U.S. Department of Commerce

Office of the Chief Counsel for Industry and Security

Attorneys in the Office of Chief Counsel for Industry and Security (OCC/IS) provide a broad spectrum of legal services in support of the Bureau of Industry and Security’s mission “to advance U.S. national security, foreign policy, and economic objectives by ensuring an effective export control and treaty compliance system and by promoting continued U.S. strategic technology leadership.”
OCC/IS’s work for the Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) falls primarily within three broad areas:
Enforcement and Litigation
  • Representing BIS in administrative enforcement actions, primarily under the Export Administration Regulations, including proceedings before Administrative Law Judges.
  • Assisting U.S. Attorneys’ offices and the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in the prosecution of export control cases.
  • Working with the Department of Justice in defending challenges in federal court to BIS programs and enforcement actions.
  • Advising BIS’s Office of Export Enforcement and Office of Antiboycott Compliance.    
Licensing and Programs
  • Assisting in the preparation and review of BIS draft regulations.
  • Advising on statutes and regulations governing BIS programs, including economic sanctions.
  • Reviewing and providing technical comments on proposed legislation affecting BIS.
  • Advising on export license applications and draft advisory opinions.
  • Providing legal support to BIS’s defense industrial base program, including the Defense Priorities and Allocations System, industrial base studies, and defense offsets reporting.
  • Assisting BIS in national security investigations of imported articles pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.
  • Evaluating proposed foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies for national security concerns, in support of the Department’s participation in the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
  • Advising on the Chemical Weapons Convention and multilateral export control regimes such as the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies and the Missile Technology Control Regime.
Training and Technical Assistance Programs
  • Participating as speakers at BIS public outreach events such as BIS Update—the agency’s annual conference on export controls and policy.
  • Participating in international export control technical assistance programs.
  • Serving as speakers in training programs for BIS and other Departmental personnel.
The Chief Counsel leads a team of 14 attorneys and support staff providing legal services to BIS.