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Export and Import Controls, Economic Sanctions and Foreign Anti-Corruption

Client and Industry Challenges

United States laws on export and import controls, economic sanctions and foreign anti-corruption apply to transfers of controlled products and technology and to transactions and services with foreign persons and entities. These laws restrict certain activities by United States persons, direct exports to foreign parties and the provision of technical information via visual or oral disclosures to foreign parties on domestic soil, known as "deemed exports." Individuals and their companies face potential strict liability for violations of these regulations, and inadvertent deemed exports can occur in the course of regular business activities, such as plant tours and hiring decisions.  In addition, subcontractors and the entire supply chain faces potential liability related to the global marketplace.

Our attorneys offer analysis and advisement on the impact of anti-corruption and FCPA laws, export controls and economic sanctions on exports, re-exports and foreign direct investment activities for all sizes and types of businesses. Our general compliance analysis includes audits to determine compliance levels and areas of risk based on a company's industry, product line, customer base and existing corporate export management systems.

Areas of Service

Our export control and economic sanctions related services include:

  • Preparing foreign transaction and export management policies and procedures, including process flow systems for screening transactions
  • Preparing compliance manuals and providing training for management staff and employees
  • Assisting in the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) registration for manufacturers, exporters and brokers
  • Preparing and filing applications for commodity jurisdiction rulings from the Department of State to ascertain whether goods are subject to the export regulations administered by the Department of State or the Department of Commerce
  • Finding the proper classifications and applicable export licensing requirements for a particular good or technology
  • Preparing and assisting in filing licenses for export and assistance in communicating with regulatory authorities during the interagency license review process
  • Ensuring on-going compliance with export license terms and conditions
  • Ensuring compliance with C-TPAT and other international trade security programs
  • Conducting audits and internal investigations related to compliance and certification, including C-TPAT procedures
  • Developing and implementing remedial strategies and actions following the detection of export controls and economic sanctions violations
  • Preparing voluntary and directed disclosures related to alleged violations
  • Representing clients before government agencies, including the Department of Justice, Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, the Office of Foreign Asset Controls, Customs and Border Protection and Bureau of Industry Security, responsible for export and import controls, including seizures of transshipped items

Our attorneys can further assist in preparing Technical Assistance Agreements, Manufacturing License Agreements and Warehouse and Distribution Agreements, as well as in monitoring agreements through the approval process at the Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, Department of Defense and other relevant government agencies. We can also assist in mergers and acquisitions involving foreign interests and controlled technologies by:

  • Advising in regard to foreign operations, especially wholly owned subsidiaries, branch offices, commercial agency relationships, ITAR brokering and Maquiladora arrangements
  • Reviewing letters of intent, nondisclosure and other agreements to ensure inclusion of export control and economic sanctions safeguards and compliance with applicable regulations
  • Auditing current export license requirements and identifying whether licenses are required prior to the exchange of information necessary to due diligence and other expected transfers of technology
  • Performing pre-acquisition due diligence audits to protect acquiring companies from successor liability for past anti-corruption (FCPA), export control and economic sanctions violations by a target company
  • Submitting license and registration notifications, amendments and agreement novations, and developing an export controls transition plan to ensure continuity of post-acquisition business operations

Clients We Serve

Snell & Wilmer attorneys provide export counseling to a wide range of industries, including shipping, defense, armaments, aerospace, chemical and pharmaceutical, electronics, telecommunications, software, food & beverage, agriculture and other industries producing products for defense, dual-use and commercial applications. When necessary, our attorneys foster collaboration and open communication with our clients' internal legal staff, experts and other local counsel to defend our clients and exceed their goals, needs and expectations.

Why Clients Select Us

Commitment to Our Clients: Each of our export control attorneys is dedicated to providing our clients with superior legal services on a timely, effective and cost-efficient basis while maintaining the highest standards of professional integrity. We partner with clients to design export compliance systems that not only ensure adherence to the law, but facilitate the efficient movement of goods and technology to meet business demands without unnecessary delays due to unexpected export control consequences. Furthermore, we strive to use the latest technological advances to enhance and expedite client requests and interactions.

Dynamic Cross-Border Capabilities: In addition to our office in Cabo, Mexico, our firm is an active member of Lex Mundi, the leading association of the world’s top 160 independent law firms. Through our involvement with this recognized worldwide resource, our clients can have the confidence that they will receive quality representation from an elite selection of law firms with local market knowledge. This extensive network, together with Snell & Wilmer's offices in the United States, enables us to stay on the forefront of our profession and to provide legal services to our clients in more than 76 countries worldwide. We regularly collaborate with our colleagues to handle matters with multiple jurisdictional implications. 

Experience

Export Control Matters

  • Registration, export licensing, voluntary disclosures and other compliance matters and administrative proceedings under the International Trade in Arms Regulations (ITAR) administered by the State Department. Set up manufacturing license programs (MLA) for companies who want to manufacture U.S. munitions list items abroad. ITAR controls often extend to traditionally civilian hardware and technology when they are used as components of defense articles. We have also advised companies on export control programs and record-keeping requirements
  • Export licensing and export control programs for companies shipping high tech products and related technology under Commerce Department controls. The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) provide controls for the licensing of civilian and dual use articles and technology
  • Advising companies with exports that may be subject to the controls under the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). These include exports and re-exports to countries under U.S. economic sanctions regulations (Cuba, Iran, Syria, N. Korea and several others programs of varying scope)
  • Advising companies on deemed exports. Agencies enforcing export controls view these transfers of information as if they were actual exports to the foreign nationals' home countries and licensing or screening is often required
  • Representing companies and individuals in regard to Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and related other countries’ anti-corruption laws, including the U.K. Bribery Act, alleged violations, investigations and prosecutions

U.S. Customs and Import Matters

  • Tariff classification, valuation (transfer pricing), setting up overseas sales structures to minimize duties; use of free trade treaties such as the NAFTA, use of foreign trade zones, subzones and bonded facilities
  • Advice and compliance with Customs' new cargo security programs such as C-TPAT and "10&2" (importer security filing)
  • Advice on antidumping and countervailing duty investigations and orders
  • Customs audits and penalty proceedings
  • Immediately response to Custom seizures and related investigations to ensure minimal disruption to supply chain processes