Recently I have attended several cyber security conferences. What I have learned about protecting information has changed how I view export controls.  Senior management and board members should think about the big picture as it relates to information controls and exports rather than dealing with these issues separately.  For instance, I was reviewing a nondisclosure agreement today related to export controls. The agreement will apply to an off-site worker. I immediately started thinking of the Target information breach.  The breach happened because a new business platform was using a subcontractor that was not vetted for its IT security.  The post-event analysis indicated that a broader strategic approach should have been taken in the business planning stage.  Senior executives needed to consider all areas of the business operations together to plan procedures to minimize corporate risks. (more…)

The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) certification program is a voluntary government program through which importers and exporters can agree to implement and maintain a set of predetermined supply chain security measures and submit to government site visits in exchange for benefits such as expedited review of shipment documentation at the border. The program is designed to streamline import/export procedures, increase shipment security, and save the C-TPAT partner company time and money. Nearly a year ago, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) expanded the previously importers-only C-TPAT to include exporters, releasing a fact sheet outlining eligibility requirements and the  benefits available to participants that I discussed in this September 2014 post.  Then in May 2015, CBP deployed “Phase II of Portal 2.0” – an update to the C-TPAT web portal that includes the addition of the exporter application to the site, effectively implementing the September 2014 policy change. (more…)

On August 7, 2015, the U.S. Government issued a revised Guidance regarding Iran and also issued a Third Amended Statement of Licensing Policy on Activities Related to the Safety of Iran’s Civil Aviation Industry.  The bottom line is that the U.S. Government will continue to temporarily suspend certain sanctions listed below.  However, most of these suspensions involve non-U.S. Persons. If you are a U.S. Person you can continue to use the AG/Med exception to sell agricultural and medical products and devices to Iran.  Or, you can apply for a special license to potentially export to Iran. The revised regulations open up  licensing for U.S. Persons in the aviation industry. (more…)

As you know there are ongoing changes to the Cuba export regulations.  President Obama announced the reopening of the U.S. embassy in Havana and a Cuban embassy in Washington. The Commerce Department will remove Cuba from list of countries subject to anti-terrorism (AT) controls, and Cuba has been removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism (SSOT).  Our January blog is still the state of play for permissible business. (more…)

Iran entered into a historic nuclear agreement with the U.S. and other world powers on July 14th 2015. The agreement will allow the licensing of the export, re-export, sale, lease or transfer to Iran of commercial passenger aircraft for commercial and civil aviation use. The deal also grants the export of spare parts and components for commercial passenger aircraft.  It is reported that Iran is looking to replace hundreds of commercial aircraft. (more…)

The Idea Behind TPA

On September 24 a rare alliance between Republicans and the Obama Administration led to passage of the ‘fast-track’ bill granting the President a 6-year renewal of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). As a result, for the first time since 2007, the President has the power to negotiate trade deals with foreign governments and present them to Congress to be approved or rejected with no amendments. The bill also requires the President to notify and consult with Congress throughout the negotiation process and prohibits Senators from filibustering to prevent passage of finalized free trade agreements (FTAs). TPA is indispensable to successfully negotiating FTAs because it prevents Congress from dragging its feet or altering final agreements reached by the President. (more…)

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is currently accepting comments on methods of improving the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) as well as harmonizing these regulations with the clearance requirements under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). This notice and comment period is open until July 6. (more…)