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Federal Compliance and Defense Representation for Exporters

June 22, 2020

Exporter Federal Compliance and Defense Representation

If you export your products overseas, being in compliance with the federal export controls must become a top priority. Our firm can assist with all the details of export control compliance, and we have the skills to represent your businesses if it becomes the subject of a federal audit or investigation.

 

For U.S. corporations that export items to clients in foreign markets, federal compliance presents a formidable burden. There are a multitude of laws and regulations that pertain to exporting operations.  Numerous federal agencies oversee the border and all transactions involving overseas companies and government entities. For businesses that fail to comply, the consequences can be rapid and serious, from having shipments denied at a port of entry to the company’s owners and executives facing prosecution on federal charges. 

 

Spodek Law Group handles all federal compliance and defense matters. We represent exporters across the United States. We serve businesses of all sizes across all industries, furnishing custom-tailored representation that reflects every individual client’s specific business needs. Does your company exports products overseas?  Are you preparing to enter the exporting business?  Have you been contacted by agents from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), or another federal agency?  If so, we can help you avoid the substantial penalties connected with noncompliance.

 

Compliance for Federal Export: What is Necessary to Lawfully Export Products to Trade Partners and Government Entities in Foreign Countries?

When you become an exporter of products from this country to trade partners and/or government entities in foreign nations, your business is subject to a long list of regulatory and statutory rules and restrictions. Nonetheless, the particular provisions with which your company must comply are reliant upon the scope and nature of its export operations, including the volume and kinds(s) of goods it exports.

 

Your company’s specific obligations notwithstanding, our federal export compliance attorneys can create a compliance program that is custom-fitted to its requirement. We can mitigate your company’s risk of penalties in the event of a federal inquiry, and we can do this in an efficient manner without addressing issues that aren’t relevant to your company. 

 

Export Compliance Program Development and Implementation

What does your company require in order to get into compliance? Do you need us to look over your company’s existing export control compliance initiatives, or do you need us to plan and build a compliance program from the ground up? What legal risks does your business face on a daily or weekly basis?  What is the most effective, efficient manner in which to address those risks in keeping with your company’s existing operations and future plans?

 

Our lawyers can answer every one of these questions and more.  Our team can assist you in moving forward on a path toward sustainable compliance. In the realm of export control compliance, our service offering covers:

 

  1. Needs Assessment for Your Export Compliance

Serving as your company’s export control compliance counsel, our first duty will be to perform an assessment of your company’s unique compliance needs. As we discussed above, compliance requirements can vary greatly from one company to the next, and our first concern will be to make sure that we are utilizing your company’s resources efficiently and eliminating waste. Our lawyers will coordinate with your company’s leaders, your company’s export operations management team, and your in-house legal counsel in order to create a targeted action plan for moving forward. 

 

  1. Compliance Policies and Procedures Development

Comprehensive compliance documentation is paramount – not only because it lays out a route to implementation, but also because it can go a long way in demonstrating your company’s good-faith compliance initiatives in the event of a OFAC, CBP, or other federal agency investigation. Our team will write custom-tailored policies and procedures that cover all relevant regulatory and statutory obligations. We will frame these documents so that they are both simple to use and easy to update in the future.  We can even integrate them with your company’s other corporate compliance documents if you need us to. 

 

  1. Third-Party Contracting and  Due Diligence

When doing business with foreign entities, thorough due diligence is essential.  The OFAC, CBP, and other agencies all monitor transactions that involve various countries and foreign entities.  Sending exports to a restricted, denied, or blocked party can carry severe consequences. Before your company enters business arrangements with a foreign company or sovereign entity, our lawyers can carry out the necessary due diligence, and we can look over and negotiate the terms of your contracts to make certain that they contain the requisite protections and disclosures. 

 

  1. Compliance Matters Involving CBP, OFAC, and Other Federal Agencies

Depending upon the products and parties collaboarting  in any particular export transaction, OFAC general or specific license, a CBP ruling, and multiple other forms of agency authorization may be needed.

 

Before your company commits to exporting products to a foreign entity, the compliance team at our firm can make certain that you have all of the required approvals. Here, also, the consequences of non-compliance can be great indeed.  Co-opting with restricted, denied, and blocked parties without the necessary government approval presents some of the biggest risks out of all of the export control-related compliance issues. 

 

  1. Organization-Wide Training and Implementation

Your compliance program will not serve its intended purposes if it gets buried in a file folder on your desktop. For it to be effective, an export control compliance regiment needs to be implemented on an organization-wide scale. Once our lawyers have created your company’s new or updated policies and procedures, we can furnish (or assist with) training to the relevant staff members across your company’s organizational structure. 

 

  1. Compliance Auditing, Monitoring, and Program Updates

On top of assisting with training and implementation, we can additionally assist with monitoring and auditing your company’s compliance as an ongoing function. In our role as your company’s federal export control compliance lawyers, we can figure out when changes in your export operations bring about new compliance concerns.  Also, we can give you notification of regulatory and statutory changes that will make updates to your compliance program necessary. 

 

  1. Event Response (Including Crisis Response) for Compliance Violations

Should our monitoring or internal auditing efforts reveal a compliance deficiency, our team can respond quickly to deal with the issue and implement measures crafted to prevent repeat violations. If the issue requires us to communicate with the authorities, our lawyers can execute all communications on your company’s behalf so as to prevent additional scrutiny and fend off potential penalties. 

 

Addressing Your Company’s Export Control Compliance Needs Comprehensively

In federal export control matters, the importance of comprehensive compliance cannot be stresed enough. Here at Spodek Law Group, our federal export compliance lawyers function as a team and liaise with our clients to identify all possible compliance concerns. In a typical scenario for a mid-size company, export compliance initiatives will need to cover such issues as:

 

  • Compliance  with Automated Export System (AES) Filing Rules
  • Compliance and Prior Disclosures with CBP, OFAC, and Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Third-Party Due Diligence and Contracting 
  • Commodity Classifications
  • Compliance with Exceptions, Exemptions, and Trade Regulations
  • Export Classification Control Number (ECCN) Classifications 
  • Compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)
  • International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) Registrations, Classifications and Notifications of Changes

 

How Do I Avoid Prosecution for Regulatory or Statutory Violations in the Event of Federal Export Control Audits and Investigations?

Any U.S. company that is facing federal audits and investigations in connection with their export operations needs to execute an efficient and tactical defense.  This is crucial to avoiding unnecessary shipment delays and minimizing the risk of sanctions or prosecution. On top of the assistance we provide our clients with compliance matters, we represent exporters in audits and investigations by the OFAC, CBP, BIS, and other federal agencies. 

 

In the realm of export regulatory and law enforcement defense, we provide such services as:

 

  1. Risk Assessment and Internal Audit

When you reach out to us, our team of defense lawyers and former federal agents will move quickly to carry out an internal audit and assess your company’s risk level with regards to of the government inquiry. 

 

  1. Intervening in the Audit or Investigation 

We will also quickly intervene in any audit or investigation in order to bring the process under control, reverse any misguided assumptions or misinterpretations, and start to steer the matter toward a favorable result. 

 

  1. Seeking an Informal Resolution 

Under many circumstances, issues involving CBP, OFAC, BIS, and other federal agencies can be resolved outside of the institution of formal legal proceedings. If we can demonstrate that your business is in compliance (or is actively working to deal with any past issues), we may be able to lock down a rapid result. 

 

  1. Avoidance of  Administrative, Civil, or Criminal Enforcement Action

In every matter we handle, one of our top priorities as your defense counsel is  to avoid the filing of any charges against you. In federal export control situations, administrative, civil, and criminal enforcement action are all real threats.  we will executive a cohesive defense plan designed to stop any and all potential charges. 

 

  1. Representation at Administrative Hearing and Trial

If it becomes necessary, our attorneys can also be your defense counsel in federal judicial proceedings or administrative hearings. Many of our lawyers have extensive litigation records, as well as trial records as prosecutors in their past positions with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

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