Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals Number 49 Volume 3 Issue 1

Thursday, January 2, 2003
Issue 49  

Here's your latest issue of Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals. This free bi-weekly newsletter reviews useful Web sites from the Web Resources database at FITA's International Trade/ Import-Export Portal at, an excellent source for trade leads, news, events, and a link library of 7,000+ sites related to international trade.

My name is John McDonnell, and for years I've been writing about useful Web sites for businesspeople, in various publications. Now I've focused on international trade, using my Web research skills to find sites that are useful for international businesspeople, and some sites that are just plain fun for anyone.

Here are the sites:


Despite its small size, the United Kingdom is the fifth-largest trading nation in the world, and one of the top ten trading partners of the United States. If you hanker to start a trading relationship with Blighty, Trade UK ( ) is the place for you. At this British government sponsored site you can search a database of more than 60,000 UK businesses by name, product, or service. You'll get a wealth of detail, including Web site addresses, e-mail and snail mail addresses, phone and fax numbers, and more. Another way you can use this site is to send your requirements for products or services directly to UK companies that match your search criteria. Best of all, Trade UK is free -- you don't even need a password to use it.


What's a carnet? Sounds like a semi-precious gem, or a flower, but it's really a document that simplifies customs procedures for the temporary importation of various types of goods by eliminating tariffs and value-added taxes (VAT) or the posting of a security deposit normally required at the time of importation. Carnets can make it easier and cheaper to import goods, and they're recognized by over 75 countries. For more information about carnets, go to the United States Council for International Business site ( ), where you'll find a practical how-to guide.

To look up carnet information for countries worldwide, go to the International Chamber of Commerce site ( ).


FITA and now offer an International Buy/Sell exchange. The FITA Buy/Sell Exchange at is FITA's business-to-business marketplace that helps your company find more business by delivering tender opportunities, RFQ's and qualified offers to buy and sell. You will have access to a global network of affiliated trade sites that work together to bring together businesses across borders. Take a look!


In the world of search engines there are always new developments, as each engine continually strives to outdo the competition. Here are two interesting new twists in the search game.
  • Google Viewer ( ). When I do a search and get a list of results, the battle's only half over, because I have to go down the list and click on every site that looks promising. It can be a time-consuming task, but Google Viewer speeds that up by allowing you to see the home page of each site on your results list. The pages scroll by at the bottom of your screen, and if you see something that looks interesting, you just click on it. Each image of a page's contents is accompanied by a short "snippet" describing that page.
  • Specialty Search Engines ( ). This is a helpful listing of search engines by category. It's a time-saver if you're looking for highly specific information.


Smashing pottery is not something I do on a regular basis, especially not on Easter Sunday, but if I ever visit the Greek island of Corfu I'll remember to bring some pottery to smash on the holiday. I learned about this quaint custom from ( ), which has a database of world holidays and festivals, with useful information about each. This site is great for planning both business and personal trips, because it gives you detailed information about what's going on around the world at various times of the year. You can search by destination, theme (Food & Drink, Kids & Family, Religion, etc.), date, keyword, or just browse the list of themes to plan an unforgettable trip. This handy site also has a worldwide business events guide (in the left column), and resources to help you book a flight, reserve a hotel room or a car, and much more.

If you'd like to search back issues of Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals, there's a search page at

If you'd like to see all back issues of Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals, the full list is at

Please feel free to pass this newsletter on to others.

   Full archives can be found at
   Really Useful Sites for International Trade Professionals can be searched at

Published by Federation of International Trade Associations
Copyright 2002 Federation of International Trade Associations. All rights reserved.