Country & Travel FAQ


Do I need a visa to travel to China?”

U.S. citizens traveling to China must obtain a Chinese visa before embarking on the trip. A few different types of visas are issued to visitors, including the tourist visa (Type L) that allows the bearer one to two entries, and to stay for up to one month each time. Short-term business visas (Type F) are issued to travelers who are invited to visit for business or research purposes and require a formal invitation from a Chinese host organization. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates can only issue such invitations to U.S. Government employees on official business. Business travelers on short-term excursions for meeting or site-visit purposes, generally apply for either the Type L or Type F visa. Consult the Chinese Embassy or Consulate General on obtaining the right type of visa, or apply through a travel agency.

Review the Visa Section on the Chinese Embassy website.

The State of Pennsylvania is covered by the Chinese Consulate in New York: (212) 244-9456 or (212) 244-9392

You cannot apply for a visa by mail or courier services, however, you can use a travel agent or visa agent to go through the process on your behalf.  Here is one of the agencies used for obtaining visas – there are many others and you may want to contact your travel agent as well:

CIBT, Inc., 60 East 42nd Street, Suite 760, New York, NY  10165
Phone: 800-929-2428

Trademarks in Canada

Companies interested in getting their name trademarked in Canada should start by viewing the website of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

It offers straight forward instructions as to how to go about registering a trademark there. One thing they do note is that the product or trade name must be in the market or in use before it can be registered. In terms of the process, some people use the services of a trade market agent which can facilitate the process. If they want to do a search of the Trade Marks Database that can also be done online.

International Per Diem Rates

The State Department has an updated schedule for foreign countries, by city.

Qualifying for duty-free preferential rates when exporting to Australia

Information on the rules of Origin under the Australia – United States Free Trade Agreement, AUSFTA, can be found on the US Commercial Service website, as well as on the Australian Customs site.

The first step in determining your current duty is to determine your tariff classification code. To find your current duty rates, go to the Australian Customs tariff website and scroll down to Chapter 5 (US Originating Goods) and download the appropriate book to find your current duty rates. If not, you can also browse this site to find the appropriate chapter that might describe your product.  You can also have Australian Customs verify your code – this requires some paperwork and submission of data.  You will need to submit a Tariff Advice Application (B102 – attached to this email) to a Customs Office.  Customs will then provide you with the tariff classification number in writing.  You should submit illustrative descriptive material (IDM) with your Tariff Advice Application.  IDM may include but is not limited to, photographs, website addresses, a sample of your product, product specifications, etc.  This IDM will assist Customs in classifying your goods.

Information on the Certificate of Free Sale for Vietnam

Click here to view



Current Travel Warnings

Check the US Department of State’s Current Travel Warnings for up to date information on issued warnings. If the country you are about to visit is listed, it is recommended you avoid or consider the risk of travelling to that country. A warning is issued when long term, protracted conditions make that country unstable or when an embassy or consulate closed and the government’s ability to assist American citizens is constrained.

Where Can I Get a Travel Visa

Visa services like CIBT and Travisa will help you with all your travel visa needs online.

Business Etiquette

Kiss Bow or Shake Hands provides a comprehensive resource for global business etiquette. Without understanding international business practices, businesses cannot develop a competitive network of customers or suppliers. It lists phrases that can be used with confidence for greetings and basic interactions when conducting business in over 70 countries. The website delivers vital information in a downloadable form for on-the-go access.

Websites like Frommer’s, Lonely Planet, and Fodor’s provide great information on travel destinations, trip ideas, and hotel deals, as well as current news and photos.

Amazon also has thousands of travel books relating to your specific country that you can purchase at your leisure.

Country Commercial Guides

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s website includes a market research section.  There you can find the “Country Commercial Guides”, which include a wealth of information about the country you will be travelling to.  Feel free to contact us and we’ll be glad to send you the link to the appropriate document.

Safe Travels

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) gives specific medical information for each country in their travel section.

Write down the information for the US Embassy in the country you are travelling to and keep it in a safe place. Make sure you know the phone number and address in case of any emergencies.

Make a copy of your passport and insurance cards and keep it separate and/or with your emergency contact person.