Analysis of Settlement Agreement Reached In 3D Gun Printing Case

2018/07/30

By:  Johanna Reeves, Esq., jreeves@reevesdola.com, 202-715-994; and Katherine Heubert, Esq., 202-715-9940, kheubert@reevesdola.com. Both of Reeves & Dola LLP.

(Source: Reeves & Dola LLP Alert, 18 Jul 2018. Available via jreeves@reevesdola.com.)

Last week, news broke that a settlement agreement had been reached in the Defense Distributed v. United States Department of State case. Several news articles reported the outcome as a major victory to First and Second Amendment advocates, as well as a “stunning shift” in State Department policy in how it applies export controls to information available on the Internet. This is an important case, and we examine the potential implications of the Settlement Agreement, especially in how the State Department treats certain information made openly available on the Internet.

Background

In December 2012, Defense Distributed posted certain three-dimensional (“3D”) printing files on its website, DEFCAD.org, for a number of firearm-related items, including “Ghost Gunner” files, and certain CAD files (the “Published Files”). Some of the Published Files included downloadable instructions to produce a fully functional firearm on a 3D printer. In May 2013, Defense Distributed received a letter from the U.S. Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), directing the company remove the Published Files from its website. DDTC is the federal agency responsible for compliance and enforcement of the Arms Export Control Act (22 USC 2778) and the implementing regulations known as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), published in 22 C.F.R. Pts. 120-130. In its letter, DDTC explained the Published Files may constitute ITAR-controlled “technical data” related to firearms and if so, the act of making the Published Files widely available on the Internet constituted an export of technical data without the required prior authorization from DDTC.

For those unfamiliar with the ITAR, controlled “technical data” includes information required for the design, development, production, manufacture, assembly, operation, repair, testing, maintenance or modification of “defense articles,” and includes information in the form of blueprints, drawings, photographs, plans, instructions or documentation (ITAR section 120.10). Currently, almost all firearms up to and including .50, as well as parts, components, attachments and accessories for said firearms are captured by the ITAR’s U.S. Munitions List (USML) under Category I. The only exceptions to this broad coverage are so-called “noncombat shotguns” with barrels 18 inches or longer, BB, pellet, and muzzle loading firearms, as well as attachments or accessories that do not enhance the usefulness, effectiveness, or capabilities of the firearm, component and parts. Such items are controlled under the Department of Commerce export controls, known as the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

DDTC explained in its letter to Defense Distributed, “[p]ursuant to 127.1 of the ITAR, it is unlawful to export any defense article or technical data for which a license or written approval is required without first obtaining the required authorization from the DDTC. Please note that disclosing (including oral or visual disclosure) or transferring technical data to a foreign person, whether in the United States or abroad, is considered an export under 120.17 of the ITAR.”  To resolve the matter “officially,” DDTC requested Defense Distributed submit a Commodity Jurisdiction (CJ) request for the following data files:

  • Defense Distributed Liberator pistol
  • .22 electric
  • 125mm BK-14M high-explosive anti-tank warhead
  • 56/.223 muzzle brake
  • Springfield XD-40 tactical slide assembly
  • Sound Moderator – slip on
  • “The Dirty Diane” 1/2-28 to 3/4-16 STP S3600 oil filter silencer adapter
  • 12 gauge to .22 CB sub-caliber insert
  • Voltlock electronic black powder system
  • VZ-58 sight

A copy of the DDTC letter is available in a  2013 Forbes article (last visited on Jul. 18, 2018).

In compliance with the DDTC letter, Defense Distributed removed the Published Files from its website and in June 2013, submitted a CJ request. Almost two years later, with no response to the CJ request and an unsuccessful attempt to obtain public release approval from the Department of Defense Office of Prepublication Review and Security for the subject files, Defense Distributed along with the Second Amendment Foundation (“SAF”), sued DDTC in the Western District of Texas, alleging the ITAR prior approval requirement for posting technical data on the Internet was an unconstitutional prior restraint on protected First Amendment speech, along with other constitutional violations under the Second and Fifth Amendments.

While the case was pending, the Plaintiffs filed a motion with the court seeking a preliminary injunction against DDTC, wherein the court would suspend enforcement of the ITAR prepublication approval requirement pending final resolution of the underlying case. The District Court denied the motion, holding the national security interests of the United States outweighed the potential harm to Defense Distributed. Defense Distributed and SAF appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which affirmed the District Court decision, noting, however, that its decision was limited and did not address the merits:

This case presents a number of novel legal questions, including whether the 3D printing and/or CNC milling files at issue here may constitute protected speech under the First Amendment, the level of scrutiny applicable to the statutory and regulatory scheme here, whether posting files online for unrestricted download may constitute “export,” and whether ITAR regulations establish an impermissible prior restraint scheme. These are difficult questions, and we take no position on the ultimate outcome other than to agree with the district court that it is not yet time to address the merits. On remand, the district court will eventually have to address the merits, and it will be able to do so with the benefit of a more fully developed record.” Defense Distributed v. U.S. Department of State, 838 F.3d 451, 464 (5th Cir. 2016).

Defense Distributed then petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for writ of certiorari, which the Court denied on January 8, 2018. On June 29, 2018, the parties executed the Settlement Agreement, resolving all claims in the case. We reviewed the text of the Settlement Agreement circulated in The Daily Bugle, a free export/import daily newsletter from Full Circle Compliance, on July 12, 2018.

The Settlement Agreement 

In the Settlement Agreement, the parties agree to resolve all issues, including any issues “that could have been asserted” by Defense Distributed without further litigation, and without any admission of liability on either side. The Settlement Agreement goes on to stipulate in Paragraph 4 that it shall not be construed as an admission by DDTC of the veracity or validity of any of Defense Distributed’s allegations. Further, the Settlement Agreement does not hold any precedent, as the parties are explicitly prohibited from using it as evidence and from referring to the Settlement Agreement in any way in proceedings that may be needed to enforce it.

In consideration of Plaintiffs’ agreement to dismiss its claims against DDTC with prejudice, DDTC agreed to five requirements:

(1) DDTC’s commitment to draft and fully pursue, to the extent authorized by law, a proposed and final rule revising U.S. Munitions List (USML) Category I to exclude “the technical data that is the subject of the Action.” (Settlement Ag., para. 1(a)).

It should be noted that by the time the Settlement Agreement was signed on June 29, 2018, DDTC had already published more than a month prior in 83 Fed. Reg. 24198 (May 24, 2018) its proposed rule to transition most firearms and ammunition, along with certain parts, components, attachments, and accessories, away from ITAR controls over to EAR controls. For more information on the State and Commerce companion proposed rules, please refer to our alerts of June 1, 8, and 13.

(2) While the above-referenced final rule is in development, DDTC will publish on its website an announcement by July 27, 2018, of a temporary modification, consistent with ITAR section 126.2, to exclude “the technical data that is the subject of the Action.” (Settlement Ag., para. 1(b)).

Section 126.2 permits the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense Trade Controls to order the temporary suspension or modification of any or all regulations in the ITAR in the interest of the security and foreign policy of the United States.

(3) DDTC will issue a letter a letter to Defense Distributed by July 27, 2018, advising that the Published Files are approved for public release in any form and are exempt from export licensing requirements of the ITAR because the files satisfy the criteria of ITAR section 125.4(b)(13). (Settlement Ag., para. 1(c)).

Section 125.4 in the ITAR lists various exports of technical data that do not require approval from DDTC. Paragraph (b)(13), cited in this particular consideration, covers “[t]echnical data approved for public release (i.e. unlimited distribution) by the cognizant U.S. Government department or agency or Office of Freedom of Information and Security Review. This exemption is applicable to information approved by the cognizant U.S. Government department or agency for public release in any form. It does not require that the information be published in order to qualify for the exemption.”

(4) DDTC acknowledges and agrees that the temporary modification of USML Category I [per Consideration #2 above] permits any U.S. person, including Defense Distributed customers and SAF members, to access, discuss, use, reproduce, or otherwise benefit from the “technical data that is the subject of the Action.”… (Settlement Ag., para. 1(d)).

(5) Payment of $39,581.00 to Plaintiffs. “This figure is inclusive of any interest and is the only payment that will be made to Plaintiffs or their counsel by Defendants under this Settlement Agreement.” (Settlement Ag., para. 1(e)).

Analysis of Settlement

What impact will the Settlement Agreement have on industry, if any? Strikingly, the Settlement Agreement does very little to advance the argument that the ITAR’s prior restraints on publication are a violation of the First Amendment or any other constitutional rights. Indeed, as the Settlement Agreement makes very clear, the parties stipulate that DDTC’s entering into the agreement is in no way an acknowledgment of the validity or veracity of those arguments. Further, all conditions are silent on the constitutional rights issues raised in the case – the Settlement Agreement addresses only the manner in which DDTC will authorize Defense Distributed to release just the Published Files, nothing more.

While DDTC agreed to “draft and fully pursue” the proposed rulemaking to revise USML Category I, in the interim, the temporary amendment to USML Category I will exclude ONLY the “technical data that is subject of the Action.” The “technical data that is subject of the Action” is not a limitless bucket containing all ITAR-controlled technical data pertaining to firearms. Rather, the Settlement Agreement defines the words, “technical data that is subject of the Action” specifically to mean only the following: “(1) the Published Files; (2) the Ghost Gunner files; (3) the CAD Files; and (4) the Other Files insofar as those files regard items exclusively: (a) in Category I(a) of the [USML], as well as barrels and receivers covered by Category I(g) of the USML that are components of such items, or (b) items covered by Category I(h) of the USML solely by reference to Category I(a), excluding Military Equipment [as defined in the Settlement Agreement].”

DDTC did not agree to amend the USML to exclude all similar technical data or related hardware, or make any other revisions to Category I, much less any other USML Category. In fact, DDTC agreed to revise the USML Category I “to the extent authorized by law (including the Administrative procedures Act)” to exclude only “technical data that is subject of the action.” A cynic could say that’s quite a caveat.

It is also important to note that nowhere in the Settlement Agreement does DDTC indicate the Published Files are not considered ITAR-controlled technical data. In fact, the agreement to utilize the powers of § 126.2 to exclude the Published Files from the ITAR by using the §125.4(b)(13) public release process clearly supports the argument that DDTC still considers the files to be technical data. If the information was not technical data, then there would be no need to go through these regulatory hoops to authorize its release. Simply put, DDTC did not ever move from its position that the Published Files were technical data, and the Settlement Agreement does more to underscore this position than to prove otherwise.

This, coupled with the clear language of the Settlement Agreement that this document cannot be used as precedent in further cases, means the release from ITAR controls applies only to the “technical data that is subject of the Action,” as defined in the Settlement Agreement. Other individuals or companies with similar Technical Data should not rely on the fact that Defense Distributed was authorized to release the Published Files as a blanket permission to do the same. To be sure, it seems one must still seek authorization from DDTC or public release approval from another cognizant U.S. Government agency before publishing similar Technical Data to the Internet.

As for the arguable coincidence of this Settlement Agreement and the timing of the publication of the proposed revisions to USML Category I, II, and III, one could speculate the Settlement Agreement was the catalyst for DDTC finally publishing the revisions – the case forced DDTC’s hand as it were. However, one could also argue that DDTC simply agreed to do what it was already planning to do as the revisions were, by then, drafted and through the internal review process, thereby losing nothing yet gaining a great deal by settling a lawsuit that could have ultimately decided the interplay between the First Amendment and the ITAR. And, as a result, the ITAR prior approval requirements remain in place and intact, and persons seeking to publish technical data to the Internet must first obtain DDTC approval to do so.

Closing Thoughts

The only guaranty in court is that there are no guarantees. There was a lot riding on this case, for both sides. This was apparent in the number of amicus (“friend of the court”) briefs weighing in on the potential implications for the constitutional freedoms guaranteed under the First and Second Amendments, gun rights, gun control, world peace and national security interests. Arguably, neither side could afford a negative court decision on the merits of the case. However, with the Settlement Agreement, it appears that both sides won. Defense Distributed is able to reinstate its DEFCAD.org website at the end of this month without having to wait until 2019 when the proposed transition rules will become final, presumably, and DDTC has not done anything to change its approach to ITAR licensing controls over technical data, including the requirement for approval for public release prior to posting such information on the Internet.


Germany Launches Iran Advice Office Over U.S. Sanctions

2018/07/30

(Source: European Sanctions Blog, 19 June 2018.)

By:  Maya Lester, Esq., Brick Court Chambers, maya.lester@brickcourt.co.uk, +44 20 7379 3550.

In June the German government announced that it has created an “Iran contact point” to guide companies in their business transactions with Iran, given President Trump’s recent decision to reimpose US sanctions on Iran. The German government also stated that EU sanctions relief for Iran, one of the terms under the JCPOA, remained in place, and that government-backed export credit guarantees were still available.

Details: https://europeansanctions.com/2018/06/19/germany-launches-iran-advice-office-over-us-sanctions/


Strict Export Regulations May Be Costing Us Industry Billions in Foreign Sales

2018/07/30

(Source: Defense News, 18 June 2018.)

A new RAND report (a source for research on policy ideas and analysis) studying the spread of unmanned aerial vehicles suggests that the current export controls for drones might be hurting the US more than helping.

US competitors like China and Russia are filling the void that has been left by the limitation on US drone exports in markets like the Middle East where the US historically dominated in sales. Over the past several years, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates (UAE) were denied requests to buy American drones, and have since turned to China to purchase similar systems. The Trump administration recently revealed a new set of export policies concerning military technology in an attempt to facilitate the transfer of military technology, but the changes do not change the status of drones under the Missile Technology Control Regime.

How does the MTCR work?

The MTCR is a voluntary export control group of 35 nations who collaborate to prevent signatories from proliferating longer-range cruise and ballistic missile technology. The arms control regime was extended to UAVs because early iterations of drones were considered a subset of cruise missile technology due to their active guidance system.

The regime divides missiles into two categories. This article will cover Category I.

Category I:

  • Capable of delivering a 500 kg payload more than 300 km
  • Sale of category I systems is restricted by a “strong presumption of denial” (meaning they are only exported in rare circumstances)
  • MQ-9 Reaper, RQ-4 Global Hawk and MQ-4 Triton are well-known unmanned systems that fall under this category

Drone proliferation

RAND found that 10 nations use category I drones, and more than 15 use near-category I systems that register just below the MTCR’s payload and distance restrictions. The report states that these increased proliferation rates are due to countries like China, Israel, and the UAE who are not part of the MCTR. More countries are expected to follow suit which will cause a “growing threat to U.S. and allied military operations,” the report says.

While category I systems can deploy missiles, their main threat lies in “their ability to conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations against U.S. forces prior to hostilities,” according to RAND. “Adversaries that would otherwise have difficulty detecting U.S. force deployments, monitoring U.S. operations, and maintaining targeting data on U.S. units can employ UAVs to maintain situational awareness of U.S. capabilities.”

The report identifies Russia, China, and Iran as unfriendly nations that will try to utilize drones to complicate US military operations.

A US-sized hole

Due to restrictions on US drone exports, competitors have established themselves in a market Rand expects to “grow from about $6 billion in 2015 to about $12 billion in 2025.”

“What you are enabling the competition to do is not just to sell some hardware,” Linden Blue, General Atomic’s chief executive, told reporters during an Aug. 16, 2017 roundtable at the company’s headquarters in Poway, California. “You’re enabling it to build a customer base for at least 20 years, I would say. You’re enabling them to build a logistics system. It will take them many years to get to where we are right now, but you’re helping them start out. They should be very thankful.”

Details: https://www.defensenews.com/newsletters/unmanned-systems/2018/06/18/strict-export-regulations-may-be-costing-us-industry-billions-in-foreign-sales/


Newly Unsealed Federal Indictment Charges Iranian Businessman with Illegally Exporting Nuclear Nonproliferation-Controlled Materials from Illinois

2018/07/30

(Source: Justice, 21 Jun 2018.)

Saeed Valadbaigi, also known as “Saeed Valad” and “Saeed Baigi,” is an Iranian businessman who conspired with the owner of a European company to illegally export nuclear nonproliferation-controlled materials to Iran from Illinois, according to a newly unsealed federal indictment. Valadbaigi,56, is considered a fugitive and a warrant for his arrest was issued in 2016 and remains outstanding.

In 2011 Valadbaigi plotted to illegally export U.S.-origin 7075 T6 Aluminum tubing from Illinois to Iran by way of Belgium and Malaysia, the indictment states. The indictment states that the size and type of the aluminum is subject to U.S. regulations for nuclear nonproliferation purposes. According to the charges, Valadbaigi’s smuggling plan was an effort to avoid U.S. laws and export control regulations.

The newly unsealed indictment accuses Valadbaigi of the following:

  • Three counts of wire fraud
  • Two counts of attempting to violate the international emergency economic powers act
  • One count of conspiracy to defraud the united states
  • One count of illegally exporting articles from the united states
  • One count of making false statements on a U.S. export form
  • Illegally exporting titanium sheets from a company in northern Illinois, to Iran, by way of the republic of Georgia, the United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia
  • In 2012, ordered acrylic sheets from a company in Connecticut and falsely claimed that the sheets would be used only in Hong Kong which he later allegedly arranged to be transshipped to Iran

Sentencing:

  • Each count of wire fraud and attempting to violate the IEEPA results in a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison
  • The illegal export charge is punishable by up to ten years in prison
  • The conspiracy and false statement counts are each punishable by up to five years

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

The charges against Valadbaigi are part of an investigation that previously resulted in the conviction of Nicholas Kaiga, who managed and later owned the Belgium company that did business with Valadbaigi. Kaiga admitted in a plea agreement that he was aware the 7075 Aluminum was subject to U.S. export controls and that it could not be exported to Malaysia without a license from the U.S. Department of Commerce, which neither he nor Valadbaigi possessed. Kaiga admitted that he used his company, Industrial Metals and Commodities, as an intermediary to export the 7075 Aluminum tubing from a company in northern Illinois, to Belgium and then to Malaysia, on behalf of Valadbaigi. Kaiga pleaded guilty to violating U.S. export control regulations and was sentenced in 2015 to two years and three months in a U.S. prison.

Details: https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20180627.aspx


Chinese National Arrested for Conspiring to Illegally Export U.S. Origin Goods Used in Anti-Submarine Warfare to China

2018/07/30

(Source: Justice, 21 Jun 2018.) [Excerpts.]

Defendant allegedly illegally exported devices used to detect and monitor sound underwater.

Shuren Qin, 41, a Chinese national residing in Wellesley, Mass., was arrested and charged in connection with violating export laws. Qin was born in the People’s Republic of China and became a lawful permanent resident of the United States in 2014, according to charging documents. Qin runs several companies in China, which import U.S. and European goods used in underwater or marine technologies into China. Below lists his violations and findings from court documents:

  • Charged with violating export laws by conspiring with employees affiliated with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to illegally export U.S. origin goods to China.
  • Also charged with making false statements to acquire a visa to enter the United States and become a lawful permanent resident under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program.
  • It is alleged that Qin was in communication with and/or receiving taskings from entities affiliated with the PLA, including the Northwestern Polytechnical University (NWPU), a Chinese military research institute, to obtain items used for anti-submarine warfare.
  • From at least July 2015 to December 2016, Qin allegedly exported approximately 78 hydrophones (devices used to detect and monitor sound underwater) from the United States to NWPU without obtaining the required export licenses from the Department of Commerce.
  • Qin concealed from the U.S. supplier that NWPU was the end-user and created false information to be filed with the United States Government.
  • Qin made false statements on his visa application stating that he had never “engaged in export control violations or other unlawful activity.” However, it is alleged that Qin engaged in many violations of U.S. export laws since 2012.
  • In an interview with Customs and Board Patrol Officers in November 2017, Qin stated that he “only” exported instruments that attach to a buoy. However, Qin had allegedly exported remotely-operated side scan sonar systems, unmanned underwater vehicles, unmanned surface vehicles, robotic boats, and hydrophones. These items have military applications and can be used for weapon delivery systems, anti-submarine warfare, mine counter-measures as well as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance activities.

The charge of conspiring to violate U.S. export laws results in a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $1 million. The charge of visa fraud results in a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Details: https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/pr/chinese-national-arrested-conspiring-illegally-export-us-origin-goods-used-anti-submarine


OFAC Revokes JCPOA-Related General Licenses, Amends Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, and Publishes Updated FAQ

2018/07/30

(Source: Treasury/OFAC, 27 Jun 2018.)

Several actions are being taken in furtherance of President Trump’s May 8, 2018 decision to withdraw from the JCPOA and begin re-imposing the U.S. nuclear-related sanctions that were lifted to effectuate the JCPOA sanctions relief, following a wind-down period. These actions include:

  • The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has revoked Iran-related General Licenses H and I, which were issued in connection with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Archival versions of General Licenses H and Iwill still be available on OFAC’s website to assist persons in determining which activities were not sanctionable or prohibited while those authorizations were in effect and how best to wind down such activity.
  • OFAC also amended the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 560 (ITSR), in order to narrow the scope of the general licenses authorizing the importation into the United States of, and dealings in, Iranian-origin carpets and foodstuffs, as well as related letters of credit and brokering services, to the wind down of such activities through August 6, 2018 and to issue two new general licenses authorizing the wind down, through August 6, 2018, of transactions previously authorized under General License I, and the wind down, through November 4, 2018, of transactions previously authorized under General License H.  The amendment of the ITSR is now effective and published in the Federal Register.
  • OFAC has also updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 4.3, 4.4, and 4.5from its FAQs Regarding the Re-Imposition of Sanctions Pursuant to the May 8, 2018 NSPM Relating to the JCPOA.

Details: https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20180627.aspx


Irish Bill Leaves U.S. Companies Making Tough Decisions

2018/07/30

Sources:(Fortune, 9 Jul 2018.) (https://www.timesofisrael.com/ireland-moves-to-criminalize-trade-with-settlements-drawing-israeli-ire/)

Palestinians celebrated as the upper house of Ireland’s parliament recently advanced legislation that would criminalize the trade of products and services produced in Israeli settlements. This leaves U.S. companies with Irish divisions or subsidiaries to make a tough and costly choice between violating either Irish law or U.S. law. If the companies refuse to join in Ireland’s boycott of such products, they could violate the new Irish law. But if they abide by the Irish law, they could violate U.S. law, which prohibits U.S. companies from participating in foreign boycotts that the United States government does not endorse.

If the bill becomes a law, it will be an offense “for a person to import or attempt to import settlement goods” and those who “assist another person to import or attempt to import settlement goods” would be committing a crime punishable by up to five years in prison and fined up to 250,000 euros. No other country in Europe has such a law.

Details: http://fortune.com/2018/07/09/occupied-territories-bill-apple-ireland-israel/


U.S. Will Consider Requests for Waivers from Iran Oil Sanctions

2018/07/30

(Source: Reuters, 10 Jul 2018.)

In November, the United States will put into effect sanctions that will prevent Iran from exporting oil. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the U.S. will consider requests from some countries to be exempted from these sanctions. “There will be a handful of countries that come to the United States and ask for relief from that. We’ll consider it,” Pompeo said according to an interview in Abu Dhabi with Sky News Arabia released by the U.S. State Department. He did not name any specific countries.

Details: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-iran-oil/u-s-will-consider-requests-for-waivers-from-iran-oil-sanctions-pompeo-idUSKBN1K0236


BIS Issues an Order Terminating the Denial Order Against ZTE

2018/07/30

(Source: Commerce/BIS, 13 Jul 2018.)

On March 23, 2017, Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation of Shenzhen, China, and ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd. of Hi-New Shenzhen, China (collectively, “ZTE”) entered into a settlement agreement with the Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce (BIS) to resolve 380 violations of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) admitted by ZTE.

ZTE has followed the settlement terms and conditions by making a full and timely payment of $1,000,000,000 as ordered and has complied with the escrow requirements relating to the $400,000,000 suspended portion of the civil penalty. Therefore, BIS has terminated the 15 April 2018 Order, and BIS will remove ZTE from the Denied Persons List.

This order does not modify any provision of the Superseding Order or the Superseding Settlement Agreement.

[Note: The 15 April 2018 Order is available here.]

Details: https://efoia.bis.doc.gov/index.php/documents/export-violations/export-violations-2018/1184-e2559/file


Director of Export Compliance

2018/07/10

We are currently seeking an Export Compliance Director for a local client.  The ideal candidate will have a proven track record of success managing export and import compliance in an aerospace/defense environment and have an extensive knowledge of the International in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Export Administration Regulations, and Customs Regulations, and must also have excellent communication skills. This person will interact with employees at all levels and will work both independently and with other members of the business and members of the Legal, Contracts and Compliance staff on a variety of interesting international trade compliance matters. The role requires successful management of a broad range of responsibilities in a fast-paced, multi-tasking environment.

Responsibilities:

  • Serve as an Empowered Official
  • Provide a full range of proactive export/import compliance guidance to program management, contracts, procurement, business development, shipping, security and other functional areas within the Company
  • Prepare and submit Directorate of Defense Trade Controls and Commerce license applications, Technical Assistance Agreements, Manufacturing License Agreements and Warehousing Distribution Agreements
  • Determine the applicability of ITAR exemptions, ECCNs and use of Commerce exceptions
  • Assist in maintaining a classified (HTS) Item database
  • Support and ensure compliance for GSP, NAFTA, and other duty preference programs
  • Work collaboratively with in-house attorneys and outside counsel to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations
  • Provide support in connection with internal/external audits and investigations
  • Review and approve Foreign Visitor Notifications through appropriate systems
  • Review and approve shipping requests through appropriate systems
  • Track application status, maintain database of granted export approvals, satisfy record-keeping requirements, and prepare required reports
  • Assist in maintaining up-to-date Export/Import Compliance Policies, Procedures and Manuals
  • Plan and conduct employee training
  • Review export/import documents and work with Custom Brokers to expedite Customs clearance of products
  • Apply U.S. Customs regulations to business transactions ensuring Customs compliance
  • Facilitate/coordinate product reclassification as a result of Export Control Reform
  • Review and approval of commercial invoices and shipping process and coordination of freight forwarder requirements
  • Code Customs Broker import invoices for payment and review import entries for error
  • Coordinate communication with Customs brokers and Customs bond underwriters.
  • Focal point for alleged violations; assist in investigation and preparation of any required voluntary disclosures; coordinate review of same.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree (emphasis on international trade management, international business, MBA or law a plus)
  • At least 10 years of experience managing Import and Export trade compliance, preferably with a major company or customs brokerage Experience in government contracting, software, and/or defense and aerospace industry a plus
  • ITAR compliance experience, with progressively more complex responsibilities, as well as working knowledge of Import and Customs Regulations and Export Administration Regulations required
  • A US Customs Brokers License is a plus
  • Comprehensive knowledge of all U.S. import/export control regulations, including HTS classifications of electronics
  • Prefer experience in government contracting and international trade compliance areas, such as Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Antiboycott and Office of Foreign Assets Control
  • Knowledge of NAFTA certificates of origin
  • A team player with an open, mature and positive personality who is willing to share and communicate information effectively while maintaining high levels of integrity, confidentiality, and discretion
  • Consistent attention to detail and the ability to effectively prioritize and timely produce high quality work product is absolutely essential
  • Strong business acumen, analytical skills, problem solving abilities, good judgment, and the proven ability to effectively communicate with all levels of management
  • Transnational knowledge of United States Government export control regulations including EAR, ITAR, OFAC, and FCPA
  • Ability to obtain Department of Defense Security Clearance
  • Must possess good analytical skills and be able to anticipate problems, diffuse situations and solve complex problems
  • This position requires use of information which is subject to ITAR. All applicants must be U.S. persons within the meaning of ITAR. ITAR defines a U.S. person as a U.S. Citizen

This opportunity is in Albuquerque NM. The company is a well-established government sub-contractor.

 

Please contact Justin McAlister with Employers Pro Advantage

505 -872 1880

justin@employersproadvantage.com