Export Controls

The United States maintains a complex system of controls over the export of U.S. goods and technology. For example, among other regulatory frameworks, under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) legislation, the U.S. State Department controls the export of any item, technology, or service that it places on the U.S. Munitions List. The Department of Energy has authority over nuclear-related items, and the Department of Treasury — through the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) — implements and administers sanctions and embargoes against specific countries such as Cuba, Iran, Iraq, and the former Yugoslavia. Likewise, the Department of Commerce — under the Export Administration Regulation — has licensing authority over so-called "dual-use" items, which can potentially reach virtually any product or service that is to be exported or re-exported from a foreign location.

We regularly counsel clients facing on-the-spot questions, full-scale compliance reviews, and litigation of administrative penalty cases. We have experience with many of the industries most affected by these regulations, including aerospace and defense, satellite and launch services, information technology, telecommunications, and manufacturing and capital equipment, as well as research labs.


  • Defended a major U.S. aerospace company against U.S. State Department administrative charges arising from the alleged unauthorized transfer of technical data and performance of defense services in connection with a satellite launch in China
  • Counseled a foreign manufacturer on the reach of OFAC regulations in controlling a domestic subsidiary's technology needed if the foreign affiliate were to obtain a contract with Iran
  • Counseled a telecommunications company on a deemed export that would occur in using foreign national employees in work involving controlled technologies
  • Investigated potential violations, identified corrective actions, and prepared a comprehensive voluntary disclosure to the U.S. Department of Commerce for a manufacturer of dual-use aerospace products