International Trade Compliance

Extensive compliance experience to navigate the sometimes turbulent waters of international trade.

Meet the team

Locke Lord lawyers have extensive compliance experience to assist clients navigating the sometimes turbulent waters of international trade. Whether you are buying and selling goods and services or acquiring other companies that trade internationally, our lawyers are prepared to help you meet every aspect of international trade compliance. We advise clients in a wide range of industries, including aviation, energy, general manufacturing, hospitality, insurance, mining, oilfield services and retail entities with foreign supply contacts.

Export Controls

Our international trade compliance lawyers can assist in complying with both of the key categories of regulatory requirements governing exports from the United States. The International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) administered by the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) apply to defense-related exports. The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) administered by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) apply to commercial or dual-use exports of products or technology. We guide clients through the U.S. licensing and export process for goods, services and data of all kinds. When requested, we work directly with the responsible government agencies. We also help clients comply with Antiboycott regulations.

Trade Sanctions

Our lawyers provide effective guidance for compliance with U.S. economic sanctions administered by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), including trade embargoes, asset freezes, export/import restrictions and designations of denied parties for trade purposes. Our team closely tracks the evolving restrictions in this area to ensure our clients’ ability to conduct business within the full scope of permissible activity.

U.S. Customs and Import Controls

We represent clients on U.S. import compliance matters, including tariffs, duty drawbacks, country of origin determinations under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and other trade treaties, ruling requests, classifications, valuations, protest and prior disclosures to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and representation in administrative hearings regarding CBP seizure of goods.

Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)

Locke Lord helps clients navigate the issues presented by CFIUS, which has the authority to review all foreign investments in U.S. businesses that may affect national security, broadly interpreted. It is important to address potential CFIUS issues thoughtfully, since a proposed transaction may be blocked or significantly restructured as a result of CFIUS review.

Our compliance services are turnkey in nature, addressing critical steps in the compliance cycle. This includes:

  • Training: We provide both awareness and detailed process level training to clients at all levels of their organization on topics involving antibribery, sanctions, export controls (both commercial and military) and antiboycott
  • Program Development: We routinely work with clients to develop tailored compliance programs that are practical and accessible, aimed to prevent, deter and detect potential violations of trade law
  • Due Diligence: We conduct due diligence compliance reviews and audits of clients’ existing and prospective agents, distributors, joint ventures and counter-parties’ trade compliance programs and procedures as part of ongoing evaluation and monitoring programs, as part of pre-acquisition reviews of such relationships, and for mergers and acquisitions
  • Investigations: When potential violations of trade law are discovered, we help our clients efficiently assemble the best team to respond, including locating, identifying, assembling and preserving documents and electronic information, and performing the necessary forensic and direct investigation
  • Enforcement: Should compliance issues proceed to the enforcement stage, the Firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations team can assist