A lawyer who deals in international biodiesel law has an article in December’s Biodiesel Magazine that outlines some of the pitfalls that U.S. companies that are trying to sell biodiesel plants and equipment to locations overseas.
Rich Weiner’s article says there is great potential in the foreign markets, if you’re able to get around the legal risks and challenges around the proposition:
Many factors affect overseas business ventures. The first is foreign government approvals. Unlike the United States, foreign governments often regulate the sale of biodiesel plants in their countries. In some countries, the project’s customer must be a government agency or an entity affiliated with the government. In others, the customer must be examined and approved by that country’s government before it may purchase a biodiesel plant or biodiesel equipment. Some countries even require that the contract between the U.S. company and its foreign customer be reviewed and approved by the appropriate ministry of the foreign government before the contract may become effective. Still others require that the biodiesel plant or equipment be approved by the foreign government before equipment importation or plant construction begins.
Weiner also points out that U.S. laws prevent giving gifts to foreign officials in exchange for contracts… and that applies to any subcontractors or suppliers who do it even without the U.S. company’s knowledge. Duties and tariffs, intellectual property rights, foreign construction laws, and what to do if there’s a dispute between a U.S. company and a foreign company or government.
Lots of good information for those involved in the biodiesel business looking to branch out overseas. Give it a read by clicking here.