Transacting international business while complying with the myriad patchwork of US and international trade controls is an increasingly complicated endeavor. Technology advances at an exponential rate, the structure of international business transactions is ever more complex, and international politics as well as the rules governing export trade and economic sanctions change on nearly a daily basis. At the same time, government and investors’ compliance expectations have reached unprecedented levels.
At Arent Fox, we assist our clients in anticipating and exceeding those expectations while maximizing the return to the business. We offer a full service export trade practice, advising clients on US and international trade controls requirements with an emphasis on compliance, counseling, and controversy management.
- With over 50 years combined experience, our team has breadth and depth of knowledge in multiple industry sectors
- We advise clients daily on export controls, defense trade controls, economic sanctions, and antiboycott compliance issues
- We provide comprehensive services including counseling, classification, licensing, opinion writing, and auditing the most sophisticated worldwide systems
- We are advocates with a proven track record defending our clients and achieving favorable resolutions of civil and criminal investigations and enforcement actions
Arent Fox counsels clients on US and international export control laws, including the Department of Commerce Export Administration Regulations (EAR); the Department of State International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR); Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulations on the export of nuclear equipment, material, and technology; the Food and Drug Administration and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) regulations; and other countries export regulations.
EAR Advice Related to Dual-Use Export Controls
We advise on all aspects of US and foreign export control and multilateral control regimes, including licensing, classification of products, use of No License Required (NLR) and license exceptions, encryption, deemed exports, diversion risks; proliferation concerns, de minimis and foreign direct product rules, export documentation requirements (SED/AES) under the EAR and Census Regulations, and antiboycott regulations.
ITAR Services Related to Defense Articles and Services
We advise clients on compliance with the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and ITAR. Our practice includes advice on registration, licensing, commodity jurisdiction of products, commercial products modified for military applications, and defense services.
Embargoes and Sanctions/OFAC
We advise US and foreign clients on compliance with the full range of US and multilateral economic sanctions and embargoes administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) against countries such as Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Sudan, the Crimea region of Ukraine, and other sanctioned countries and regions. Our work includes compliance advice, advisory opinion requests, and licensing.
US Antiboycott Compliance
We advise our clients on compliance with US laws penalizing US companies and their foreign affiliates from participating in unsanctioned foreign boycotts. Arent Fox attorneys routinely counsel clients on the substantive proscriptions and reporting obligations under both the US Commerce and Treasury Departments’ antiboycott laws. We have designed antiboycott compliance systems, trained US and foreign personnel on these nuanced rules, conducted compliance audits and internal investigations, and defended clients before the Commerce Department’s Office of Antiboycott Compliance (OAC) and the Internal Revenue Service.
Compliance and Investigations
- Compliance Programs: Arent Fox helps clients develop comprehensive programs to ensure compliance with ITAR, EAR, OFAC, and other regulatory regimes.
- Voluntary Disclosures: We assist in preliminary and complete audits to determine compliance with export control requirements, and counsel on issues, such as whether and how to make voluntary disclosures of past errors.
- Government Investigations: We routinely assist clients with a wide range of government visits and inquiries, ranging from visits and letters, to subpoenas and search warrants. Our compliance attorneys work closely with a large and expanding white collar defense group which includes several senior attorneys who were formerly federal and state prosecutors.
US Security-Related Regulation
Arent Fox also assists foreign clients with inbound defense-related requirements. We assist foreign companies in filing Exon-Florio notifications with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). We also assist clients who wish to invest in US companies with security clearances from the Department of Defense under its Foreign Ownership or Control or Interest (FOCI) rules, and advise clients on The Economic Espionage Act of 1996, an act prohibiting the theft of trade secrets.
Arent Fox advises clients in a wide variety of industries. Our areas of focus include:
- Aircraft and other transportation
- Chemicals including propellants and explosives
- Computers and peripherals, including various microprocessors, co-processors, memory, and other chips
- Encryption hardware, software, and technology
- Financial services
- Materials processing
- Medicines and medical devices
- Petroleum exploration, production, and transportation
- Satellite and aerospace
- Sensors and lasers