Office of the Chief Counsel for Industry and Security (OCC-IS)




(202) 482-5301


(202) 482-0085


Chief Counsel

About Office of the Chief Counsel for Industry and Security

The Office of Chief Counsel for Industry and Security (OCC-IS) provides a broad spectrum of legal services in support of the national security and foreign policy missions of the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce.  The office provides legal assistance to BIS in a wide variety of areas, including:  

  • Developing and interpreting export control regulations
  • Enforcing export control and antiboycott regulations, including representing BIS in administrative enforcement litigation
  • Advising on export license applications and draft advisory opinions
  • Drafting proposed legislation
  • Advising on Defense Priorities and Allocations System orders and requests
  • Advising on multilateral export control regimes
  • Evaluating proposed foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies for national security concerns, in support of the Department's participation in the Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States
  • Assisting in international export control training programs.

Office Description

Attorneys in the Office of Chief Counsel for Industry and Security ("OCC-IS") practice over a broad range of disciplines and responsibilities. OCC-IS activities include:

Enforcement (litigation)

  • Representing BIS in administrative enforcement cases before Administrative Law Judges
  • Assisting Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the prosecution of criminal export control cases
  • Advising BIS's criminal investigators on issues such as the use of police powers, including search and seizure, firearms, arrest, and surveillance methods
  • Working with the Department of Justice in defending court challenges relating to BIS programs.

Licensing and Policy

  • Counseling BIS on legal and policy issues relating to export licensing and antiboycott compliance issues
  • Reviewing and interpreting regulations maintained by BIS, including the Export Administration Regulations
  • Drafting and reviewing proposed legislation relating to BIS's work
  • Advising and participating in BIS's international cooperation programs
  • Providing legal support to BIS's defense industrial base programs
  • Assisting in assessments of the national security implications of foreign takeovers of U.S. companies and the effect of imports on the national security.

The Chief Counsel leads a team of approximately 16 lawyers and support staff to provide BIS legal services.

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Last updated: 2015-02-24 11:30

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