Imports and Export Law, ITAR & EAR

Expert Legal Services in Imports and Exports

The U.S. Government regulates exports and imports within the United States and overseas through the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, the U.S. Government has increased its scrutiny of educational institutions and various industries to ensure export control compliance. In addition, the U.S. Government launched the Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative to improve the entire export control and enforcement regime.

The ongoing scrutiny and latest reforms require U.S. exporters, small businesses, and individuals to review their practices and operating procedures and refresh their compliance programs. Centre Law & Consulting attorneys are ready to counsel clients, develop compliance policies and train employees, and represent companies in internal-investigations, disclosure, and enforcement matters.

Areas of practice and legal solutions include:

  • Drafting Commodity Jurisdiction Requests
  • Reviewing and revising export compliance policies and training
  • Counseling Clients on legislative changes related to the U.S. export control reform initiative
  • Conducting on-site training on the ITAR, EAR, and Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) requirements
  • Defending clients faced with notices of proposed debarments, suspensions, and requests for information (See more about Suspension and Debarments)
  • Assisting Clients and in-house counsel with internal investigations
  • Advising Clients on voluntary and mandatory disclosures and guide Clients during the disclosure process

Contact Centre

Our attorneys have over 30 years of experience in Import and Exports Law and are ready to assist you today.

Centre's Imports and Exports Legal Experts


Dan Minutillo

Minutillo, a Partner with over 30 years of experience, leads Centre’s international trade practice. He has handled legal matters regarding the worldwide export of commercial and non-commercial products from the United States to most continents in the world, the classification of products and technology (ECCN) prior to export, CBP customs issues, the export of products that use or contain encryption, ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) matters, and related CFIUS, Anti-Dumping, FOCI, OFAC, HTS, sanctions and VSD’s (voluntary disclosures) to government agencies. Minutillo is handling all the issues that have arisen with the Russian sanctions. Minutillo represents some of the largest and most influential corporations in Silicon Valley.

Law Clerk

Sudarsanan Sivakumar

Sudarsanan is an Indian lawyer and prolific writer and assists at Centre’s International Trade Practice under Dan Minutillo, Partner as a Law Clerk. He previously practiced law in India and is working on getting his license to practice in the United States. He has published papers in a variety of forums. Sudarsanan is a Master of Laws in International Business and Trade Law from the American University Washington College of Law and holds a Bachelor of Arts and Legum Baccalaureus (LLB) from Sastra Deemed University, Tamil Nadu, India.

Law Clerk

Emma Frisch

Emma Frisch is a Law Clerk at Centre Law and Consulting. She is specialized in international law including trade, cross-border business and foreign investment. Emma has a Bachelor of Laws (LLB Hons) from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom and a Master of Laws (LLM) from Queen’s University in Canada. Prior to joining Centre, Emma has experience in regulatory consulting for public and private entities, has worked for the Trade Law Bureau of the Federal Government of Canada and at the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes in the World Bank Group.

Learn More About Centre's Import & Export Expertise

Imports and Export Law, ITAR & EAR FAQs


The ITAR stands for the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. The ITAR is a set of U.S. Government regulations on the export and import of defense-related articles and services. Many U.S. Government contracts require that U.S. prime contractors are “ITAR compliant.” The U.S. Department of State is responsible for implementing the ITAR. Compliance with the ITAR requirements is very important.

The EAR stands for the Export Administration Regulations. The EAR is a set of U.S. Government regulations on the export and import of commercial items. Many of the commercial items may be “dual-use” which means that they both have commercial and military functions. The U.S. Department of Commerce is responsible for implementing the EAR. Compliance with the EAR requirements is very important.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, many controlled items, including software and technology, require a license from the Bureau of Industry and Security. Each exporter has the responsibility to obtain a license when the EAR requires it. When you are deciding whether a license is required, the U.S. Department of Commerce recommends to ask the following questions: (1) what is being exported? (2) where is the item being exported? (3) who will receive the item? and (4) how will the item be used?

Penalties may range from criminal convictions, debarment, fines, loss of export and import privileges, suspension and termination of contract. For example, according to the recent U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) report in 2014, BIS investigations led to the criminal convictions of 39 individuals and businesses for export violations with penalties of over $137 million in criminal fines, and more than $1 million in forfeitures and 568 months in imprisonment, addition of 155 new parties onto the BIS Entity List, and 44 administrative export cases completed with over $60 million in civil penalties.

There are many regulations involved in the U.S. export control and enforcement regime. In addition to the ITAR and EAR, exporters must comply with the Office of Foreign Asset Control regulations, the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives regulations, U.N. Security Council sanctions, and international sanctions and embargoes.

Without a comprehensive compliance program, export violations may occur without knowing about them. Some of the potential danger areas include:

  • Disclosing controlled technology information to a foreign national in the U.S. or overseas
  • Shipping or using technical equipment overseas
  • Exchanging information with international research partners
  • Conducting transactions with blocked parties
  • Shipping especially sensitive items overseas (night vision, missile related, high-caliber weapons, drones)