Vendere made in Italy su amazon in USA

Sell Made in Italy on amazon USA

The United States is the second largest export market for Italy, accounting for 10.5% of total exports. Trade with Italy in 2022 amounted to 65 billion euros in exports and 25 billion euros in imports, resulting in a surplus of approximately 40 billion euros.

According to the latest update available from the Economic Observatory of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, as of October 31, 2023, trade accounted for 55 billion euros in exports (an increase of 2.2 billion euros compared to the previous year) and 21 billion euros in imports, with a trade surplus of 34 billion euros.

As for the composition of Italian exports to the United States, the leading sector is machinery and equipment (10 billion euros). These are followed by transport means (9.2 billion euros) and pharmaceutical, chemical, medicinal, and botanical products (6.8 billion euros). Outside the podium, we find food products, beverages, and tobacco with 5.4 billion euros. Then come textile products, clothing, leather, and accessories with 4.6 billion euros. Next, we find products of other manufacturing activities with 4.4 billion euros. The remaining 14.4 billion euros are spread over other categories.

Selling in the United States: Best-selling products and business strategies

Source: Economic Observatory of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (pdf downloadable here).

The data confirm, even more clearly, how the United States is among Italy’s main trading partners. Also, the food and beverage sector probably constitutes one of the most attractive opportunities for small and medium sellers.

If you are not familiar with the tax requirements needed to sell on Amazon USA, you can read our guide: ‘How to sell on Amazon USA: A complete guide for European sellers‘.

The 5 best-selling sectors according to InfoMercatiEsteri

We promise we will return to the sector just mentioned, in the following lines. But first, let’s summarize the 5 sectors in which to sell according to InfoMercatiEsteri, the Economic Observatory of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation:

  • Information and communication services.
  • Basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations.
  • Motor vehicles, trailers, and semi-trailers.
  • Machinery and equipment.
  • Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles.

But why? We have summarized the main evaluations in the following table.


What is it?


Why sell it?

Information and Communication Services

It is the sector of information technology and telecommunications, in which the United States holds more than 31% of the global market share, with a market value of 1.8 trillion dollars. Cloud platforms, entertainment software, e-commerce, mobile applications, personal monitoring systems, data intelligence, big data, cybersecurity, Internet of Things. Supply difficulties have opened new opportunities for Italian productions, which had lingered in the background compared to the United States’ import habits for this sector.

Basic Pharmaceutical Products and Pharmaceutical Preparations

Chemistry and pharmaceuticals, in which the United States are world leaders in production and export, as well as the largest consumers of active ingredients and intermediates in the world, with a demand that exceeds 50% of the total market. Medical research and diagnostic experimentation, biological sciences, and bioinformatics. The demand for products in the United States is so high that the country necessarily has to resort to importing. Thanks to Italian expertise in custom manufacturing, Italy is in a privileged position to increase export levels.

Motor Vehicles, Trailers, and Semi-trailers

The United States is the second-largest market in the world for sales and production of vehicles and automotive components. Technologies for autonomous driving systems and for vehicles with low use of fossil fuels, lightweight materials. There is an increasing demand for new technologies for materials and production machinery that can enhance the energy efficiency of motor vehicles.

Machinery and Equipment

Leading sector in the United States, with the economic impact of the machinery industry extending across all sectors. Sophisticated technologies in manufacturing, automation technologies, specialized architecture, advanced manufacturing. The post-COVID recovery is still underway, with interesting opportunities for Italian companies that can offer technological and advanced solutions.

Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles

The consumer goods market is the largest in the world with a GDP of over 25 trillion dollars and the highest household spending in the world. Acceleration of the digital revolution and e-commerce. For a long time, there have been enormous opportunities for Italian companies operating in many subsectors, such as furniture and decor, household appliances and toys, school products and sports items, musical instruments, etc.

How to Sell Food Products Online in the United States

With this in mind, let’s take a look at one of the sectors that offers the greatest opportunities for international trade in the United States for small and medium-sized sellers who decide to operate online through e-commerce: food and beverages.

U.S., leading export market for agri-food products

Indeed, the United States is the main export market for Italian agri-food products outside the European Union, with an export value of around 5.4 billion euros per year. The trend is positive, with an annual increase of about 10% over the last 5 years.  The increase has also been driven by a series of trade agreements that have revitalized food exports to North America.

10% growth forecast for the period 2023-2028

When applying this trend to e-commerce, it should be noted that grocery sales in the United States have reached 26.1 billion dollars.  They are expected to increase to 46.5 billion dollars by 2028, with a compound annual growth rate of 10% in the period 2023-28. In this constantly expanding market, the e-commerce of Italian foods in the United States is gaining an increasingly important share, mainly through Amazon. According to Promos data the sales on Amazon represent about a third of online food sales in the United States.

Which products are the most exported?

Within the food and beverage sector, the most exported Italian products are olive oil, pasta, wines, cheeses, cured meats, mineral water, and coffee. Specifically, sellers manage to generate the highest sales with national and regional specialties on Amazon. These quality specialties seem to satisfy the desire of a growing portion of American consumers to bring Italian excellences to their tables.

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Therefore, in the policies for online food sales in the United States, it would be prudent to take into account the buyer’s profile. According to Promos’ reports, the online buyers in the United States who are willing to import Italian products tend to be young and prosperous individuals living and working in urban areas of the country. Increasingly important values for them are the attention to sustainability and respect for the environment. These values should be highlighted in the text of commercial messages.

Of course, the fact that Italian food products are in such high demand in the United States should not overshadow one important thing. The sale of such products is regulated by specific rules in terms of production, processing, and export. These rules are in addition to those applied to most products, with further precautions when it comes to sales towards North America.

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

The U.S. market is considered by many operators to be one of the most difficult, especially since the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) came into effect in 2016. a  The FSMA is a food safety reform that ensures public health. It contemplates preventive actions that inevitably have a direct impact also on the import of food and beverages.

Basically, the FSMA has expanded and deepened the powers granted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA is the U.S. agency responsible for regulating and supervising food safety, dietary supplements, drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, and tobacco products.

HARPC (Hazard Analysis and Risk Based Preventive Controls)

In summary, based on the new rules, companies wishing to sell agri-food products in the United States are required to develop a Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls plan. The HARPC must set an analysis that can identify any potential risk associated with the production activity. It must also establish prevention and correction processes in case a risk occurs. It applies to all products except meat, eggs, and egg products, milk, and fresh agricultural products. The latter are under the jurisdiction of the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). Also excluded are manufacturers of alcoholic beverages with more than 7%, regulated by the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau).

Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI)

Among other responsibilities is the implementation of the Food Safety Plan, a self-control business plan integrated with risk analysis.  It is also necessary to appoint a Qualified Individual in Preventive Controls (PCQI). This figure can be a person internal to the company or an external consultant. The PCQI must have specific training and be capable of obtaining a certification from a recognized body such as the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA).

Selling in the United States: Best-selling products and business strategies

Figure 2 – The three basic rules for exporting to the USA.


What other standards and registries exist?

Given that these new standards complement and do not replace the previous ones, whoever wants to export food products to the United States, even if exclusively through e-commerce, will still need to:

  • Register with the FDA: this operation can be performed online through the FIS platform, FDA’s electronic system. It is mandatory for facilities that produce, process, pack, or store food products intended for consumption in the United States. Therefore, registration applies not only to facilities located on U.S. soil but also to those located abroad.
  • Appoint an FDA Agent or U.S. Agent: it is essential to appoint the U.S. Agent, a physical or legal person residing in the United States. Every foreign facility registered with the FDA must mandatorily designate one. Their function is to act as a point of contact between the FDA and the facility in case of urgent communications. Their appointment must be simultaneous with registration with the FDA.
  • Submit Prior Notice: this advance notice is a communication that the exporter must send FDA each time they make a shipment to the United States. This notice is also sent through the FDA’s electronic system and is necessary even when shipping samples.


In summary, selling in the United States offers enormous potential for Italian exporters. However it requires a high level of preparation on the part of Italian companies.

For this reason, operators interested in seizing the best opportunities in the North American market must take an essential step. They must equip themselves with all the most functional tools that can ensure they will comply with the regulations and respect the requirements and the stipulated deadlines.

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