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What Are Certified Trade Missions?

U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service Certified Trade Missions (CTMs) are overseas events planned, organized, recruited, and led by private and public sector export-oriented groups outside of the U.S. Department of Commerce. CTMs are hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s overseas Commercial Service offices.

CTMs bring representatives of U.S. companies into contact with potential agents, distributors, joint venture partners, licensees, local businesses, and government contacts.

CTMs typically include the following:

  • one-on-one business appointments
  • market briefings
  • networking receptions
  • selective sessions on local business practices, site visits, or seminars

U.S. Commercial Service posts in the targeted markets provide guidance to the sponsoring organization (the organizer) and the participating companies. The posts also provide trade promotion focused services to the organizers which are mutually agreed upon during the application phase of the trade mission. Mission budgets and parameters, once agreed upon in the Certified Trade Missions Application for Mission Organizers, are finalized by a signed Participation Agreement. The agreement commits both the CTM organizers and the posts to specific responsibilities laid out in the Conditions of Participation.

For more guidance on organizing Certified Trade Missions, please explore our available program standard, planning guidelines, and presentation materials.

To learn even more about CTMs, please contact Anne Novak at the Global Trade Programs Office of the International Trade Administration’s U.S Foreign and Commercial Service.  She can be reached at Anne

Read about the recent Certified Trade Mission to Lithuania which took place September 25 – 27, 2011!