Butler Library

International Research/Export Control

Export Control and other Regulations

International Boycotts

International Boycotts not Supported by the United States Government

U.S. federal regulations also prohibit the University or its personnel from agreeing to participate in any international boycott not supported by the U.S. government, such as the Arab League boycott of Israel. Violation of these regulations could result in fines being imposed by the U.S. government.

These regulations are broad and complex, regulating for example: (a) agreeing not to do business with a distributor with Jewish employees; (b) agreeing to stamp an invoice with the statement “We certify that goods are not of Israeli origin;” and (c) approving a letter of credit with the notation that “the goods cannot be shipped on a vessel that calls at Israeli ports.”

Under certain circumstances even the receipt of a request to cooperate in a boycott must be reported to the U.S. government. Boycott-related requests involving any of these activities may be oral or written, and may appear as provisions in a proposed bid invitation, contract, purchase order, letter of credit, research or other agreement that calls for boycott-related information or action.

If Columbia personnel receive a boycott related request,, immediately contact OGC before responding further to the request. OGC will advise you on how to proceed, and assist in filing any required reports with the Commerce Department.

In addition, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) maintains a separate set of boycott rules and regulations that require annual reporting of operations in or related to boycotting countries, as well as receipt of, and action in response to, boycott requests. These laws deny some foreign tax benefits to persons who cooperate with certain boycott requests. It also requires annual reporting by Columbia (not the individual Columbia employee) of business activities in boycotting countries. The Treasury Department publishes a list of these countries in the Federal Register each quarter. As of March 2008, this list includes:

Kuwait

Lebanon

Libya

Qatar

Saudi Arabia

Syria

United Arab Emirates

Yemen

If Columbia personnel are engaging in any operations in or related to boycotting countries, report such operations to the Tax Director of the Controller’s Office. The IRS defines “operations” broadly to include purchasing, leasing, financing, extracting, constructing, transporting, contract negotiating, site selecting, and other activities. Operations must be reported even if no boycott requests are received.

Examples of prohibited boycott contract conditions can be found on the website for the Bureau of Industry and Security, at: http://www.bis.doc.gov/antiboycottcompliance/oacantiboycottrequestexamples.html.