Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)
The United States Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), formerly known as the Bureau of Export Administration, is responsible for administering and enforcing export controls on U.S. commercial products, software and technology. BIS is also responsible for overseeing export controls on “dual-use” items that can be used in weapons of mass destruction applications, terrorist activities or human rights abuses.
In addition to enforcing the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), BIS is responsible for issuing and administering several restricted party lists that apply to export and reexport transactions for which the agency has jurisdiction. These lists, which change frequently, include the following:
- Denied Persons List – Includes the names of individuals and companies that have been denied export privileges by BIS, usually due to a violation of U.S. export control laws. U.S. persons and companies are generally prohibited from engaging in export transactions with parties named on the Denied Persons List.
- Entity List – Identifies the names of companies, individuals, government agencies and research institutions that trigger export and reexport license requirements. U.S. companies need to ensure that the appropriate export licenses are in place before proceeding with transactions with parties on the Entity List.
- Unverified List – Includes the names of foreign parties that BIS have been unable to conduct a pre-license check or post-shipment verification. Potential transactions with parties on the Unverified List are a “red flag” that must be addressed and resolved before proceeding with the export.
Significant civil and criminal fines and other penalties can be imposed on persons or companies engaging in prohibited transactions with parties included on the Denied Persons and Entity Lists. Civil penalties can also be imposed on export transactions with such parties even if such activity occurred inadvertently.
The only way that one can ensure that they do not engage in a prohibited transaction with parties on the Denied Persons, Entity and Unverified Lists, and remain compliant with the Export Administration Regulations, is to frequently check the names of persons and other parties it does business with against these restricted party lists. Automated processes to screen export transactions against restricted party screening lists is widely considered to be a best practice for export compliance.
Learn how to maintain BIS compliance and avoid costly fines and penalties for doing business with restricted parties.