Export Controls & Economic Sanctions

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.

Our Team

We assist our clients in anticipating and exceeding those expectations while maximizing the return to the business. We offer a full service export control and economic sanctions practice, advising clients on US and international trade controls requirements with an emphasis on compliance, counseling, investments and disclosures.

  • 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:

  • Department of Commerce Export Administration Regulations
  • Department of State International Traffic in Arms Regulations
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations on the export of nuclear equipment, material, and technology
  • Food and Drug Administration and Drug Enforcement Agency regulations

Our Work

Compliance with the US Export Administration Regulations (EAR)

We advise on all aspects of compliance with the Department of Commerce and the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) regulations, including licensing; classification of products; license exceptions and exemptions; encryption; deemed exports/ re-exports; diversion risks, proliferation concerns; de minimis and foreign direct product rules; and export documentation requirements (AES/ACE) under the EAR and Census Regulations.

Compliance with the ITAR

We advise clients on compliance with the Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) regulations. We provide advice on registration; licensing; commodity jurisdiction of products; brokering; and defense services. 

Embargoes and Sanctions/OFAC

We advise US and foreign clients on foreign trade and banking compliance with the full range of US and multilateral economic sanctions and embargoes administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Departments of State and Commerce against sanctioned countries, regions, entities, and persons. Our work includes compliance advice, advisory opinion requests, and licensing.

US Anti-Boycott Compliance

We advise our clients on compliance with US laws penalizing companies from participating in unsanctioned foreign boycotts. Our team routinely counsels clients on the substantive proscriptions and reporting obligations under both the US Commerce and Treasury Departments’ anti-boycott laws. We design anti-boycott compliance systems; train US and foreign personnel; conduct compliance audits and internal investigations; and defend clients before the Commerce Department’s Office of Antiboycott Compliance (OAC) and the Internal Revenue Service.

Compliance and Investigations

  • Compliance Programs: We help clients develop comprehensive programs to ensure compliance with ITAR, EAR, OFAC regulations, and other regulatory regimes.
  • Audits: Conduct both government directed and company audits of export controls and sanctions.
  • Disclosures: We assist in preliminary and complete audits to determine compliance with export control requirements, and counsel on the voluntary disclosures of past errors and how to.
  • Mergers & Acquisitions: Assist both acquirors and targets with the due diligence and US government filings (e.g. ITAR, CFIUS) associated with M&A activities.
  • Government Investigations: We assist clients with a wide range of government visits and inquiries, ranging from visits and letters, to administrative and criminal subpoenas and search warrants.

US Security-Related Regulation

Our team assists 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 and for the Agents Regis Act.

Key Contacts