Last week, Vatan Az, an Azerbaijani agricultural input supplier, received its first shipment of fertilizer from Grow More, an agrichemicals company based in Gardena, California. The shipment was the culmination of several months of hard work between USAID, Grow More, Vatan Az, and local customs officials. More importantly, the story behind the shipment demonstrates how PSA’s facilitation of the export/import process can help American businesses access new markets to sell their products.
As the owner of Vatan Az, Azar Amiraslanov wanted to take advantage of the expanding domestic market for agricultural inputs and increase his sales of fertilizer. Knowing the American reputation for quality agricultural products, Azar reached out to the USAID PSA team and asked for a linkage with an American fertilizer company. PSA connected Vatan Az with Grow More, and after a few conversations, Vatan Az sent a delegation to tour Grow More’s facilities. The meeting was a success, and both parties signed a contract granting Vatan Az a distributorship of Grow More’s products to markets in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. The two companies also agreed that Grow More would send one initial full container load (FLC) of fertilizer to Azerbaijan as a preface to future shipments.
After establishing face-to-face communication via Zoom, the parties were able to negotiate the payment terms and the Incoterms, the internationally recognized commercial terms widely used in the international trade of goods, which define the responsibilities of the buyer and seller in a cross-border transaction. Prior to affecting the importation, PSA also helped Grow More to register their products with the Azerbaijan Food Safety Agency, a standard practice which would prove important to clearing customs.
The shipment left Long Beach, California in mid-November 2020 and safely arrived at the port of Poti, Georgia, in early February 2021. Most international shipments require minor compliance adjustments once they arrive at port, and in this case, PSA team members relied on their export/import industry knowledge to walk both parties through the necessary compliance adjustments necessary to clear customs.
The fertilizer arrived in Ganja, Azerbaijan last week, and Mr. Amiraslanov sent a photo of a pallet of Grow More fertilizer packets in a Vatan Az store to celebrate the successful effort. Thanks to the distributorship with Vatan Az facilitated by PSA, Grow More’s initial enterprise in Azerbaijan may help expand its business into other Greater Caspian countries.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article and services provided by USAID contractors for the implementation of USAID projects do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.