Locke Lord lawyers have the depth and breadth of compliance experience needed to assist clients navigating the sometimes turbulent waters of international trade. Whether our clients are buying and selling goods and services, or acquiring other companies that trade internationally, our lawyers are prepared to help them meet every aspect of international trade compliance. Our team advises clients in a wide range of industries including aviation, energy, general manufacturing, hospitality, insurance, mining, oilfield services, and retail entities with foreign supply contacts.
Our international trade compliance lawyers assist clients 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 by our clients, we work directly with the responsible government agencies.
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 international trade compliance 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 North American Free Trade Agreement and other trade treaties, Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) designations, ruling requests, protest and prior disclosures to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and representation in administrative hearings regarding U.S. Customs and Border Protection seizure of goods. We assist clients with their classification and valuation needs for customs purposes.
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 review 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:
A key component of any compliance program is providing clients with the necessary information to prevent violations. We provide both awareness and detailed process level training to clients at all levels of their organization, from the board room to the dock, on topics involving anti-bribery, sanctions, export controls (both commercial and military), and anti-boycott.
Locke Lord routinely works with clients to develop compliance programs tailored to their needs and risk assessment. These programs are practical and accessible, aimed to prevent, deter and detect potential violations of trade law.
The Firm conducts 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 our clients’ ongoing evaluation and monitoring programs, as part of pre-acquisition reviews of such relationships, and for mergers and acquisitions.
Discovery of potential violations of trade law and regulations often require a coordinated tactical and swift approach and “boots-on-the-ground” investigative response. We help our clients efficiently assemble the best team for the job at hand, to locate, identify, assemble and preserve documents and electronic information, and to perform the necessary forensic and direct investigation.
Should compliance issues proceed to the enforcement stage, the Firm’s White Collar Criminal Defense and Internal Investigations team includes former U.S. Attorneys and prosecutors and lawyers from the DOJ and the SEC who can assist.