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Federal Import/Export Compliance and Defense – Companies, Industries, and Nations We Serve

June 22, 2020

Companies, Industries, and Nations We Serve in Federal Import/Export Compliance and Defense

Our law firm represents companies across the United States and in numerous foregin countries  with respect to federal import/export compliance and defense. If you require assistance getting a grip on your company’s federal obligations, or if your company becomes subject to federal investigation, we can help you set up compliance and avoid costly penalties.

 

Federal laws that cover import and export control apply to corporations of all sizes and in all sectors. From small startups to major multinational corporations, educational institutions and oil and tech companies, if your operations involve cross-border transactions in any form, you have compliance issues that you need to deal with. 

 

Our team at Spodek Law Group represents public companies, private companies, financial institutions, educational institutions, and other clients with respect to all aspects of federal import/export compliance and defense. Our legal practice is nationwide in scope, and we have the capabilities necessary to efficiently and effectively represent clients dealing with import/export issues in nations worldwide.

 

More About Spodek Law Group

Spodek Law Group is a law firm that consults our clients with respect to federal compliance.  We also represent our clients in federal audits, investigations, administrative proceedings, and civil and criminal trials. All the members of our legal team boast a wealth of experience in federal practice (unlike others, we do not delegate the bulk of our clients’ tasks to a regiment of junior associates).  Many of our lawyers have spent previous careers in the U.S. Attorney’s Office or the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). 

 

The federal compliance and defense team at our firm also includes numerous former federal agents. They have held the titles of Special Agent, Supervisory Special Agent, and Special Agent in Charge with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the DOJ’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), and other federal agencies. 

 

In combination, our federal attorneys and former federal agents present a unique mix of insights for clients faced with import/export compliance issues. We have a depth of knowledge about the types of issues that tend to trigger federal investigations, and we also understand very well what federal prosecutors are seeking when making a decision as to whether to press charges. As a result, we are aware when our clients have issues to address.  Our team knows what it takes to resolve issues with minimal (if any) federal repercussions. 

 

Our Firm’s Import/Export Compliance and Defense Practice

Inside of our import/export compliance and defense practice, we serve a very broad array of clients. We serve clients domestically with respect to import and export issues that originate in other parts of the world. 

 

 We Serve A Wide Variety of Companies and Institutions

If an educational institution, a company, or a financial institution imports or exports any products or data, it is obligated to the strictures of federal law. This is a fact regardless of the nature, the size, or the mission of the company’s or institution’s business. Indeed, there are a variety of exceptions to the federal licensing requirements for exports.  Also, not every company that receives shipments from other countries will be labeled “importer”. Nevertheless, the risks of non-compliance make it paramount for all businesses and institutions to make certain that their importing and exporting functions are legally compliant. 

 

At Spodek Law Group, we represent all varieties of entities in federal import/export compliance and defense. The list encompasses, but is not limited to:

 

Venture-capital backed entities and Startups

Multinational business organizations, both public and private 

Privately-held companies

Publicly-traded corporation

Banks and various financial institutions

Aid and relief organizations and other non-profit concerns

Colleges, universities, and various other educational institutions

 

We Serve a Multitude of Industries

While some industries are recognized as forerunners with regard to importing and exporting in respect to volume, businesses in all industries could  potentially face import and export compliance issues. Our compliance and defense practice for import/export matters encompasses the representation of companies and institutions in the sectors (this list is not exhaustive):

 

  • Agricultural businesses
  • Automotive companies
  • Aviation and space travel organizations
  • Clothing, shoes, and accessories marketers
  • Consumer and commercial electronics
  • Defense services and supplies 
  • Diamonds and other gemstones industry
  • Educational Institutions 
  • Food and beverage Industry
  • Machinery and heavy equipment Manufacturers
  • Media and entertainment industry
  • Medical devices, supplies, and testing equipment providers
  • Oil, gas, and other mineral fuels companies
  • Organic and synthetic chemicals producers
  • Other consumer, commercial, and household products makers
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Plastics manufacturers
  • Precious metals businesses
  • Robotics manufacturers
  • Semiconductors, microprocessors and other micro assemblies manufacturers
  • Software code, data, and other electronically-stored information (ESI) companies

 

We Serve Multiple Nations

Although we are a U.S. law firm and our offices are situated in numerous cities throughout the United States, we boast the resources and capabilities required to render services to our clients on an international scale. This encompansese representation for our clients with regard to import and export compliance involving transfers, shipments, and transmissions to and from countries including (but not limited to):

 

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Caribbean and Central American nations
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • United Kingdom
  • Other countries throughout South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia

 

While most of the import and export compliance issues companies deal with when trading with these nations comes under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) and the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), we are capable of assisting with the uniquely-complex issues lying within the jurisdiction of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as well. 

 

FAQs: U.S. Domestic Companies and Institutions Import/Export Compliance and Defense Concerns

Q: What does the term “importer of record” mean?

The term “importer of record” refers to a business entity that works as an intermediary between a foreign supplier and its U.S.-based clients. The importer of record is the primary (though not exclusive) holder of responsibility for making certain that both entities are in compliance with applicable federal import control statutes and regulations.  The regulations they are concerned with  include those enforced by CPB,  BIS,and OFAC. American companies wishing to import products or information from foreign sources might do well to work with an established importer of record.  Alternatively, they may need to become importers of record in their own right. At Spodek Law Group, our attorneys can help you weigh your options and select the way forward that makes the most legal, financial, and practical sense for your company or institution. 

 

Q: What does one need to accomplish to comply with the federal export laws and regulations?

Federal export compliance comes with numerous challenges for businesses and institutions of large and small. Primarily, simply figuring out which of the many laws and regulations apply is a huge undertaking. In the majority of cases, licensing requirements can be determined on the basis of the federal Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Although, depending on the specific products, data, or information you are interested in exporting, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and numerous federal export laws may also be applicable. 

 

The attorneys at  Spodek Law Group provide comprehensive and custom-fitted export compliance representation to our clients. Our lawyers can help you understand your business’s or institution’s requirements.  We can help you put a compliance program in place that specifically touches on your business’s or institution’s unique compliance needs. Reliant upon the nature and extent of your export operations, this may be a straightforward matter of setting up and implementing internal policies and procedures. Alternatively,  it could involve continuous registration and licensing compliance with OFAC, BIS, CBP, and other agencies. 

 

Q: What if I receive a letter from BIS, CPB, or OFAC?

Depending on your business’ nature, there are a number of possible reasons why you might receive a letter from BIS, CPB, or OFAC. One reason is that the agency has questions and is looking for clarification with regards to an outgoing or incoming shipment, transfer, or transmission.  Another option is that the agency is commencing an investigation into your company’s or institution’s import or export operations. 

 

If you are in receipt of a letter from BIS, CPB, OFAC, or any other federal agency, you need to consult with a federal import/export lawyer at your earliest convenience. Avoid responding to the letter without legal advice.  At this stage, you have got to be extremely careful to avoid common pitfalls that could ramp up the federal government’s scrutiny. Our team can assess the reason why you were contacted, respond to the letter on your behalf, and assist you in undertaking any further steps that might be necessary in order to mitigate the risk of administrative penalties or civil or criminal prosecution. 

 

Q: What requirements exist for exporting products, data, and information to denied countries?

Trade with companies in certain countries is under enhanced scrutiny from BIS. If you are interested in exporting to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria, or if you are seeking to have products, data, or information re-exported to any of these countries, you must comply with enhanced licensing and regulatory requirements. 

 

Q: What risks are attached to import/export non-compliance?

In all import/export circumstances, the risks of non-compliance can be great indeed. In addition to debarment from exporting or importing, businesses, institutions, and individuals can also get slapped with fines and even face federal imprisonment. In situations where these penalties are not a concern, companies and institutions may suffer business disruptions, reputational harm, and other repercussions. As a result of this, compliance must be a high priority.  We strongly encourage anyone with questions to reach out to us to learn more.

 

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