For many companies around the world, the United States is obviously an attractive supplier of various products and technologies. Those sales, however, are usually subject to US export controls that actually restrict the customer's own plans to resell or otherwise use what it purchased, even after an item is outside the United States. Consequently, US exporters are not the only ones that have to keep US export control compliance in mind. The customer outside the United States can also commit violations of US law even though its business activities might occur solely outside US territory.
Penalties in this area are extremely steep and can be USD 250,000 or more per violation or even involve criminal charges. Given the possible penalties and that these laws are not particularly intuitive for anyone, nonetheless non-US companies, substantial enforcement cases can arise from violations of US export controls that follow US products around the world.
This commentary highlights five of the more common reasons why non-US companies find themselves tangled in a US export control violation and how to avoid a mess in the first place.Global Trade and Customs Journal