The term export means shipping the goods and services out of the port of a country. The seller of such goods and services is referred to as an "exporter" and is based in the country of export whereas the overseas based buyer is referred to as an "importer". In international trade, "exports" refers to selling goods and services produced in the home country to other markets.
Export of commercial quantities of goods normally requires involvement of the customs authorities in both the country of export and the country of import. The advent of small trades over the internet such as through Amazon and eBay have largely bypassed the involvement of Customs in many countries because of the low individual values of these trades. Nonetheless, these small exports are still subject to legal restrictions applied by the country of export. An export's counterpart is an import.
The theory of international trade and commercial policy is one of the oldest branches of economic thought. Exporting is a major component of international trade, and the macroeconomic risks and benefits of exporting are regularly discussed and disputed by economists and others. Two views concerning international trade present different perspectives. The first recognizes the benefits of international trade. The second concerns itself with the possibility that certain domestic industries (or laborers, or culture) could be harmed by foreign competition.