International Trade Toolkit

Resources to assist counsel in complying with US international trade laws, including export control, anticorruption, and antiboycott laws.

Practical Law Commercial Transactions

The US government regulates international trade and international transactions through several statutes and regulations, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 ( and the Export Administration Regulations. These laws regulate a wide range of issues that affect parties to international transactions, including:

  • How the government calculates and imposes duties ( on imports.

  • The export and reexport of most commercial items, sensitive equipment, software, and technology.

  • The manner in which US citizens and companies, US-controlled entities, US residents, and some foreign companies with ties to the US can conduct business abroad and with international counterparties.

Several US agencies, including the Department of Justice ( , Department of Commerce, Department of State, Customs and Border Protection ( , Securities and Exchange Commission ( , and Department of the Treasury are responsible for:

  • Ensuring that parties comply with relevant laws regulating international trade and transactions.

  • Punishing parties, either with civil or criminal penalties, for violating applicable US trade laws.

Before conducting an international transaction, including the import and export of goods and services, parties should review applicable US federal law to verify whether the transaction or the underlying conduct to complete the transaction:

  • Is prohibited by federal law.

  • Requires a special license from the federal government.

  • Is permitted only under certain conditions, such as payment of a customs duty.

These parties should also be aware that other laws may govern or affect their transactions, such as applicable foreign laws or the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods.

The International Trade Toolkit provides several continuously maintained resources designed to help counsel understand the US laws governing international trade and certain international transactions.


Practice Notes


Standard Documents


Standard Clauses





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