The Bureau is charged with administering and enforcing the Antiboycott Laws under the Export Administration Act. Those laws discourage, and in some circumstances, prohibit U.S. companies from furthering or supporting the boycott of Israel sponsored by the Arab League, and certain Moslem countries, including complying with certain requests for information designed to verify compliance with the boycott. Compliance with such requests may be prohibited by the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and may be reportable to the Bureau.
U.S. companies continue to report receiving requests to engage in activities that further or support the boycott of Israel. U.S. companies may receive similar requests in the future. If you have questions, please call (202) 482-2381 and ask for the Duty Officer or you may contact us by email.
Laws, Objectives, and Primary Impact
Who is covered by the Antiboycott Laws?
What actions the laws prohibit?
What must be reported to the Office of Antiboycott Compliance?
How to report?
Penalties for violations of the laws?
Where to get more information?
Boycott Request Reporting Forms
During the mid-1970's the United States adopted two laws that seek to counteract the participation of U.S. citizens in other nation's economic boycotts or embargoes. These "antiboycott" laws are the 1977 amendments to the Export Administration Act (EAA) and the Ribicoff Amendment to the 1976 Tax Reform Act (TRA). While these laws share a common purpose, there are distinctions in their administration.
The antiboycott laws were adopted to encourage, and in specified cases, require U.S. firms to refuse to participate in foreign boycotts that the United States does not sanction. They have the effect of preventing U.S. firms from being used to implement foreign policies of other nations which run counter to U.S. policy.
The Arab League boycott of Israel is the principal foreign economic boycott that U.S. companies must be concerned with today. The antiboycott laws, however, apply to all boycotts imposed by foreign countries that are unsanctioned by the United States.
The antiboycott provisions of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) apply to the activities of U.S. persons in the interstate or foreign commerce of the United States. The term "U.S. person" includes all individuals, corporations and unincorporated associations resident in the United States, including the permanent domestic affiliates of foreign concerns. U.S. persons also include U.S. citizens abroad (except when they reside abroad and are employed by non-U.S. persons) and the controlled in fact affiliates of domestic concerns. The test for "controlled in fact" is the ability to establish the general policies or to control the day to day operations of the foreign affiliate.
The scope of the EAR, as defined by Section 8 of the EAA, is limited to actions taken with intent to comply with, further, or support an unsanctioned foreign boycott.
Conduct that may be penalized under the TRA and/or prohibited under the EAR includes:
Implementing letters of credit containing prohibited boycott terms or conditions.
The TRA does not "prohibit" conduct, but denies tax benefits ("penalizes") for certain types of boycott-related agreements.
The EAR requires U.S. persons to report quarterly requests they have received to take certain actions to comply with, further, or support an unsanctioned foreign boycott.
The TRA requires taxpayers to report "operations" in, with, or related to a boycotting country or its nationals and requests received to participate in or cooperate with an international boycott. The Treasury Department publishes a quarterly list of "boycotting countries."
The EAR requires reports of receipts of boycott requests to be filed quarterly on form BIS 621-P for single transactions or BIS 6051P for multiple transactions received in the same calendar quarter.
The forms are available on-line in a fillable pdf format, or you may still obtain paper forms. Go to the forms section located on this page. To obtain paper copies by U.S. mail, call the Office of Antiboycott Compliance in Washington, DC at (202) 482-2448.
TRA reports are filed with tax returns on IRS form 5713. This form is available from local IRS offices.
The Export Admnistration Act (EAA) specifies penalties for violations of the Antiboycott Regulations as well as export control violations. These can include:
The penalties imposed for each "knowing" violation can be a fine of up to $50,000 or five times the value of the exports involved, whichever is greater, and imprisonment of up to five years. During periods when the EAR are continued in effect by an Executive Order issued pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the criminal penalties for each "willful" violation can be a fine of up to $50,000 and imprisonment for up to ten years.
For each violation of the EAR any or all of the following may be imposed:
Boycott agreements under the TRA involve the denial of all or part of the foreign tax benefits discussed above.
When the EAA is in lapse, penalties for violation of the Antiboycott Regulations are governed by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). The IEEPA Enhancement Act provides for penalties of up to the greater of $250,000 per violation or twice the value of the transaction for administrative violations of Antiboycott Regulations, and up to $1 million and 20 years imprisonment per violation for criminal antiboycott violations.
U.S. Department of Commerce
BIS/Office of Antiboycott Compliance
1401 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20230
Antiboycott Advice Line:
Phone: (202) 482-2381
Fax: (202) 482-0913
or by Email
Department of the Treasury
Office of the General Counsel
Washington, D.C. 20220
Recent examples of boycott requests that have been reported to the Office of Antiboycott Compliance.
Title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations:
760 Restrictive Trade Practices and Boycotts
Part 762 Record keeping
Part 764 Enforcement and Protective Measures
Part 766 Administrative Enforcement Proceedings
Final Rule Amending Part 760 [June 1, 2000]
If you would like to be informed when changes occur to the Antiboycott information on our site, consider subscribing to the BIS Email Notification Service.
To gain access to electronic forms necessary to report your receipt of a boycott request to the Bureau of Industry and Security’s Office of Antiboycott Compliance, click on the links below. You have the option of printing your own forms from this Web site, or continuing to use the paper/carbon-paper version which is available by mail by telephone request to our Report Processing Unit (202) 482-2448.
When the links open, you may, at your option, fill-in the form and then print a paper copy of the completed form (although it may not be saved for future editing in its electronic format), or you may print a blank form and complete it by either typing or neatly printing your responses to the individual questions on the form in ink. When the form is complete, you will need to make a photocopy of your completed form and attach required documentation (as explained in the following “Instructions” page) before sending it to the Office of Antiboycott Compliance at the address printed on each form. The U.S. mail or courier delivery are the accepted modes of transmission. Electronic transmission is not available at this time.
You have the option of filing a single transaction form for each reportable boycott request you receive, or filing a multiple transaction form for up to 75 reportable requests received within a single reporting period.
Links to BIS forms for reporting receipts of boycott requests:
If you have questions about compliance with the Commerce Department’s reporting requirements concerning receipts of boycott requests, you should first consult Export Administration Regulations Section 760.5, which is entitled, “Reporting Requirements.” Additional guidance about reporting boycott requests may be found in the attached Instructions and on the actual report forms. If, after consulting these resources, you still have questions, please contact us through our Web query page or call us on (202) 482-2381.