

Commercial News USA

D&B (Dun & Bradstreet)

Country overview

Statitistics

C.   Available assistance for companies in the US
  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a U.S. government organization aimed at assisting small business owners in the U.S. They can help you get the necessary funds to start your business, help increase minorities’ access to the business field, and provide other vital information. Their website can be found at: http://www.sba.gov/
  • Chambers of Commerce are very helpful in networking and assisting you to find the right contacts to get your business up and running. You can find the listing of State, County, Town, City, and Regional Chambers of Commerce.
  • Banks all around the U.S. strive to assist their customers’ needs.  Banks can help with everything from financing to accounting.  The list of U.S. banks is available at this link: US Banks.
  • Attorneys are necessary and extremely helpful in aiding the legal aspects of your business.  A list of lawyers is available at this link: findlaw. If you are planning on establishing a company in the U.S., the first thing you should do is consult a lawyer. He or she will help you draft the necessary legal documents and advise you on proper and coherent business operations.
  • As in most countries around the world, there are multiple forms for your business to take.  In the US, the most common are: corporation, limited liability corporation (LLC), S Corporation, partnership, limited liability partnership and sole proprietorship.

a) Corporation – The Corporate form of business is designed to attract as much capital as possible through the sale of its company’s shares.  Additionally, investors are liable only up to the amount they invested in the corporation which serves to make investing safe.  Additionally, the company gets a wide range of opinions on business operations from shareholders and expertise advice from the Board that represents share holders. However, the founder of the company loses control once he sells 50% or more of the stock. Also, corporations are taxed double in the sense that the corporation is taxed and then so are the shareholders on their dividends.

b) Limited Liability Corporation – retains the same key advantages as the traditional corporation but, differs in some small ways.

c) S Corporation – is a variety of the corporate business form where double taxation is avoided. The cost of starting a corporation varies from state to state, it is also recommended to hire an experienced lawyer to aid in the process.

d) Partnership – Just as the word says, the partnership is comprised of two or more members. Benefits include: increased control over direction of the company and lower taxes (a partner is taxed as an individual). Each individual member is equally responsible for the economic well-being of the corporation.

e) A limited partnership Can avoid being liable for their other partners decisions. There are minimal fees for beginning a partnership besides notarizing an agreement and perhaps hiring a lawyer to make sure the agreement is sound.

f) Sole Proprietorship – Where the owner manages their business and they accept all liabilities associated with the business. The advantages to such ventures are their ability to start and close the business. Second, the taxes are lower than the corporate form, since they are taxed as regular income, which varies according to income. Another benefit is that profits are not split among partners. However, a sole proprietor can be held liable for more than what was invested by them in the company. There is no cost to starting up a sole proprietorship.

Procurement Opportunities

The dgMarket Tenders worldwide website is a good source for global procurement opportunities.

Visit this link to read through procurement opportunities in Morocco: click here.

Federal Business Opportunities is a Federal Government website in which government buyers publish their business opportunities.

Owning an American Franchise in Morocco

American franchises are currently enjoying the fruits of Moroccan economic growth. American Franchises in Morocco include such names as McDonalds, Pizza Hut, TGIF, Harley Davidson, Guess, Timberland, Tiffany & Co, and the list goes on. With a growing middle class and rising incomes, Moroccans are expressing their demand for American fast food and goods. The most important sites leading to you owning your own American Franchise in Morocco are listed below.

A.    The International Franchise Expo – The leading American Franchise Exposition. It’s held every year during the month of March or April at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C. The expo offers seminars for potential franchisees and franchisors and the opportunity to talk with franchisors directly. http://www.ifeinfo.com/

B.    International Franchise Association (IFA) – Assists franchisees and franchisors with the necessary information to properly set up and manage your franchise. The following list compiled by the IFA includes over 1,200 franchises.
Find a Franchisehttp://franchise.org/SearchFranchise.aspx

C.    The U.S. Franchise Development Expo: Cairo – This regional expo is similar in intention to the International Franchise Expo held in Washington D.C. Franchises attending the event are specifically interested in investments in North Africa and the Middle East. The expo allows for one-on-one sessions between franchisees and franchisors.

There is a link to Why Join AmCham.

Trade Statistics

Current and past bilateral trade statistics between the US and Morocco can be found at this link: click here.

Business Opportunities

Submit your business opportunity by filling the form below: