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Export Control Law Defense

  • Export controls are federal laws that regulate the export of goods and commodities by imposing various restrictions such as prohibiting unlicensed exports of certain items.
  • The United States uses export controls because of concerns regarding the use of those goods in the destination country and due to national security risks.
  • Export controls are necessary federal regulations because some items have the potential to be used for dangerous purposes or for purposes inconsistent with U.S. national security interests.
  • There are three main governmental agencies that are involved with the U.S. export process: (1) the Department of Commerce, (2) the Department of State, and (3) the Department of the Treasury.
  • Consider hiring an experienced team of national security attorneys to advise you on evolving export control laws and how they affect your business.

Experienced Export Law Defense Team

Dr. Nick Oberheiden
Attorney Nick OberheidenExport Control Law Team Lead
envelope iconContact Nick

If you need advice regarding export control laws, do not hesitate to contact our export law defense team today.

Federal agencies are increasing their efforts to scrutinize goods and commodities to be exported to foreign countries and to certain individuals based on perceived national security threats.

In the current political environment of trade wars, instability, and foreign tensions, companies that regularly do business abroad face increased risks. These risks include damage to business relationships, loss of customer base, and reputational harm not to mention the possibility of federal penalties.

At Oberheiden, P.C., our team of attorneys are recognized leaders in advising clients on export control laws, economic sanctions, and the more peripheral issues on exports controls including public policy, government relations, and foreign diplomacy.

We can offer strategic advice regarding your business operations with foreign parties, requests from federal authorities to provide information, and any additional information regarding how U.S. export control regulations affect your business.

Do not wait to get in touch with a qualified team of export control law attorneys to resolve these legal and business uncertainties.

Put Oberheiden, P.C. on your side to protect and fight for your business and your reputation.

What are Export Controls?

Export controls are federal laws that regulate the export of goods such as by prohibiting the unlicensed export of certain goods or commodities due to national security risks.

The United States typically uses export controls because it has concerns regarding the use of those goods in the destination country by the country itself or by certain individuals.

Other reasons include the nature of the goods to be transferred—such as whether they can be used for military purposes—or the intended use of the goods in the destination country.

What is an Export Control Classification Number?

An Export Control Classification Number (“ECCN”) is a five-digit alpha-numeric classification used in the Commerce Control List (“CCL”) to categorize the nature of the product based on its commodity, software, or technology and indicates the level of control for every item.

These numbers help determine whether an export license is needed from the Department of Commerce for the item to be exported.

A typical classification for items that are not listed with an ECCN on the CCL but are still regulated by the Department of Commerce is “EAR99.” These items are usually commercial items that do not require a license to be exported unless they are exported to sanctioned countries, to parties that are a concern to the United States, or will be used for prohibited end-uses. In such cases, a license would be required to export these items.

The Need for Export Controls

Federal policing has increased over the years due to the complexity in international trade and involvement of multiple federal agencies regarding economic sanctions and international trade control regulations.

Export controls are necessary federal regulations that are related to the export of goods outside the United States. This is because some items have the potential to be used for dangerous purposes or for purposes that contradict the national security interests of the United States.

In order to uphold the safety and security of the nation, federal regulations have placed restrictions on these “controlled” items. These restrictions on “controlled” items prevent the good or commodity from being exported to the destination country.

Put our highly experienced team on your side

Dr. Nick Oberheiden
Dr. Nick Oberheiden



Lynette S. Byrd
Lynette S. Byrd

Former DOJ Trial Attorney


Brian J. Kuester
Brian J. Kuester

Former U.S. Attorney

Amanda Marshall
Amanda Marshall

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

Joe Brown
Joe Brown

Former U.S. Attorney

Local Counsel

John W. Sellers
John W. Sellers

Former Senior DOJ Trial Attorney

Linda Julin McNamara
Linda Julin McNamara

Federal Appeals Attorney

Aaron L. Wiley
Aaron L. Wiley

Former DOJ attorney

Local Counsel

Roger Bach
Roger Bach

Former Special Agent (DOJ)

Chris Quick
Chris J. Quick

Former Special Agent (FBI & IRS-CI)

Michael S. Koslow
Michael S. Koslow

Former Supervisory Special Agent (DOD-OIG)

Ray Yuen
Ray Yuen

Former Supervisory Special Agent (FBI)

Federal Agencies and Regulations Governing Export Control Laws

There are several governmental agencies that are involved with the U.S. export process and provide regulations such as (1) the Department of Commerce, (2) the Department of State, and (3) the Department of the Treasury.

Below is a simplified list of the federal agencies that are responsible for overseeing export control laws and the regulations that govern the process.

1. Department of Commerce

  • The Department of Commerce is empowered by the Export Administration Act to regulate exports of commercial and technology goods, including dual-use goods that can be used for both commercial and military purposes.
  • The Export Administration Regulations (“EARs”) are the primary means by which the Department of Commerce enforces export controls.
  • The EARs contain the Commerce Control List (“CCL”) along with the Export Controls Classification Number (“ECCN”), which enable authorities to determine whether a particular item to be exported requires a license by the Department of Commerce.

2. Department of State

  • The main legislation here is the Arms Export Control Act (“AECA”), which regulates the export of munitions from the United States.
  • The Department of State implements this legislation through the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITARs”).
  • ITARs outline the requirements for defense articles and services to get a license that must bear the seal of the Department of State.
  • ITAR contains the U.S. Munitions List (USML”), which contains a list of articles, services, technology, and other defense-related items. These items are designated as defense articles or defense services.

3. Department of the Treasury

  • The Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) is an agency within the Department of the Treasury that administers, imposes, and enforces economic and trade sanctions against specific countries, certain companies, and certain individuals.
  • These restrictions are imposed for reasons such as protecting U.S. national security and promoting foreign policy goals.
  • The Specially Designated Nationals List is a compilation from the Department of the Treasury that lists the individuals and entities under one of its sanction programs.
  • OFAC has the power to block assets and impose trade restrictions as it deems appropriate.

Export Control Matters Our Attorneys Handle

Our foreign policy lawyers regularly deal with export control issues and are competent to handle the following matters:

  • advising clients on the status of export control laws in connection with their proposed sale and transfer of certain goods and commodities;
  • updates on the transfer of dual-use items under the Export Administration Regulations (“EARs”);
  • new regulations of defense articles controlled under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”);
  • assisting clients with foreign export controls such as EU export control laws regarding their trade of certain goods;
  • assessing problems regarding licensing and developing solutions regarding the parties’ proposed export;
  • helping companies provide voluntary disclosures regarding their violations of export control laws;
  • defending clients throughout the investigation or in court with respect to export enforcement actions;
  • helping companies with the auditing process for their export control practices within their business;
  • negotiating contracts and licensing agreements for the transfer of goods or commodities;
  • seeking authorizations for companies to obtain export licenses or license exceptions;
  • assisting clients in developing strong internal compliance programs that protect against legal and regulatory risks regarding export laws; and
  • resolving jurisdictional disputes for export control laws regulating goods or commodities and their classifications.

The above list is only representative of the many matters the attorneys at Oberheiden, P.C. are competent to handle regarding U.S. export control laws and the resulting foreign implications.

If you have any questions regarding these areas or an alternative area on export controls, give us a call today.

Need Advice Regarding Export Control Laws?

The political instability in today’s globalized world make complying with various federal export laws and regulations a challenging endeavor, especially for businesses that depend on exporting goods and commodities abroad.

It is hard to find legal counsel competent to handle not only U.S. export control laws but also foreign export controls and sanctions law.

If you need advice regarding export control regulations, you need the advice of a skilled attorney right away.

Oberheiden, P.C. has a talented and dedicated group of national security attorneys who are competent in advising clients on evolving export control regulations, how they impact business operations, and how to respond to such changes.

Call us today at 888-680-1745 or contact our office for a free consultation to advise you on export control laws and regulations.

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