Thad McBride will present with Brian Cope, Director of International Trade for International Paper Company, at a Clear Law Institute webinar focused on exploring the key challenges companies face when engaging in export transactions, as well as best practices for avoiding enforcement action. Attendees of the webinar will learn to:

  • Examine the primary U.S. export controls laws and regulations
  • Understand penalties and recent enforcement actions
  • Recognize key compliance challenges, such as
    • Technology transfers
    • Conducting business with third parties
    • Entering new markets
  • Explore compliance best practices to prevent and detect violations

EVENT DETAILS:

Continue Reading Webinar – Export Controls: Compliance Challenges and Best Practices

I will be co-hosting a webinar on Tuesday, November 29 on compliance challenges under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Key topics that will be covered in this webinar include ITAR and EAR amendments and new rules; jurisdiction and classification; licensing, agreements, and exceptions; effective compliance practices; recent enforcement; and identifying risks and pitfalls. The webinar is being hosted by The Knowledge Group and will be held from 10 – 11:30 a.m. EST. For more information and to register, click here.

We authored an article for Upstart Business Journal outlining potential business opportunities in Cuba, now that many trade and travel restrictions have been eased. As we point out, “it is now easier than at any time in the last 50 years for U.S. companies to export their products to and sell their products in Cuba.” While opportunities are increasing, we caution that, “it is important to recognize the continuing restrictions [including] the necessity of obtaining U.S. government approvals to the difficulty of securing financing.”

The full article, “Is Cuba Part of Your Business Strategy? Here’s What You Need to Know,” was published by Upstart Business Journal on July 14, 2016, and is available online.

On January 27, 2016, the U.S. Commerce Department Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and the U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) amended their regulations to further facilitate trade between the United States and Cuba. This is only the most recent set of steps the U.S. government has taken since President Obama announced, in December 2014, that the United States would move toward normalizing relations with Cuba.

While many limitations on trading with Cuba remain in place, the recent amendments ease restrictions related to certain exports and re-exports to Cuba, and travel to the island. The amendments also should make it easier to engage in financial transactions in and with Cuba (so long as the underlying conduct is permitted). Below is a brief summary of the amendments; the amendments themselves are available at 81 Fed. Reg. 4580 (BIS) and 81 Fed. Reg. 4583 (OFAC).

BIS Amendments. BIS controls exports and re-exports of commercial or so-called “dual use” items. Until January 2015, with limited exceptions, BIS prohibited virtually all exports and re-exports of U.S. commercial goods to Cuba. (U.S. defense exports, which are controlled by the State Department, have been and continue to be prohibited for export or re-export to Cuba. This prohibition is unlikely to be lifted any time soon.)

Continue Reading The United States (Yet Again) Eases Trade Restrictions on Cuba

As yet another step in the continuing Export Control Reform (ECR) effort, the U.S. government has recently issued a series of proposed rules that may help clarify key regulatory definitions and requirements that have confused exporters in the past. In particular, the proposed rules may ease licensing requirements for U.S. persons – and the employers of U.S. persons – working in the global defense industry.

First, on May 26, the U.S. Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) proposed changes to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to clarify the registration and licensing requirements that apply to U.S. persons in the United States or abroad who furnish defense services to, or on behalf of, their non-U.S. person employers. See 80 Fed. Reg. 30001 (May 26, 2015).

Then, on June 3, DDTC issued proposed revisions to help clarify the scope of activities and information covered by the ITAR. See 80 Fed. Reg. 31525 (June 3, 2015). The same day, the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued a parallel proposed rule to amend key definitions of the U.S. Export Administration Regulations (EAR). See 80 Fed. Reg. 31505 (June 3, 2015).

What follows is a brief summary of several of the key changes.

Continue Reading ECR Marches On: State and Commerce Announce More Proposed Changes