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Export Laws

Under US laws, export is defined as transporting items, services, or information to any non-US person or company through physical, electronic, oral, or visual means. These are the following ways commodities can be exported:
  • Sending products out of the country either by mail or in carry-on luggage
  • Transferring and disclosing technical data, which includes phone conversations, emails,and more
  • Offering a defense service to any foreigners
  • Re-exporting commodities in which a person receives an export and exports that item to another country

US Export Laws regulate policies to protect US national security, foreign policy, and economic interests. The goal is to effectively control exports, treaties, and other US technology leadership. The export laws also aim to prevent the growth of weapons of mass destruction from keeping regional stability and protecting human rights. They not only control the export of military items but also the export of commercial items.

To maintain national security and foreign policy, the US must keep controls and sanctions on the exports and re-exports of US goods worldwide. Different government agencies control and authorize these laws. The US Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) enforces and governs US laws and policies regarding exporting and re-export goods and advanced technology and software, including specific hardware and software. BIS also controls defense-related items, like components of military aircraft. The US Department of State's Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) governs the export of defense items and services. It also manages the International Traffic and Arms Regulations (ITAR). The US Census Bureau controls the Foreign Trade Regulations, and the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is responsible for imports into the United States. CBP also oversees export-related activities and controls shipments.

Here is some essential advice:
  • Work with your location's Export Control Officer to determine whether an export license is required if you plan on shipping or carrying research equipment and materials out of the country
  • Publish research results on "publicly available" or "in the public domains."
  • Consult with your technology transfer or patent office if the data has concerns
  • Do not accept limits on access to or distribution of information
  • Do not give citizenship, nationality, visa status, or other sensitive information to third parties or project sponsors
  • Do not agree to background checks for project participants

Beginning in 2020, the United States imposed sanctions on China over human rights concerns.Recently, the United States has implemented more policies regarding trade with China. For example, in March of 2022, the Office of the United States Trade Representative reinstated tariff exemptions on over 300 Chinese goods, implying that these products cannot be sourced elsewhere. In addition, in June of 2022, the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act banned the import of Xinjiang products unless US Customs and Border Protection could verify that the products were not made with forced labor.

As more policies with our biggest trade partner are implemented, people must know their rights when it comes to exports. At Demidchik, one of our specialties is commercial litigation. So if you have any questions regarding export laws, don't hesitate to contact our legal team.