Export, Customs & Trade

Practice Leaders

Practice Areas

Reed Smith’s Export, Customs & Trade Team has broad industry and government experience, and counsels leading companies, entrepreneurial concerns, universities, research institutions and others on all aspects of international trade and commerce around the world.

Our Export, Customs & Trade Team routinely advises national and international clients seeking to expand markets and strengthen supply chains. We protect companies that export products or technology, source goods in foreign markets, and transact business in international commerce.


U.S. law and regulation restrict the unlicensed export of many products and technologies to foreign persons and destinations, even when intended strictly for commercial uses. These restrictions cover more than just physical shipments, as an “export” can occur when a non-U.S. person has access to controlled technologies, or receives technical data orally, by e-mail, or in other forms. Consistent with U.S. export control laws, other countries likewise restrict the movement of goods and technologies under national and international technology control and sanctions regimes.


Countries around the world, and not only those that participate in the World Customs Organization, all have strict requirements about how items and goods may be imported across national boundaries. These requirements generally include customs classification, valuation, country-of-origin issues, and trade preferences. Individual countries have specialized rules and procedures pertaining to the importation and transportation of chemicals, biologics, pharmaceuticals and foodstuffs, and have laws and regulations in place to protect intellectual property and the global supply chain.


The government imposes unilateral and multilateral economic and other trade-related sanctions on certain foreign countries. These sanctions generally prohibit commercial transactions, including the financing of such transactions, with certain proscribed destinations, and even with some proscribed companies and individuals, and in some cases prohibit the participation in unsanctioned boycotts. Other trade laws allow for redress in the face of unfair competition across national boundaries, and yet other laws and regulations restrict non-domestic ownership and control of critical technology and infrastructure. It is within the confines of these various national and international laws and regulations that global trade, investment, and commerce flows.

Reed Smith’s team includes attorneys with strong ties to the agencies and groups that govern and enforce export, customs and trade laws and regulations in countries around the world.