USA/European dual use export rules (encryption) - identifying some of the differences and risks that arise from such differences


The European Union, like most countries/jurisdictions, has a variety of regulations governing the export of certain products and technologies. Broadly speaking these regulations control:

Exports of dual-use goods (i.e. goods with both a military and civilian use);

Exports of military goods;

and Exports to countries that are subject to a UN/EU trade embargo.

This brief article focuses on dual-use controls.

EU dual-use export controls apply to the export of goods from the EU by subsidiaries of United States corporations.Without an understanding of EU export controls, a U.S.corporation risks inadvertent violations, even if it is otherwise in compliance with U.S. laws. Problems can occur in unlikely circumstances. In particular, there can be a difference in approach between the practical implementation of the U.S.and EU dual-use on the same products. A sample case study is set out below that highlights a key difference between EU and U.S. export controls as they apply to the export of certain encryption products that are controlled by the EU dual-use controls.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© john Menton | Attorney Advertising

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