How to Apply for Trade Fair Certification

Eligibility: Trade associations, trade fair authorities/operators, U.S. show organizers, AMCHAMS, U.S. agents of overseas fair organizers, and other private sector entities that organize and manage international fairs overseas are eligible to seek certification to organize a U.S. pavilion. Organizers must have a U.S. office and experience in organizing trade shows, trade missions, or similar activities to qualify for certification. No financial assistance is provided to organizers or exhibitors under the Trade Fair Certification Program. However, individual state development agencies may have programs providing financial assistance to organizers and U.S. firms from their state to help them exhibit overseas.

Please type information requested (questions and responses) on company letterhead and express mail (FedEx, UPS, DHL) three (3) complete sets of your application to:

Vidya Desai, Trade Fair Certification Program
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Avenue, NW
Mailstop 52024
Washington, DC 20230
Phone: 202-482-2311


Email your application to:

General Instructions/Information
Applicants should respond to the application questions on company letterhead with as much information as necessary to address the 23 points in the application. Submit two sets of your application responses and supporting materials to the address shown above 180 days in advance of the show opening date. Should applications not be received at least 180 days prior to the start date of the show, the TFC program will allow for a grace period of 5 business days to receive the application. Organizers are welcome to discuss any of the questions or other aspects of the program with the TFC staff prior to submission. Applications must include proof from the fair owner/authority that space for a U.S. exhibitor pavilion has been contracted for. The $2,000 contribution is generally not refundable if the organizer decides to cancel recruitment or other participation.

The number of shows that Commerce can certify in any year and the number per industry and overseas location depend on the number of competing shows and staff resources. Commerce reserves the right not to certify a show if it feels the organizer is not qualified and to certify more than one organizer for a show if the circumstances warrant this type of unified U.S. presence at the show. First-time shows are generally not eligible for certification, but if requested, will be reviewed very carefully on a case-by-case basis to consider things such as a change in name only, former/previous editions of the show, the success of parent shows, etc. The applicant/organizer should be aware that the TFC program does not usually include direct exhibitor recruitment or sales solicitation by Department staff, but does include mailing, press release, and other notification support to a range of potential exhibitors or show visitors. De-certification, if necessary, is at the discretion of the Commerce Department and the $2,000 contribution is not refunded if this action becomes necessary.


1. Name of fair.
Site of fair.
Dates of fair.
Name, address, phone number and e-mail of organization requesting certification.
Name, address, phone number and e-mail of U.S. contact, if different from item number
Names of U.S. and foreign sponsor(s), e.g., trade associations, foreign governments, etc.

7. Basic history or description of show. Applicant must demonstrate fair is a good export promotion vehicle for the subject industry. Include copies of previous show promotion materials, supporting statements from U.S. industry, etc.

8. Resume of show organizer's and. If possible, U.S. agent's trade show experience.

9. Number of U.S. exhibitors applicant will recruit. Outline promotional material campaign to be conducted in the U.S. to attract U.S. exhibitors. Also provide a brief marketing plan for specifically attracting new-to-market and new-to-export U.S. firms.

10. If required, will organizer agree to develop a U.S. Pavilion and provide a furnished booth for the U.S. embassy's Business Information Office(BIO)

11. Number of exhibitors (U.S. and others) expected at the fair.

12. Number of visitors expected at the fair.

13. Gross area of fair (sq. feet or sq. meter). Net area for exhibit space. Net area that will comprise U.S. Pavilion if one is required.

14. Exhibit rates and services to be provided. Outline costs for additional optional services.

15. Admission fees for show visitors (if applicable).

16. Is the overall show audited by an official or professional trade show authority or an accredited media audit organization? (For instance, in the U.S., this would be an audit firm recognized by the Exhibition and Event Industry Audit Commission.). If yes, please indicate which one(s) or include a copy of the last report.

17. Description of technical program. (if applicable).

18. Specify product categories within this fair.

19. Audience profile of potential foreign customers (target countries, industries, profession or technical level).

20. Outline promotional campaign to be conducted in foreign markets to attract buyers, agents and distributors. What specific market promotion will be done overseas on behalf of U.S. participants.

21. Submit samples of promotional material to be used to attract prospective exhibitors and to end-users overseas; such as multilingual promotional literature.

22. Provide proof, in English, that space has been leased by either (1) a copy of space contract; or (2) letters clearly demonstrating an offer of specific exhibition space by the owner of the facility and acceptance on your part of the terms of this offer.

23. Outline the specific support services the applicant requests from the Department of Commerce in the U.S. and overseas.

24. Indicate what Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection and/or IPR policies and procedures are available from the show owner/organizer for exhibitors at the show.

25. Provide a copy of the rules/regulations for U.S. exhibitors and a copy of the show owner/organizer rules/regulations for all exhibitors. If you are both the U.S. pavilion organizer and the show owner/organizer, one set of rules/regulations for all exhibitors is sufficient.

26. Acknowledge that if certification is granted, applicant will contribute $2,000 (NON- REFUNDABLE) to the Department to cover general expenses by the Department on behalf of this application review and specific support services in the field on behalf of this project.


“The above information is correct and the applicant will abide by the terms set forth in the Participation Agreement and Conditions of Participation.”

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U.S. Agent/Applicant Printed Name Signature Title



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Printed Name Signature Title


This report is authorized by law (15 U.S.C. 1512 et seq., 15 U.S.C. 171 et seq.)

Certification of overseas trade fairs will not be considered unless a completed application has been received. Except to the extent required by law, no information of proprietary nature reported on this form will be disclosed without the prior written consent of the relevant firm.

Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average four (4) hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to: Reports Clearance Officer, International Trade Administration, Rm. 4001, U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230, and to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project (0625-0130), Washington, DC 20503.

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  If the page does not appear in 5 seconds, please click this: outside web site is managed by the International Trade Administration and external links are covered by its website disclaimer statement.