'Export' is explained in detail and with examples in the Economics edition of the Herold Financial Dictionary, which you can get from Amazon in Ebook or Paperback edition.
The word export refers to a good or service that is sold and shipped out of a country. In business and economics terms, an export can be any kind of commodity or other good that is utilized in trade and transported out of one nation into another nation. These must be done in legal ways to qualify as exports. The opposite of the word export is the word import.
The word export is originally taken from the idea of shipping such services and goods out of the port of a given country. This made it an item that was sent literally “ex” port. This term came from the time when practically all international trade proved to be conducted via shipping.
Sellers of services and goods are known as exporters. These individuals are based in the exporting nation. The party who receives the goods or services in the overseas country is known as an importer. In the realm of international trade, exports means vending goods and services that are manufactured in the producing home nation to markets in other countries. Once these goods are received by the importer in the foreign country, they are offered to the consumers in the foreign country by distributors and domestic producers.
When a person or company wishes to become involved in exporting commercial amounts of goods, then they will have to become engaged with the customs entities in both the exporting home country and the importing receiving country. Smaller quantities of goods are exempt from such customs departments, particularly when they are of low individual value. This is why the rise of auction sites and other online retailers vending to international customers, such as e-Bay and Amazon, have managed to side step the customs departments in the majority of countries. This does not exempt small value export items from the legal rules and restrictions that are applied by the exporting nation.
A nation’s exports can be many different things in practice. Resource rich countries like Australia or South Africa will commonly export big ticket natural resource items like gold, oil, natural gas, uranium, or diamonds. Agricultural countries such as the Philippines and Honduras export rice and bananas to other countries in the world. The main exports of industrial countries such as Germany and Japan are instead final manufactured product goods like cars and machinery.
Some items may not simply be exported to every nation. They are subjected to export control. Export control involves Federal laws and rules that forbid the exporting of some information and commodities without a license. This is done to protect certain trades or because of sensitive issues related to national security. Specifically, the government might be worried about the final destination country or group that will receive the goods, such as Iran or North Korea. They may fear what the actual use of the export will be, such as equipment for enriching uranium. Sometimes, exports have capabilities that will allow them to be used for possible military applications that the government wishes to control and supervise, like with missile technology.