15 CFR Part 760, Supplement No. 14 to Part 760 - Interpretation
Supplement No. 14 to Part 760—Interpretation
(a) Contractual clause concerning import, customs and boycott laws of a boycotting country. The following language has appeared in tender documents issued by a boycotting country:
“Supplier declares his knowledge of the fact that the import, Customs and boycott laws, rules and regulations of [name of boycotting country] apply in importing to [name of boycotting country].”
“Supplier declares his knowledge of the fact that under these laws, rules and regulations, it is prohibited to import into [name of the boycotting country] any products or parts thereof that originated in [name of boycotted country]; were manufactured, produced or imported by companies formed under the laws of [name of boycotted country]; or were manufactured, produced or imported by nationals or residents of [name of boycotted country].”
Agreeing to the above contractual language is a prohibited agreement to refuse to do business, under § 760.2(a) of this part. The first paragraph requires broad acknowledgment of the application of the boycotting country's boycott laws, rules and regulations. Unless this language is qualified to apply only to boycott restrictions with which U.S. persons may comply, agreement to it is prohibited. See § 760.2(a) of this part, examples (v) and (vi) under “Agreements to Refuse to Do Business.”
The second paragraph does not limit the scope of the boycott restrictions referenced in the first paragraph. It states that the boycott laws include restrictions on goods originating in the boycotted country; manufactured, produced or supplied by companies organized under the laws of the boycotted country; or manufactured, produced or supplied by nationals or residents of the boycotted country. Each of these restrictions is within the exception for compliance with the import requirements of the boycotting country (§ 760.3(a) of this part). However, the second paragraph's list of restrictions is not exclusive. Since the boycott laws generally include more than what is listed and permissible under the antiboycott law, U.S. persons may not agree to the quoted clause. For example, a country's boycott laws may prohibit imports of goods manufactured by blacklisted firms. Except as provided by § 760.3(g) of this part, agreement to and compliance with this boycott restriction would be prohibited under the antiboycott law.
The above contractual language is distinguished from the contract clause determined to be permissible in supplement 1, Part II, A, by its acknowledgment that the boycott requirements of the boycotting country apply. Although the first sentence of the Supplement 1 clause does not exclude the possible application of boycott laws, it refers only to the import and customs laws of the boycotting country without mentioning the boycott laws as well. As discussed fully in Supplement No. 1 to part 760, compliance with or agreement to the clause quoted there is, therefore, permissible.
The contract clause quoted above, as well as the clause dealt with in Supplement No. 1 to part 760, part II, A, is reportable under § 760.5(a)(1) of this part.
(b) Letter of credit terms removing blacklist certificate requirement if specified vessels used. The following terms frequently appear on letters of credit covering shipment to Iraq:
“Shipment to be effected by Iraqi State Enterprise for Maritime Transport Vessels or by United Arab Shipping Company (SAB) vessels, if available.”
“If shipment is effected by any of the above company's [sic] vessels, black list certificate or evidence to that effect is not required.”
These terms are not reportable and compliance with them is permissible.
The first sentence, a directive to use Iraqi State Enterprise for Maritime Transport or United Arab Shipping vessels, is neither reportable nor prohibited because it is not considered by the Department to be boycott-related. The apparent reason for the directive is Iraq's preference to have cargo shipped on its own vessels (or, as in the case of United Arab Shipping, on vessels owned by a company in part established and owned by the Iraqi government). Such “cargo preference” requirements, calling for the use of an importing or exporting country's own ships, are common throughout the world and are imposed for non-boycott reasons. (See § 760.2(a) of this part, example (vii) AGREEMENTS TO REFUSE TO DO BUSINESS.)
In contrast, if the letter of credit contains a list of vessels or carriers that appears to constitute a boycott-related whitelist, a directive to select a vessel from that list would be both reportable and prohibited. When such a directive appears in conjunction with a term removing the blacklist certificate requirement if these vessels are used, the Department will presume that beneficiaries, banks and any other U.S. person receiving the letter of credit know that there is a boycott-related purpose for the directive.
The second sentence of the letter of credit language quoted above does not, by itself, call for a blacklist certificate and is not therefore, reportable. If a term elsewhere on the letter of credit imposes a blacklist certificate requirement, then that other term would be reportable.
(c) Information not related to a particular transaction in U.S. commerce. Under § 760.2 (c), (d) and (e), of this part U.S. persons are prohibited, with respect to their activities in U.S. commerce, from furnishing certain information. It is the Department's position that the required nexus with U.S. commerce is established when the furnishing of information itself occurs in U.S. commerce. Even when the furnishing of information is not itself in U.S. commerce, however, the necessary relationship to U.S. commerce will be established if the furnishing of information relates to particular transactions in U.S. commerce or to anticipated transactions in U.S. commerce. See, e.g. § 760.2(d), examples (vii), (ix) and (xii) of this part.
The simplest situation occurs where a U.S. person located in the United States furnishes information to a boycotting country. The transfer of information from the United States to a foreign country is itself an activity in U.S. commerce. See § 760.1(d)(1)(iv) of this part. In some circumstances, the furnishing of information by a U.S. person located outside the United States may also be an activity in U.S. commerce. For example, the controlled foreign subsidiary of a domestic concern might furnish to a boycotting country information the subsidiary obtained from the U.S.-located parent for that purpose. The subsidiary's furnishing would, in these circumstances, constitute an activity in U.S. commerce. See § 760.1(d)(8) of this part.
Where the furnishing of information is not itself in U.S. commerce, the U.S. commerce requirement may be satisfied by the fact that the furnishing is related to an activity in U.S. foreign or domestic commerce. For example, if a shipment of goods by a controlled-in-fact foreign subsidiary of a U.S. company to a boycotting country gives rise to an inquiry from the boycotting country concerning the subsidiary's relationship with another firm, the Department regards any responsive furnishing of information by the subsidiary as related to the shipment giving rise to the inquiry. If the shipment is in U.S. foreign or domestic commerce, as defined by the regulations, then the Department regards the furnishing to be related to an activity in U.S. commerce and subject to the antiboycott regulations, whether or not the furnishing itself is in U.S. commerce.
In some circumstances, the Department may regard a furnishing of information as related to a broader category of present and prospective transactions. For example, if a controlled-in-fact foreign subsidiary of a U.S. company is requested to furnish information about its commercial dealings and it appears that failure to respond will result in its blacklisting, any responsive furnishing of information will be regarded by the Department as relating to all of the subsidiary's present and anticipated business activities with the inquiring boycotting country. Accordingly, if any of these present or anticipated business activities are in U.S. commerce, the Department will regard the furnishing as related to an activity in U.S. commerce and subject to the antiboycott regulations.
In deciding whether anticipated business activities will be in U.S. commerce, the Department will consider all of the surrounding circumstances. Particular attention will be given to the history of the U.S. person's business activities with the boycotting country and others, the nature of any activities occurring after a furnishing of information occurs and any relevant economic or commercial factors which may affect these activities.
For example, if a U.S. person has no activities with the boycotting country at present but all of its other international activities are in U.S. commerce, as defined by the Regulations, then the Department is likely to regard any furnishing of information by that person for the purpose of securing entry into the boycotting country's market as relating to anticipated activities in U.S. commerce and subject to the antiboycott regulations. Similarly, if subsequent to the furnishing of information to the boycotting country for the purpose of securing entry into its markets, the U.S. person engages in transactions with that country which are in U.S. commerce, the Department is likely to regard the furnishing as related to an activity in U.S. commerce and subject to the antiboycott regulations.
Title 15 published on 2014-01-01
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