The lawyers on our international trade, national security, and economic sanctions team advise clients on international trade laws and national security requirements. We work with the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), US Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Our scope encompasses the OFAC sanction programs, Export Administration Regulation (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), import laws, antiboycott regulations, and US government national security and Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) reviews. Working with US and international businesses, universities, and nonprofits, we counsel on regulatory compliance and enforcement.
Our team conducts compliance investigations and, where appropriate, guides clients through the OFAC, EAR, and ITAR voluntary disclosure procedures. We regularly interact and communicate with government agencies, such as OFAC, BIS, and DDTC, as well as determine export jurisdiction and classification on behalf of clients. Our lawyers prepare commodity jurisdiction and classification requests, and prepare licenses, agreements, and technology control plans. We also prepare compliance policies, manuals, and procedures, and conduct compliance training for employees.
Due to national security concerns, defense contractors and companies that manufacture or export defense items are subject to heightened US regulatory control. We help clients in the defense industry navigate the unique challenges they face, with a focus on ITAR and EAR export controls, government contracts, and national security issues. We represent defense contractors, manufacturers, exporters, importers, and brokers in compliance matters before various regulatory agencies. We have experience with DDTC, BIS, OFAC, and BATFE. We also work with clients on international agency and distribution agreements, defense-related mergers and acquisitions, foreign military sales, and defense contracts.
The US government enacted antiboycott laws to prevent US firms from participating in foreign boycotts that the United States does not support. US people and taxpayers must report requests to comply with, further, or support an unsanctioned foreign boycott to the US Department of Commerce’s Office of Antiboycott Compliance (OAC) and the US Department of the Treasury. We help clients identify specific boycott requests, train personnel to comply with the regulations, and report to the appropriate authorities.
We regularly advise our clients on all aspects of the anticorruption laws, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and the UK Bribery Act (UKBA). Our team provides training, performs risk assessments, and analyzes specific business transactions and communications for potential violations. We perform due diligence on third parties, joint ventures, and acquisition targets. We also work with our white collar litigation and government investigations team in connection with internal and government investigations and voluntary disclosures to governmental authorities.
We represent clients in connection with antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings—including investigations, annual reviews, and sunset reviews—and in obtaining scope rulings. Representing petitioners and respondents, we counsel international clients and their importers on minimizing exposure to antidumping or countervailing duty assessments. Our lawyers have worked directly with and for the agencies responsible for administering antidumping laws and creating US trade remedy policy, providing them with deep insight into regulators’ expectations and strategies.
We also provide export, customs, and international dispute resolution services. Our team responds quickly to client challenges such as audits and penalty proceedings. We counsel clients on tariff preference programs and compliance with customs and trade regulations, including classification, valuation, and country of origin.
Our lawyers advise on the anti-money laundering (AML) rules and regulations, with a focus on issues involving the US Bank Secrecy Act, the US Patriot Act, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) regulations. We are particularly well versed in counseling financial institutions with applying and complying with AML laws and regulations. We assist clients with reviewing, drafting, and implementing AML compliance policies and protocols, and we provide training to employees at all levels. Because every company is different, we tailor these programs to clients’ specific business needs.
We have experience with financial institutions’ trade-based money laundering matters, and their link to multiple OFAC embargo and country sanctions regulations. We also counsel clients on the aspects of sanctioned persons screening, including Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) and blocked parties.
As required by agencies or under the applicable AML regime, we assist clients with filing registrations, reports, and other related documentation with the relevant US government agencies. We also assist with establishing and strengthening AML compliance programs and developing systems for maintaining required records. We provide ongoing training to employees about applicable AML regimes, and, when necessary, periodically test AML procedures programs.
CBP is responsible for regulating the import of goods and services into the United States, regulating the export of goods and services out of the United States, and enforcing the agency’s own import and export regulations, as well as those of other US government agencies. Foreign customs agencies have similar responsibilities. In the United States and around the world, we assist importers and exporters with achieving and maintaining full compliance with relevant customs laws and regulations.
We review clients’ import records to develop a fundamental understanding of their current import procedures. We analyze this information to ensure that procedures comply with relevant US import laws and regulations. We ensure that clients’ import transactions are appropriately classified and valued, and summarize any compliance problems we find. We also recommend corrective actions when necessary, including preparing and submitting prior disclosures. We navigate clients through the focused assessment, detention, seizure, and redelivery and destruction processes. We also counsel clients on how to reduce costs, obtain more time to pay for import purchases, and enhance risk management.
We regularly advise clients regarding the import and export requirements of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), the US Department of Commerce, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), BATFE, DDTC, and OFAC. In addition to serving importers and exporters, we represent customs house brokers, freight forwarders, nonvessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs), air carriers, and ocean carriers.
Our customs services include the following:
Clients frequently turn to us with national security matters before the US government, including the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Energy (DOE), CFIUS, the Department of State, the Department of Commerce, and the intelligence community. We represent clients in all aspects of US national security regulatory issues with transactions as well as with general compliance, including issues involving the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual (NISPOM). Our lawyers have government and private sector experience relating to classified work, including export control and sanctions implications. We advise companies and academic institutions on all aspects of US export control regulations, including those relating to the transfer of technical data and know-how to foreign people in the United States and abroad.
We are well versed in CFIUS procedures, advising US sellers and non-US buyers on whether their investments and acquisitions could be subject to CFIUS requirements and assisting in making filings with CFIUS. Drawing from experience gained while serving in government and private practice, our lawyers advise clients about whether the process should be considered and pursued.
When facility clearance or classified contracts are an issue under DOD contracts, we have experience dealing with CFIUS and related US government agencies. We work with clients to resolve potential Foreign Ownership, Control, or Influence (FOCI) issues, and special security agreement (SSA) issues that must be resolved to clear a proposed transaction.
We also help clients analyze whether their transactions could result in foreign control of a US company that may threaten to impair US national security, based on issues relating to critical infrastructure and critical technology, as defined by CFIUS. We advise on how to navigate this process to achieve the best results in an efficient, cost-effective manner.
We advise US and international companies on the worldwide application and jurisdiction of US unilateral and multilateral embargoes and sanctions, including OFAC sanctions. These sanctions programs are based on the International Emergency Economics Powers Act (IEEPA), the Trading with the Enemy Act (TWEA), and other acts of Congress and executive orders, such as the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act and the National Defense Authorization Act. Our team has experience with the US sanctions against US and non-US multinational companies in dealings with Iran, as well as the recent sanctions around Russian entities and projects.
We assist our clients with drafting and revising their OFAC compliance procedures and conducting compliance training. Where necessary, we also work with clients to obtain specific transactional licenses and determine the applicability of OFAC’s diverse general licenses (exemptions). We guide clients through the voluntary disclosure process, and help clients deal with OFAC requests for information, administrative subpoenas, and enforcement actions.
To promote national security and foreign policy objectives, the US government controls exports of sensitive commodities, technology, and software. We help clients navigate these issues, assisting US and foreign companies with matters that arise under various US and non-US export control laws and regulations.
Our team members develop comprehensive export programs for clients, which are documented in compliance manuals that consider all relevant export regulations. These regulations include EAR, ITAR, customs regulations, and OFAC sanctions programs. We assist with all stages of export procedures, from determining initial export control jurisdiction and applying for export licenses from BIS, DDTC, or other government agencies, to assisting with export record retention.
We also conduct internal investigations and, where appropriate, prepare voluntary disclosures. We perform compliance training, and when clients undertake mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures, our team conducts due diligence export compliance reviews.
We perform preacquisition due diligence reviews to ensure compliance with relevant US and foreign export and import control laws and regulations. We conduct preclosing and postclosing due diligence, export and import compliance reviews, and complete audits for new mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. When situations warrant, we prepare and submit required legal notifications regarding change in ownership and foreign ownership and other relevant notifications and disclosures to government departments and agencies. To avoid business interruptions, we work closely with the DDTC, BIS, and OFAC to ensure that licenses, agreements, and other government authorizations are timely issued.
A key component of any international business transaction is to thoroughly assess the most efficient, cost-effective, and secure way to move goods through the stream of commerce. By using alternative carriers and transportation mechanisms, shippers can develop specific strategies to minimize the cost of moving products to foreign marketplaces, and reduce their liabilities as much as possible.
To identify available alternative carriers and transportation mechanisms, shippers must deal with international transportation law. This law is an amalgam of private contractual arrangements, national laws, and international treaties such as the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA) and the Warsaw Convention. We represent shippers, customs brokers, freight forwarders, NVOCCs, air carriers, ocean carriers, and warehouse operators in such matters. We assist with: