Trade Compliance Considerations for Cross-Atlantic Commercial Contracts

The following article first appeared in presentation materials of the Minnesota Bar International Business Law Section’s Annual Institute in April 2021   If you work on your company’s commercial contracts for cross-Atlantic deals, you have a great many things to worry about:  pricing and delivery terms, warranties, IP rights, choice of law, arbitration provisions, the GDPR, whether to spell it “labor” or “labour,” just to name a few.  Yet how much attention do you pay to delineating the parties’ respective … Read More

Repairing Export Controlled Items Located in Another Country

A version of this article first appeared in the December 2020 issue of Export Compliance Manager, no. 9. It can challenging to deal with a disgruntled overseas customer that purchased a product now in need of repair.  The challenge of satisfying that customer can be even greater if the product in question may not be shipped freely across borders. Imagine the following scenario: you are a trade compliance manager of a California company making advanced navigation and positioning equipment.  Your … Read More

Getting your ducks in a row – how to keep track of your dual-use demo units

A version of this article first appeared in the Issue no. 5 of the Export Compliance Manager   Suppose your company makes a successful product that it wants to market globally and this product is subject to dual-use export controls under the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”).  Now suppose that it is a common industry practice to provide product demonstrations to customers who are considering buying your product.  How can a company effectively market its controlled product to customers across the … Read More

OFAC Keeps Busy with Iran, Syria, and Venezuela Designations

It is evident now that the U.S. government officials charged with implementing U.S. sanctions policies remain hard at work, even while they are confined at homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.  In June alone, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) in the Department of the Treasury has acted 6 times to make new designations, amend, and remove designations under its sanctions programs on Iran, Syria, and Venezuela.  These actions, among others, can be found on OFAC Recent Actions page. On … Read More

What’s the deal on dealing with Huawei?

In the wake of multiple rounds of increasing restrictions by the U.S. government on trade with the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei and its subsidiaries, your company may be led to believe that any transaction with Huawei or participation in the Huawei supply chain is now prohibited.  In fact, that is not so.  Indeed, the United States government regards Huawei as a serious geopolitical and national security threat to U.S. interests and severely restricts the ability of U.S. businesses to deal … Read More

U.S. Government Issues Guidance to the Shipping Industry

The U.S. Government remains hard at work through the COVID-19 pandemic.  Recently the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) at the Department of the Treasury, the Department of State, and U.S. Coast Guard issued their long-awaited Guidance to Address Illicit Shipping and Sanctions Evasion Practices​​ (the “Guidance”). This effort must have taken quite a few Zoom conferences!  But it will be worth it.  Together, the government agencies, probably led by OFAC, have put together 35 pages of valuable guidance for … Read More

PPP loans and Buy American requirements

A curious certification requirement appears in SBA Form 2483, the form distributed by the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) to enable millions of American small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to apply for forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans.  On page 2 of the form, in the first set of Certifications and Authorizations, the borrower must certify, among other things, as follows:  “To the extent feasible, I will purchase only American-made equipment and products.” The SBA does not provide any … Read More

New Restrictions on Military End Use and End Users in China, Russia, and Venezuela

Last week was quite remarkable for U.S. export controls.  On one day, April 28, the Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) published three significant new regulations – two final and one proposed rule.  Exporters should pay heed, because each of these rules creates new restrictions requiring further due diligence, risk management, and more scrutiny by the U.S. government. The first of these actions is the Elimination of License Exception Civil End Users (CIV), effective June 29, 2020.  License Exception CIV … Read More

OFAC has a ❤ for medical and agricultural exports

Everyone is doing their part during these unprecedented times to help the global community cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.  That includes the U.S. Office of the Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), in the Department of the Treasury.  In the past two weeks OFAC has issued two new guidance documents and several Frequently Asked Questions to point out that its softer, humanitarian side for exporters of medical and agricultural goods, and to suggest that it can be understanding regarding sanctions compliance issues … Read More

What NOT to do if you learn that your product goes into the supply chain of a restricted company

In recent years the United States’ aggressive use of economic sanctions and other trade restrictions has been rattling trade compliance managers and reshaping supply chains of large and small companies around the world.  Among the most consequential measures was the listing of the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei and its subsidiaries world-wide on the U.S. Entity List.  Many companies have already re-adjusted their supply chains to respond to these disruptions, but it is likely that economic warfare through imposition of restrictions … Read More

1 2