Export controls regulate the shipment or transfer, by whatever means, of controlled items, software, technology, or services out of the home country. Export controls are not reactive in nature, instead they regulate the transfer of information, commodities, technology, and software considered to be strategically important to the country. Many countries around the world use export controls. For example, the US restricts the export of defense items or munitions; so-called “dual-use” goods and technology; certain nuclear materials and technology; and items that would assist in the development of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons or the missile technology used to deliver them. Enforcement of export controls is carried out by the Office of Export Enforcement (OEE) at BIS, which is part of the Department of Commerce. OEE has a staff of approximately 170 in Washington, DC, and 8 domestic field offices. OEE is authorized to carry out investigations domestically and works with Department of Homeland Security to conduct investigations overseas. OEE also conducts pre-license and post-shipment verification along with in-country U.S. embassy officials overseas.

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