Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Specialty Crop Export Program?
The Specialty Crop Export Program is a reimbursement program authorized by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and Agricultural Act. The North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO) is providing Specialty Crop Export Program funding to eligible business concerns to increase global market visibility and competitiveness of the North Dakota specialty crop sector. Specialty crops included in this program are peas, beans, lentils, and confectionary sunflowers. For a full list of eligible specialty crops, please visit http://www.ams.usda.gov/. The Specialty Crop Export Program is accessible through our secure website, ndto.com.
2. What types of activities are eligible to receive a reimbursement under the Specialty Crop Export Program?
Eligible expenses for reimbursement are airfare, hotel, and meals at federal per diem rates for NDTO led international trade missions and NDTO organized reverse trade missions.
3. What is the duration of the Specialty Crop Export Program?
Specialty Crop Export Program funds are available effective October 1st, 2018 through December 31, 2021.
4. Who administers the Specialty Crop Export Program?
The North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO) administers the Specialty Crop Export
5. Who can apply for the Specialty Crop Export Program?
The Specialty Crop Export Program is open to North Dakota based companies who export specialty crops, who are in good standing with NDTO, and have a significant presence in North Dakota. Companies must be in business for a minimum of one year, be profitable, have demonstrated an understanding of the costs associated with exporting, and have a strategic export plan in place.
6. Is my company eligible for the Specialty Crop Export Program?
Please see the answer to question #5 above.
7. How long does it take for application approval?
Specialty Crop Export Program application approval can take up to one (1) week or longer. Approvals are based on the quality of the application, receipt of all required documents and the funding dollars available. NDTO reserves the right to accept or reject any application, amend the applicant’s requested funding or limit applications to any applicant. NDTO’s decisions shall be considered final.
8. Can any expenses I have incurred prior to receiving approval of my application be included for reimbursement?
Spending and activities that occur before your approval date will not be eligible for reimbursement.
9. How will a company be notified when their application is approved?
When your application is approved, you will be notified by email, fax or phone call which will indicate the approval terms.
10. Is there a fee to participate in this program?
There is no application or administrative fee required to participate.
11. What are my reporting requirements for participating in the Specialty Crop Export Program?
A condition of participation in the Specialty Crop Export Program will be the applicant’s written commitment (see the Success Agreement) to report the number of prospective buyers met during each trade mission, and all related export sales data to NDTO on a quarterly basis through December 31, 2021. The information reported is held confidential, but may be reported to interested parties in cumulative, summary form.
12. Will my company be able to publish a success story relating to the Specialty Crop Export Program?
Absolutely! NDTO loves success stories and would be happy to share your story with the media and other interested parties.
13. What are the expected outcomes from the Specialty Crop Export Program that must be reported to NDTO?
Number of prospective buyers met during each trade mission, increased export sales (including dollar value and quantity, if possible) and company status of new to export or new to market.
14. What documentation is required for reimbursement of eligible expenses?
Specific documentation is required for all reimbursement claims to protect against fraud and other improper activities. Foreign language documentation must be translated into English or it will not be processed. All reimbursement requests require the following information: 1. invoice from vendor; 2. proof of payment; and 3. proof of activity. See guidelines for additional details.
15. When should a company submit their request for reimbursement?
Reimbursement requests should be submitted timely, preferably within 30 days after the activity is completed.
16. Should a company submit their original documentation with a reimbursement claim?
Please submit only photocopies of receipts; do not submit originals.
17. Do I have to provide survey results and expected sales numbers?
The survey results and expected sales outcomes are a requirement of your participation in the Specialty Crop Export Program. Participants are required to provide the number of export related agreements, number of prospective buyers met, dollar value of projected sales, dollar value of actual sales, and any information on the success of the program or success stories relevant to the program through December 31, 2021.
18. What reimbursement basis is used for my lodging and meals expenses?
Reimbursement will only be based on per diem rates as published by the federal government.
19. Where can I find federal per diem rates for foreign cities?
Foreign per diem rates for allowable lodging expenses are managed by The US State Department, and located at: http://aoprals.state.gov/web920/per_diem.asp
20. Where can I find federal per diem rates for domestic cities?
Domestic per diem rates for allowable lodging expenses are located at: http://www.gsa.gov/portal/category/21287