by: Robert Kerwin
With the worldwide rise in ferreting out bribery and global corruption, it is never more important to really know your business partner. The risk of ‘not’ knowing with whom you are dealing in business may include being exposed to situations potentially violative of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). This admonition begs the question: how does one learn about your international business partner? The Bureau of Industry and Security of the U.S. Department of Commerce has a “Denied Party List” which provides a list of individuals who have been denied export privileges. See, www.bis.doc.gov/complianceandenforcement/listtocheck.htm. The U.S. Department of State, International Traffic in Arms Regulations site (“ITAR”) addresses the export of military products and technologies. The ITAR website contains a list compiled by the U.S. State Department of individuals who are barred from participating directly or indirectly in the export of potential defense goods, including technical data. See, www.pmddtc.state.gov.
Finally, the U.S. Treasury Department, Office of Foreign Assets Control has a site which identifies individuals or companies whose “property is blocked” for use on foreign transactions. See, www.treasury.gov/ofac/downloads/sdnlist.txt. While the above are hardly comprehensive, they are a starting point to learn more about the international partner with whom you may be dealing. You may also wish to make use of the ‘Gold Key Service’ of the U.S. Commercial Service. Their trade representatives may be helpful in finding you representation in a foreign country and the cost of taking advantage of the service is modest. See, www.buyusa.gov.