Category Archives: Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and Commercial Exports

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Obama’s Not Slowing Down On Cuba: New Steps Forward Open Doors (and Humidors!) for Collaboration

With fewer than 100 days left in office, President Obama is not slowing down on his efforts to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba. Today, several changes to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR) go into effect. Those changes build on the plan President Obama laid out in … Continue Reading

Espionage and Export Controls: The iPhone Hack Highlights The New World of Warfare

Last week, researchers at Citizen Lab uncovered sophisticated new spyware that allowed hackers to take complete control of anyone’s iPhone, turning the phone into a pocket-spy to intercept communications, track movements and harvest personal data. The malicious software, codenamed “Pegasus,” is believed to have been developed by the NSO Group, an Israeli company (whose majority … Continue Reading

The Baby and the Bathwater: The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Intrusion and Surveillance Software Export Licensing Proposal

If you are not aware, please take note that the July 20, 2015 deadline is fast approaching for comments to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) proposed rule on the export control of certain intrusion and surveillance related software.  The proposed rule, which addresses changes to the U.S. Export Administration … Continue Reading

Military Electronics Export Reform: Let the Chips Fall Where They May

Every time there is a new round of reforms under the President’s Export Control Reform initiative, we hear the same advice: Controls on certain items are eliminated or reduced (which creates new opportunities for manufacturers and exporters); but The new rules bring new complexities, so be careful. Attorneys in the export control space correspondingly inundate … Continue Reading

Drop Your Weapons: The United States Restricts Military Exports to Venezuela

The U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has amended the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to restrict exports to Venezuela of certain items intended for “a military end use or end user.”  These changes complement a pre-existing U.S. arms embargo against Venezuela – in place since 2006 – that was imposed because … Continue Reading

New U.S. Restrictions on Russia: OFAC Guidance and Industry-Specific Sanctions

OFAC Expands the 50 Percent Rule Last month, the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) released new guidance related to entities owned or controlled by persons designated as a Specially Designated National (SDN) on OFAC’s SDN list.  Although the guidance leaves intact the current meaning “50 percent rule,” the rule will now … Continue Reading

Don’t try this at Home or Abroad: Export Controls and Sanctions Violations Lead to $21 Million in Penalties for Dutch Company Fokker Services B.V.

We frequently discuss enforcement actions in this blog, because understanding enforcement is a key aspect of trade compliance.  From a fifty-thousand foot view, each enforcement case serves as a cautionary tale about the overall need for compliance.  On a more granular level, enforcement actions provide valuable insight into how the government thinks about and targets … Continue Reading

Where Two Worlds Collide: The Impact of Sanctions in Space

As we continue to find new ways to look at the implications of the Ukraine-related sanctions introduced by the United States over the past few months, we have shifted our perspective to the extra-terrestrial to focus on the significant effects sanctions may have in space.  And from that vantage point, we note that the unintended … Continue Reading

ECR Episode IX – Serving up the Third Round: The Next Wave of Export Control Reform Takes Effect on July 1, 2014

In the country pubs of Ireland, it has long been the practice of the barkeep to “stand the third round” for good customers, meaning to offer the third drink for free.  The practice makes sense both as customer appreciation and as an inducement for those fine customers to continue their revelries right where they are.  … Continue Reading

Russian Against Time: New Sanctions and Lowered Expectations as Ukraine Crisis Continues

There’s no end in sight for the turmoil in Ukraine. And there’s no end in sight for international sanctions against Russia for causing that turmoil. As sanctions escalate, so will the collateral damage. New sanctions announced on April 28, 2014 will not only affect Russia and Ukraine, but will affect U.S. business too. But while … Continue Reading

Starving the Bear: The United States Restricts Exports to Russia

The pressure on Russia continues to build.  As we previously reported here and here, throughout March, the United States and other Western powers implemented a series of sanctions against individuals and entities deemed to be involved in the political destabilization of Ukraine.  Those sanctions were restricted to specific parties, including high ranking Russian and Ukrainian … Continue Reading

Spacing Out: BIS Issues Report on Export Controls and the Space Industrial Base

In February 2014, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) published a report (“Report”) detailing the impact of export controls on the U.S. space industry.  Titled the “U.S. Space Industry ‘Deep Dive’ Assessment,” the Report addresses how U.S. export controls affect the space industrial supply chain.… Continue Reading

Just the TTIP: A Review of the Transatlantic Partnership Agreement One Year After It Is Introduced to America

Next week will mark one year since President Obama introduced the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) to the nation in his State of the Union Address.  Although the TTIP received only a brief nod in the President’s speech, the TTIP initiative has moved forward at a stunning pace . . . well, a stunning … Continue Reading

EU Targets Cyber Surveillance Exports and U.S. Considers Cyber Weapon Controls

By: Neil Ray In light of the recent high profile disclosures of cyber surveillance, there is increased political momentum in the U.S. and EU to control the export of particular cyber technology products and services.  In the EU, the focus is on electronic surveillance equipment, and in the U.S., the concern is the proliferation of cyber weapons. At an export control conference in Brussels this summer, a Dutch Member of the European Parliament, Marietje Schaake, who sits on the Parliament’s Committee of International Trade, called for EU regulation of “mass surveillance, mass censorship, tracking and tracing systems, as well as hacking tools and vulnerabilities that can be used to harm people”.… Continue Reading

Export Control Reform Series Episode III: Harmonizing EAR Exceptions and ITAR Exemptions

By: Fatima Merchant Background In Episode 1 and Episode 2 of this series, we discussed some key points of U.S. Export Control Reform and took you through a step-by-step reclassification analysis of parts and components transitioning from the USML to the EAR.  After determining that the items you export will move from the USML to the CCL, you will need to evaluate your licensing requirements.… Continue Reading

Export Control Reform Series Episode IV: The New Definition of “Specially Designed”

By J. Scott Maberry In Episode I, “The Basics,” we showed you some of the basics of the President’s new export control reform initiative. In Episode II, we helped you understand how to make sense of the impending changes in U.S. Munitions List Category VIII aircraft parts. In Episode III, we took you thorough the critically important license exemptions and exceptions. And now, just as in the Star Wars epic, we come to the best part: Episode IV: the new definition of “specially designed.” … Continue Reading

Export Control Reform Series Episode I: The Basics – Five Points to Remember about Export Control Reform

By: Reid Whitten The first major wave of the much-discussed U.S. Export Control Reform measures will break on October 15, 2013 as the first round of rule changes take effect.  While many in the affected industries expect that the October changes will be a welcome relief from certain burdensome regulations, many are concerned, confused, and … Continue Reading

Export Control Reform Series Episode II: The First Change – Reevaluating your ITAR Aircraft Parts

By: Reid Whitten In Episode I: The Basics we noted that U.S. Export Control Reform may be causing confusion and consternation among those who will have to take the first theoretical rule changes and apply them in real and practical situations.  Among the first test subjects are those who oversee ITAR compliance for manufacturers and exporters of aircraft and aircraft parts.  While these brave souls will be the front line of the ECR implementers, those in the ranks behind (looking at you, Military Vehicles and Naval Vessels) will do well to learn from their experience.… Continue Reading

State Department Issues Nuts and Bolts Guidance on Libya

By: Thad McBride On May 10, 2013, the U.S. State Department issued unusually practical guidance (the Guidance) on exporting to Libya.  The Guidance, which even has a practical name – “Direct Commercial Sales of Defense Articles and Services to Libya” – is available here. For many years, the United States has imposed extensive restrictions on exports of defense articles to Libya.  Since February 2011, unilateral U.S. restrictions on such exports have been buttressed by an arms embargo imposed on the country by the United Nations.  Under part 126 of the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), UN arms embargoes essentially have direct effect under U.S. law.  With respect to Libya, this means that section 126.1(k) of the ITAR tracks the restrictions that the United Nations has imposed on Libya.… Continue Reading

$8 Million Penalty for Weak ITAR Compliance: How the Price of Maintenance Beats the Cost of Repair

By: Reid Whitten On April, 30, 2013, Raytheon Company, a major military electronics and weapons manufacturer, agreed with the U.S. Department of State to pay $8 million in civil penalties and remedial expenditures to settle alleged violations of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).  The size of the penalty catches the eye, but beyond the whopping number is a sizeable lesson to be drawn from such enforcement actions: when a company forgoes the expense of maintaining its ITAR compliance system, it risks paying a much greater price if a breakdown occurs.… Continue Reading

New “Beast” Rules Lessen the Export Control Burden

By: Scott Maberry, Curtis Dombek, and Cheryl Palmeri On April 16, 2013, the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce published the first in a series of final rules, amending the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) in accordance with President Obama’s 2009 Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative.[1] This is a significant milestone in export reform.  The ECR aims to focus U.S. government efforts on controlling the export of sensitive technologies while streamlining exports of defense-related items to U.S. allies and partners around the world. … Continue Reading
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