Federal Import/Export Compliance and Defense – Companies, Industries, and Nations We Serve
Our firm represents companies across the United States and around the world with regard to federal import/export compliance and defense. If you need help getting a handle on your company’s federal obligations, or if your company is being targeted in a federal investigation, we can help you establish compliance and avoid costly penalties.
Federal import and export control laws apply to businesses of all sizes and in all industries. From startups to large multi-national corporations, and from educational institutions to oil and tech companies, if your business involves cross-border transactions in any form, you have compliance concerns that you need to address.
At Oberheiden P.C., we represent private companies, public companies, financial institutions, educational institutions, and other clients with regard to all aspects of federal import/export compliance and defense. Our practice is nationwide in scope, and we have the capabilities required to efficiently and effectively represent clients facing import/export issues in countries around the world.
About Oberheiden P.C.
Oberheiden P.C. is a law firm that advises clients with regard to federal compliance and represents clients in federal audits, investigations, administrative proceedings, and civil and criminal trials. All of our lawyers have extensive experience in federal practice (unlike other firms, we do not assign the bulk of our clients’ tasks to a legion of junior associates), and many of our lawyers previously spent time at the U.S. Attorney’s Office or the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Our federal compliance and defense team also includes many former federal agents. This includes Special Agents, Supervisory Special Agents, and Special Agents in Charge with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the DOJ’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), and other agencies.
Combined, our federal attorneys and former federal agents offer a unique blend of insights for clients facing import/export compliance issues. We understand the types of issues that tend to trigger federal investigations, and we also understand what federal prosecutors are looking for when deciding whether to press charges. As a result, we know when our clients have issues to address, and we know what it takes to resolve these issues with minimal (if any) federal repercussions.
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About Our Import/Export Compliance and Defense Practice
Within our import/export compliance and defense practice, we serve an extremely broad range of clients. We serve these clients domestically and with regard to import and export issues originating in other parts of the world.
Companies and Institutions We Serve
If a company, educational institution, or financial institution imports or exports products or data, it is subject to the strictures of federal law. This is true without regard to the size, nature, or purpose of the company’s or institution’s business. While there are various exceptions to the federal licensing requirements for exports, and while not every company that receives shipments from overseas will be labeled an “importer,” the risks of non-compliance make it essential for all businesses and institutions to ensure that their importing and exporting operations are legally compliant.
At Oberheiden P.C., we represent all types of entities with regard to federal import/export compliance and defense. This includes (but is not limited to):
- Startups and venture-capital backed entities
- Privately-held businesses
- Publicly-traded companies
- Public and private multi-national business organizations
- Banks and other financial institutions
- Colleges, universities, and other educational institutions
- Aid and relief organizations and other non-profit entities
Industries We Serve
While certain industries are recognized as leaders with regard to importing and exporting in terms of volume, companies in all industries have the potential to face import and export compliance concerns. Our import/export compliance and defense practice encompasses the representation of companies and institutions in industries including (but not limited to):
- Agricultural products
- Aviation and space travel
- Clothing, shoes, and accessories
- Consumer and commercial electronics
- Defense services and supplies
- Diamonds and other gemstones
- Food and beverage
- Machinery and heavy equipment
- Media and entertainment
- Medical devices, supplies, and testing equipment
- Oil, gas, and other mineral fuels
- Organic and synthetic chemicals
- Other consumer, commercial, and household products
- Precious metals
- Semi-conductors, microprocessors and other micro assemblies
- Software code, data, and other electronically-stored information (ESI)
Nations We Serve
While we are a U.S. law firm and our offices are located in various cities throughout the United States, we have the resources and capabilities required to serve our clients on a nationwide scale. This includes representing clients with regard to import and export compliance involving shipments, transfers, and transmissions to and from countries including (but not limited to):
- Caribbean and Central American nations
- South Africa
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- Other countries throughout South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia
While the majority of the import and export compliance issues companies face when trading with these nations fall within the jurisdiction of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) and the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), we are able to assist with the uniquely-complex issues falling within the jurisdiction of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as well.
FAQs: Import/Export Compliance and Defense Concerns for U.S. Domestic Companies and Institutions
Q: What is an “importer of record”?
An importer of record is a business entity that serves as an intermediary between a foreign supplier and its U.S.-based customers. The importer of record is primarily (though not exclusively) responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable federal import control laws and regulations, including those enforced by BIS, CPB, and OFAC. U.S. companies seeking to import products or information from foreign suppliers may need to work with an established importer of record, or they may need to become importers of record themselves. At Oberheiden P.C., our attorneys can help you evaluate your options and choose the path forward that makes the most legal, financial, and practical sense for your business or institution.
Q: What does it take to comply with the federal export laws and regulations?
Federal export compliance presents several challenges for businesses and institutions of all sizes. The first of these challenges is simply determining what laws and regulations apply. In most cases, licensing requirements will be determined based upon the federal Export Administration Regulations (EAR). But, depending on the specific goods, data, or information you are seeking to export, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and various federal export statutes may apply as well.
At Oberheiden P.C., we provide comprehensive and custom-tailored export compliance representation for our clients. Our attorneys can help you understand your business’s or institution’s obligations, and we can help you implement a compliance program that specifically addresses your business’s or institution’s compliance needs. Depending on the nature and extent of your export operations, this could be a fairly straightforward matter of establishing (and implementing) internal policies and procedures; or, it could involve ongoing registration and licensing compliance with BIS, CBP, OFAC, and other agencies.
Q: Why have I received a letter from BIS, CPB, or OFAC?
Depending on the nature of your business, there are potentially a number of reasons why you may have received a letter from BIS, CPB, or OFAC. One option is that the agency has questions and is seeking clarification regarding an outgoing or incoming shipment, transfer, or transmission. However, another option is that the agency is launching an investigation into your company’s or institution’s import or export operations.
If you have received a letter from BIS, CPB, OFAC, or any other federal agency, you should consult with a federal import/export lawyer promptly. You should not respond to the letter without legal advice; and, at this point, you need to be extremely careful to avoid mistakes that could enhance the federal government’s scrutiny. Our attorneys can assess why you have been contacted, respond to the letter on your behalf, and help you undertake any additional steps that may be necessary in order to mitigate the risk of administrative sanctions or civil or criminal prosecution.
Q: What are the requirements for exporting products, data, and information to denied countries?
Trade with companies in certain countries is subject to enhanced scrutiny from BIS. If you are seeking to export to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria (or seeking to have products, data, or information re-exported to any of these countries), you will need to comply with enhanced licensing and regulatory requirements.
Q: What are the risks of import/export non-compliance?
In all import/export matters, the risks of non-compliance can be substantial. In addition to debarment from exporting or importing, companies, institutions, and individuals can also face fines and federal imprisonment. Even in situations where these penalties are not a concern, companies and institutions can face business disruptions, reputational harm, and other consequences. As a result, compliance needs to be a priority, and we encourage anyone with questions to contact us for more information.
Speak with a Federal Import/Export Attorney at Oberheiden P.C.
For more information about the clients we serve or the services we offer, please contact us to arrange a free and confidential initial consultation. To schedule a time to speak with one of our federal import/export attorneys, call 214-692-2171 or inquire online today.