Exporting Goods and Services Outside of the U.S?

Exporting Goods and Services Outside of the U.S?

Be Aware of Export and Trade Compliance Laws, Rules and Regulations

We have all been affected by the news we have seen in the media regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  We have seen the U.S. Government, along with its allies, sanction and restrict exports to individuals and companies in Russia and Belarus, among others who have been supporting Russia in this unprovoked war.  We live in an era where commerce is interconnected all over the world.  Thanks to the internet and modern technology, you can ship anything from anywhere around the globe and you can provide services remotely without a problem (the pandemic further proved that point).  However, if you are exporting goods and/or services, you must be aware and comply with applicable laws, rules and regulations for your business to succeed.

What is an export?

You may think of an export as an item that is being physically shipped overseas outside of the U.S. to a foreign country.  However, U.S. Governmental agencies define export far more broadly.  For example, exports include, but are not limited to, the shipment or transmission of items outside of the U.S. even on a carry-on bag when going to a foreign country (even temporarily), commodities such as clothing, building materials, circuit boards, automotive parts, blueprints, design plans, technology and software (not only physically delivered but also electronically), technical information, etc. 

U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)

In some instances, an item may require a license from the U.S. Government, specifically the BIS, in order to export or re-export an item.  As an exporter, you must determine whether your items need a license.  The first step is to consider the four W’s: What, Where, Who, and What.  Depending on the answers, you may have to take other necessary steps in order to comply with applicable export and trade laws, rules and regulations.

Importance of Compliance

Establishing and maintaining a good compliance program in your organization can take it to the next level.  Corporate compliance should be seen as a competitive advantage given rising regulatory penalties and fines, business reputational risk and even, in some cases, imprisonment.

These are just the basics on Export Law in the U.S.  Please note that other considerations should be taken for U.S. businesses that have operations internationally.  If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact our office.  Stay tuned for our next blog on export and trade laws, rules and regulations! 

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