Export Controls and International Sanctions

Safely navigating your business through international trade restrictions and financial sanctions

Today’s increasingly fluid and fragmented world trade situation is making it even more difficult to stay compliant with changing controls and sanctions on your exports and overseas business. Our strategic and pragmatic advice helps you take advantage of business opportunities abroad by taking measured risks and building strong relationships with customers and partners around the world.

The last 10 years has seen a steady increase in sanctions and trade restrictions from the US, EU and UK, as well as many of their allies. In turn, these restrictions have global impact through their application to international banks, insurance and re-insurance, shipping, commodities and other means of trade. The US remains the main enforcer of sanctions and export controls, but there are signs of a tougher approach elsewhere, including in the UK, where responsibility for export controls and sanctions now involves the Department for International Trade, HM Treasury, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and HMRC, among other agencies. Falling foul of these restrictions risks substantial fines and possibly imprisonment.

Our Export Controls and Sanctions team will explain what the latest rules mean for you, and how to deal with them pragmatically and strategically.  We’ll coordinate with Taylor Vinters Via in Singapore and our network of expert and trusted counsel in key global jurisdictions, including the US and Germany.  Our combined advice will be based on accurate, on-the-spot assessments of the political climate and national and international law and practice. Together, it means you benefit from expert support, worldwide.

Given our firm’s wider focus, we have particular specialisms in helping early-stage businesses to build proportionate and scalable trade compliance procedures, and in the application of trade controls to technology and software exports globally.

We can also help you by investigating the feasibility of doing business with overseas customers; for example, if they’re likely to compromise you by selling on your products to a country that’s subject to embargoes, and how to protect against this through proportionate due diligence. If you’re already exporting, we can alert you to developing situations and help by checking your contracts have effective caveats. We can also help you secure licences from export control regulators internationally, advise you on when to make voluntary disclosures if things have gone wrong, and help mitigate penalties.

Throughout this, we’ll be mindful of all the other business pressures you face. So our advice will be clear, timely and practical. However complex the current situation, we’ll guide you safely through.

Insights: Commercial