Export Controls & Economic Sanctions
U.S. laws, regulations and Executive Orders that restrict or prohibit the export, reexport and transfer of commodities, technologies, software and services to foreign nationals, entities and destinations in foreign countries pose significant compliance challenges for U.S. and foreign companies and investors.
The fast-paced, ever-changing nature of comprehensive and targeted economic sanctions and embargoes against certain countries, groups, entities and sectors are particularly challenging. Our attorneys routinely advise and represent clients on how these legal regimes that govern a wide variety of business activities – ranging from mergers and acquisitions to hiring employees who are foreign nationals, operating overseas subsidiaries, and forming strategic alliances – can result in significant civil and criminal penalties, as well as the loss of exporting privileges and debarment.
Some examples of our experience in export controls and economic sanctions:
- Advised a Cleveland company on U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Russia sanctions, and Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Office of Export Enforcement sectoral sanctions compliance regarding the sale of oil exploration equipment to foreign parties. Our work included assessment of diversion risk and preparing and negotiating customer-specific End-Use/End-User Certification Statements, as well as providing in-house compliance training.
- Advised U.S., Canadian and Swiss companies on compliance with OFAC General License H issued as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and U.S. commitment to lift “secondary” sanctions against Iran.
- Advised an Ohio-based manufacturer and distributor on a BIS Office of Export Enforcement and U.S. Department of Justice National Security Division criminal investigation regarding alleged violations of the Iran Transaction Regulations, including preparation of written submission. We also represented this client in proffer session before BIS investigators and Department of Justice prosecutors.
- Represented an Upstate New York manufacturer in a BIS Office of Export Enforcement investigation of unlicensed export of goods to a Russian “Entity List” party, including successful negotiation of civil monetary penalty.
- Represented a Buffalo-based company in voluntary self-disclosures to Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) and BIS regarding unlicensed releases of export controlled technology to a Chinese subsidiary. Our team conducted an internal investigation, provided compliance training, and prepared a Technology Control Plan, resulting in no monetary penalties or other adverse actions taken.
- Assisted a Canadian pharmaceutical company with evaluating the potential sale of medicine through its U.S. subsidiary to an Iranian distributor, including obtaining the company’s first OFAC license application under the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (TSRA) Program.
- Provided ongoing advice to an oil/gas sector manufacturer on economic sanctions compliance and business opportunities relating to Burma, Iraq, Libya and Russia, including due diligence with respect to OFAC Russia sanctions and BIS sectoral sanctions.
- Advised a Rochester, New York, subsidiary of a German laser manufacturer on Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) compliance requirements, including commodity jurisdiction determinations and “deemed export” compliance for foreign national employees. We also provided in-house compliance training.
- Advised an advanced materials company on “deemed export” regulations under the EAR, and assisted in the negotiation of a non-disclosure agreement with a leading California research university.
- Advised the U.S. subsidiary of a UK aerospace company on various ITAR and EAR matters, including submitting a commodity jurisdiction request to remove a product from the United States Munitions List, advising on ITAR license requirements for exports to armed forces and defense contractors in Argentina, Australia and Japan. We also performed classification analyses under the EAR “specially designed” definition.