Export Controls and Sanction Programs

In response to concerns over the foreign transfer of sensitive technology, the United States has developed a complex and multi-faceted system of export controls which apply to a wide variety of designated products in such diverse sectors as data processing, telecommunications, electronics, pharmaceuticals and chemicals, biological products, specialty steel, aeronautics, munitions, production equipment and others. The restrictions apply in varying degrees, depending on the nature of the product, its ultimate destination, and its intended end use.

The controls can apply to items that have a potential "dual use" in commercial and military applications, as well as products under categories having well-recognized civil applications, which are not normally controlled, but have been modified to meet specific military specifications, whether in the United States or abroad. Restrictions can also apply to technical information accessed by or transferred to off-shore vendors, off-shore employees of US companies, and even to non-US persons (including employees of US based firms) while present in the United States, the latter termed a “deemed export.”

The Firm provides advice with respect to export and import restrictions enforced by the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls-Dept. of State (DDTC), Bureau of Industry and Security-Dept. of Commerce (BIS), and the Office of Foreign Assets Control-Dept. of the Treasury (OFAC), as well as by US Customs and Border Protection, as it assists in the administration and enforcement of the export control programs under the jurisdictions of these agencies. The Firm assists clients in obtaining licenses and clearances prior to transactions. We also work with foreign counsel to expedite the entry and release of exported merchandise.

The Firm provides counsel on:

  • Identification of controlled products and activities as well as applicable license exceptions
  • BIS, DDTC, and OFAC License applications
  • Commodity Jurisdiction and BIS classification rulings
  • Product clearances
  • Voluntary Self Disclosures
  • Defense of Investigations, Penalty Assessments, and License Revocation proceedings
  • Export Compliance programs, including seminars and compliance manuals
  • Structuring of operations to assure compliance with international sanction programs and legislation (i.e., Helms-Burton, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Anti-Boycott Legislation, etc.)