Federal Compliance and Defense Representation for Exporters
If your company exports products overseas, complying with the federal export controls needs to be a top priority. We can assist with all aspects of export control compliance, and we can represent your company if it is being targeted in a federal audit or investigation.
For U.S. companies that export products to customers in foreign countries, federal compliance presents a substantial burden. There are numerous laws and regulations that apply to exporting operations, and multiple federal agencies have oversight of the border and transactions involving foreign businesses and government entities. For companies that fail to comply, the consequences can be swift and severe, from shipments being denied at port to the company’s owners and executives being prosecuted for federal crimes.
Oberheiden P.C. is a federal compliance and defense law firm that represents exporters nationwide. We serve companies of all sizes in all industries, offering custom-tailored representation that reflects each client’s unique business needs. If your company exports products overseas; if you are preparing to get into the exporting business; or, if you have been contacted by agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), or any other federal agency, we can help you avoid harsh penalties due to noncompliance.
Federal Export Compliance: What Does it Take to Lawfully Export Products to Businesses and Government Entities in Foreign Countries?
As an exporter of products from the United States to businesses and/or government entities in foreign nations, your company is subject to a host of regulatory and statutory rules and restrictions. However, the specific provisions with which your company must comply are dependent upon the scope and nature of its export operations, including the volume and type(s) of products it exports.
Regardless of your company’s specific obligations, our federal export compliance lawyers can develop a compliance program that is custom-tailored to its needs. We can help your company avoid penalties in the event of a federal inquiry, and we can do so efficiently without addressing issues that aren’t of concern to your company.
Developing and Implementing an Export Compliance Program
What does your company need in order to be compliant? Do you need us to review your company’s existing export control compliance efforts, or do you need us to prepare a compliance program from scratch? What legal risks does your company face on a day-to-day basis, and what is the most-effective and most-efficient way to address those risks in light of your company’s existing operations and future plans?
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Our attorneys can answer all of these questions for you, and we can help you move forward on a path toward sustainable compliance. In the area of export control compliance, our services include:
1. Export Compliance Needs Assessment
As your company’s export control compliance counsel, our step will be to conduct an assessment of your company’s specific compliance needs. As we mentioned above, compliance needs can vary greatly between companies, and our first order of business will be to ensure that we are deploying your company’s resources efficiently and without waste. We will work with your company’s leaders, the managers of your company’s export operations, and your company’s in-house counsel in order to develop a targeted action plan for moving forward.
2. Development of Compliance Policies and Procedures
Thorough compliance documentation is critical – not only because it provides a platform for implementation, but also because it can help to demonstrate your company’s good-faith compliance efforts in the event of a CBP, OFAC, or other federal agency investigation. Our attorneys will draft custom-tailored policies and procedures that address all pertinent regulatory and statutory requirements. We will structure these documents so that they are both easy to use and easy to update over time, and we can integrate them with your company’s other corporate compliance documents if desired.
3. Third-Party Due Diligence and Contracting
When dealing with foreign entities, thorough due diligence is critical. CBP, OFAC, and other agencies all monitor transactions involving various countries and foreign entities, and exporting to a restricted, denied, or blocked party can have severe ramifications. Before your company does business with a foreign business or sovereign entity, our attorneys can perform the necessary due diligence, and we can review and negotiate the terms of your contracts to ensure that they contain the necessary protections and disclosures.
4. CBP, OFAC, and Other Federal Agency Compliance Matters
Depending on the products and parties involved in any particular export transaction, a CBP ruling, OFAC general or specific license, and various other forms of agency authorization may be required.
Before your company exports products to a foreign entity, our attorneys can make sure that you have all of the necessary approvals. Here, too, the consequences of non-compliance can be significant, and dealing with restricted, denied, and blocked parties without the requisite government approval presents some of the greatest risks out of all of the export control-related compliance concerns.
5. Training and Implementation Across the Business
A compliance program won’t serve its intended purposes if it simply sits in a file folder on your desktop. In order to be effective, an export control compliance program needs to be implemented on a company-widescale. Once our attorneys have prepared your company’s new or updated policies and procedures, we can provide (or assist in providing) training to the relevant personnel throughout your company’s organizational structure.
6. Compliance Monitoring, Auditing, and Program Updates
In addition to assisting with training and implementation, we can also assist with monitoring and auditing your company’s compliance as an ongoing basis. As your company’s federal export control compliance counsel, we can determine when changes in your export operations present new compliance issues, and we can provide notification of regulatory and statutory changes that necessitate updates to your compliance program as well.
7. Event Response (Including Emergency Response) for Compliance Violations
In the event that our monitoring or internal auditing efforts uncover a compliance deficiency, our attorneys can respond quickly to remedy the issue and implement measures designed to prevent repeat violations. If the issue necessitates communication with federal authorities, our attorneys can handle all communications on your company’s behalf in order to prevent additional scrutiny and fend off potential penalties.
Comprehensively Addressing Your Company’s Export Control Compliance Needs
When it comes to federal export control matters, the importance of comprehensive compliance cannot be overstated. At Oberheiden P.C., our federal export compliance attorneys work as a team and collaborate with our clients to identify all potential compliance concerns. In a typical scenario involving a mid-size company, export compliance efforts will need to address issues such as:
- Automated Export System (AES) Filing Compliance
- CBP, OFAC, and Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Compliance and Prior Disclosures
- Commodity Classifications
- Exception, Exemption, and Trade Regulation Compliance
- Export Classification Control Number (ECCN) Classifications
- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Compliance
- International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) Registrations, Notifications of Changes, and Classifications
- Third-Party Due Diligence and Contracting
Federal Export Control Audits and Investigations: What Does it Take to Avoid Prosecution for Regulatory or Statutory Violations?
For U.S. companies that are facing federal audits and investigations in relation to their export operations, executing an efficient and strategic defense is crucial to avoiding unnecessary shipment delays and mitigating the risk of sanctions or prosecution. In addition to assisting our clients with compliance matters, we also represent exporters in audits and investigations involving CBP, OFAC, BIS, and other federal agencies.
In the area of export regulatory and law enforcement defense, our services include:
1. Internal Audit and Risk Assessment
When you contact us, our team of defense attorneys and former federal agents will work quickly to conduct an internal audit and assess your company’s level of risk as a result of the government inquiry.
2. Intervention in the Audit or Investigation
We will also promptly intervene in the audit or investigation in order to take control of the process, correct any misguided assumptions or misinterpretations, and begin steering the matter toward a favorable outcome.
3. Seeking an Informal Resolution
In many cases, matters involving CBP, OFAC, BIS, and other federal agencies can be resolved without the institution of formal legal proceedings. If we can demonstrate that your company is in compliance (or is actively working to correct any past issues), we may be able to secure a quick result.
4. Avoiding Administrative, Civil, or Criminal Enforcement Action
In any case, one of our top priorities as your company’s defense counsel will be to prevent charges from being filed. In federal export control matters, administrative, civil, and criminal enforcement action are all possible, and we will executive a cohesive defense strategy designed to avoid any and all potential charges.
5. Administrative Hearing and Trial Defense
If necessary, our attorneys can also provide defense representation in administrative hearings or federal judicial proceedings. Many of our attorneys have extensive litigation records, including trial records as prosecutors with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Speak with an Attorney on Our Federal Export Compliance and Defense Team in Confidence
If you would like more information about Oberheiden P.C.’s legal representation for export control compliance and defense, we invite you to contact us for a complimentary case assessment. To speak with one of our senior attorneys in confidence, call 214-692-2171 or inquire online today.