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How to Apply

Specialty Crop Export Program Application
Take the following steps when applying for Specialty Crop Export Program funds:

  1. Determine your company’s eligibility
    Is your company a registered North Dakota company and has a measurable North Dakota presence?
  2. Gather Materials
    Before beginning your application, collect the following:

    • NAICS Code
      Used to identify the applicant’s business industry. To find your NAICS code, visit http://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/.
    • ND Secretary of State registration
      Verify with the North Dakota Secretary of State that your company is registered with them and is in good standing.  This information can be found athttp://www.nd.gov/sos/businessserv/.
    • Majority Owner information
      Identify all the categories that relate to the majority owner for reporting purposes.
    • Sales Figures
      Confirm total sales and gross export sales for the previous fiscal/calendar year.
    • Identify the number of employees in ND
    • Export markets and volume percentages
      Identify your company’s export countries/markets and the corresponding export sales volume
  3. Complete Application
    The Specialty Crop Export Program application and accompanying documents are available beginning October 22nd, 2014 and can be found at ndto.com.  Applications should be submitted to NDTO 30 days in advance of the activity start date.Companies need to complete only one Company Application but must complete a separate Activity Application for each event they are requesting funds.  The application process includes the following:

    • Company Application
      Requires basic company, contact, industry and financial information.
    • Certification Statements
      1. Applicant’s Certification
      2. IRS W-9 tax form
      3. Success Agreement
      4. All statements must be signed by a company owner or listed officer and dated.
  4. Mail Supporting Application Materials
    After completing the application and accompanying documents, either send the items to:
    Specialty Crop Export Program
    North Dakota Trade Office
    Dept. 0510, P.O. Box 6050
    Fargo, North Dakota 58108or email them to rebecca@ndto.com or fax them to 701-231-1151.

Specialty Crop Export Program Approval Process
Applications are reviewed based on the program guidelines and if accepted, approval is given based on the quality of the application and the overall funding available.

  1. Allocation
    NDTO allocates funds to approved companies on a first-come, first-served basis. Once all funding is allocated, the application process is over. Allocations are pre-determined based on a variety of factors:

    • Travel expenses estimated (airfare, hotel meals per diem) for the NDTO led missions to target countries or for the NDTO organized reverse trade mission
    • Amount of total funding available
    • Previous funding allocations to company and resulting successful outcomes

Applicants may receive less than the full amount requested. NDTO reserves the right to accept or reject any application, or to limit allocations to any applicant.

  1. Review Committee
    All applications meeting the eligibility requirements will be reviewed by NDTO staff.  If there are applications that require further analysis, NDTO reserves the right to share those applications with Specialty Crop Export Program partners to seek their input and arrive at a decision.  NDTO’s decisions are final.
  2. Approval Date
    NDTO seeks to make a decision on each application within one week of receipt of a completed application.  If an application requires additional analysis, site visit, interviews, etc., this time frame may be extended.
  3. Activity Start Date
    If a pre-approved activity is not completed, the application will be deemed to be withdrawn by the applicant.  Applicant may make a new application for another activity.

Amendments and Additional Funding Requests
Participating companies may need to make changes to their plans after the activity/project has been approved. Changes to existing approvals are accomplished through amendments.  Amendments can be made anytime during the program period prior to the activity commencement date.  Contact NDTO in advance with any questions.
Companies wishing to change the activity must resubmit an Activity Application to NDTO as a new activity.

Activities Checklist
This checklist will help you before, during, and after the activity.

  1. Pre-Approval
    Verify that the activity, promoted product(s), and country are listed on the approved application.
  2. Timing
    Activities must occur after the “Approval Date” and before December 31st, 2015.
  3. Proof of Payment
    A confirmation of payment is required, shown in US dollars. Reimbursement is based on your payment, so we must have the proper documentation.  The acceptable forms of payment include:

    • Cash Receipt
      For cash expenses less than $1,000, a signed receipt which must be marked “paid” and show a zero balance.  For cash expenses exceeding $1,000, a letter from the vendor stating the invoice has been paid in full.
    • Check
      A cleared, bank-encoded, cancelled version of the check, or a copy of the front and back of the check accompanied by a copy of the bank statement showing the check withdrawal as a line item or posted.
    • Credit Card Statement
      A credit card statement showing the name of the participating company, the vendor, and the charge as a line item are required.  We do not need to see proof of payment to the credit card company.
    • Wire Transfer Confirmation
      We must see the wire transfer confirmation or the bank statement showing the posted transaction.  The request alone is not sufficient.
    • Credit/Debit Memo
      A copy of the credit/debit memo, a copy of the account statement or product invoice showing the deduction taken, and copies of invoices for product shipped to the vendor and the corresponding credit memo that equals or exceeds the amount of the credit/debit memo.
  4. Proof of Activity
    Provide proof of your activity. Because this varies by activity, please see the activity details under Reimbursement Requirements (Section F).

International Travel
Companies will only be reimbursed for travel on NDTO led international trade missions to target countries, or for expenses related to the NDTO organized reverse trade mission. Please note:Travel expenses are eligible for a maximum of one U.S. based company employee. Travel expenses are not eligible for third party travelers such as importers/distributors, consultants, or specialists.

  1. Before Trip – Make Travel Preparations
    • Submit Pre-Travel Notification
      All international and domestic air travel arrangements and mileage must be submitted to NDTO 30 days prior to the departure date. Submissions must include the dates of travel, the name of the traveler, the destination country and cities; US flagged airline economy class cost and lodging costs per the US State Department per diem rates. Exception for the 30 notice time frame may be allowed in emergency situations.
    • Purchase Airline Tickets with Care
      Comply with the Fly America Act:
      Travelers must fly on a U.S. carrier in and out of the United States. Travel outside of the U.S., within other countries, may be on a foreign carrier. If it is a “codeshare” flight, the 2-letter code for the U.S partner airline must show on the ticket.
    • Buy Full Fare Coach/Economy Class Tickets:
      Travelers will be reimbursed at the cost of a full fare coach/economy class ticket.  Business or First Class travelers must submit a written quote of the coach/economy class fare for the same destination and dates of travel, obtained on the same date, for consideration.
    • Choose Direct Flights to and from the Destination:
      Fly directly to and from the approved destination. If you fly to other destinations or extend your trip, you must submit a written quote of the coach/economy class fare directly to and from the approved destination. Be sure to obtain a quote at the time you are booking your airfare. Quotes done after the trip takes place are not eligible. Written quote must come from a website (printed with URL address and showing/ or from a travel agent).
  2. During Trip – Collect Documentation
    • Airfare Passenger Receipt or E-ticket Receipt
      Keep the Passenger Receipt or E-ticket Receipt, which shows the ticket number, the complete routing codes including layover and flight segments, and the fare amount charged (i.e., point-to-point faring). In addition to the Passenger Receipt, you must provide a printed itinerary.
    • Lodging
      You will be reimbursed for no more than the U.S. government per diem rate listed athttp://aoprals.state.gov/web920/per_diem.asp. If your destination city is not listed, please choose “Other” to determine the per diem rate.  Obtain a detailed copy of the hotel statement showing the occupant’s name, arrival/departure dates, daily room rate, and total charges (indicating a zero balance). If the hotel statement is in a foreign language, it must be translated into English. If the hotel was reserved and prepaid online or through a travel agent, you must obtain a receipt from the hotel showing the occupant’s name and arrival/departure dates to confirm the reservation was kept. Lodging statements must be in US dollars or converted into US dollars.  Foreign currency charges shown on credit card statements are not eligible for reimbursement.

Reimbursement Requirements
Email copies of the completed Request for Reimbursement and supporting documentation to NDTO. All reimbursement claims should be submitted to NDTO within 30 days of the completion of the activity. Claims are due in the NDTO office no later than December 31, 2015.  You must provide NDTO with supporting documentation for each reimbursement claim. All reimbursements require the submission of three items:

  • An invoice
  • Proof of payment (copies only)
  • Proof of activity – If a picture or printed material is being submitted as proof of activity, only one of each item is needed per reimbursement request.

Keep copies of all reimbursement request materials, including original copies of vendor invoices. Upon review, NDTO may request original documentation. Please note: You are required to maintain your Specialty Crop Export Program files for a minimum of 3 years following the end of the program year. Files are subject to audit by NDTO. Once your reimbursement claim has been reviewed and you have been notified of any additional documentation that is needed, you have 15 days to provide the documents or your reimbursement claim may be denied.

General Requirements for Reimbursement
All invoices submitted for reimbursement must contain detailed information in English or translated into English:

  • Dates of expenses must be readable
  • Name and contact information of vendor
  • All itemized charges (summary invoices are ineligible)

Invoices must either be in English or be accompanied by an English translation. For foreign currency exchange rate conversions, please use www.oanda.com, and put in the date or date range.

If NDTO reimburses a participant and it is determined at a later date that an error was made in computation or that the participant was ineligible, participant agrees to reimburse NDTO within 15 days of notice from NDTO.

Specific Requirements by Activity
The activities listed below require specific documentation in order to qualify for reimbursement.

  1. Trade Missions
    Proof of participation in the trade mission may include a photo of the traveling group in a destination country and a copy of the participation agreement for the mission.
  2. Travel
    Travel expenses to participate in NDTO Trade Missions or the NDTO Reverse Trade Mission are eligible for a maximum of one U.S. based company employee. Travel expenses are not eligible for third party travelers such as importers/distributors, consultants, or specialists.
  3. Airfare
    • Passenger Receipt or E-ticket Receipt indicating direct flight(s) on U.S. carrier to and from the approved destination with full fare coach/economy class tickets
    • Flight itinerary listing each leg of the flight, flight numbers, airports, dates, and times.Please note:S. carrier airline codes flight numbers are required for flights departing from and arriving in the United States
    • If applicable, a quote for a full fare coach/economy class ticket on a U.S. carrier to and from the approved destination
  4. Lodging
    Hotel statements or receipts showing occupant’s name, arrival/departure dates, daily room rate, total charges and a zero balance. If the statement is in a foreign language, an English translation must be provided.  Statements must be shown in US dollars.
  5. Prepaid Lodging
    Detailed invoice from the travel agent or web site listing the nightly room rate and a statement from the hotel detailing the occupant’s name and the arrival/departure dates
  6. Reverse Trade Missions
    Proof of participation in the trade mission may include a photo of a company representative and the international group at a company facility, tour, program event, etc. and a copy of the participation agreement for the mission
  7. Activity Results
    Participants in the Specialty Crop Export Program are required to submit number of prospective buyers met with during each trade mission, as well as quarterly export sales information and survey requests to NDTO that resulted from the approved activity through December 31, 2015.  These results include dealer/distributor signed agreements.  These activity results and outcomes should be submitted to NDTO no later than 15 calendar days after each quarter, or upon request by NDTO.

 

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Cozen O\'Connor