Anti-Boycott Regulations

These regulations are a subset of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) which prohibit U.S. persons from participating in, or even agreeing to participate in, a boycott not consistent with the U.S. Government’s policy. These regulations were directly in response to the Arab League boycott of Israel.  

The Anti-Boycott provisions prohibit the following activities (amongst others):

  • Agree to refuse, or actually refuse, to do business with a boycotted country (e.g., Israel) or a blacklisted person;
  • Agree to discriminate, or actually discriminate, against a person based on race, religion, sex, national origin, or nationality (i.e. agree to not hire an Israeli national);
  • Agree to furnish, or actually furnish, information about the race, religion, sex, or national origin of personnel;
  • Agree to furnish, or actually furnish, information about relationships with a boycotted country or blacklisted person;
  • Agree to furnish, or actually furnish, certain certifications regarding the eligibility of vessels to dock in boycotting country’s ports.

The following are explicit examples of boycott language that a researcher may encounter:

  • Agree not to do business with a distributor with Jewish employees;
  • Agree to stamp an invoice with the statement “We certify that goods are not of Israeli origin;
  • Approve a letter of credit with the notation that “the goods cannot be shipped on a vessel that calls at Israeli ports.”

The Anti-Boycott Regulations further provide that U.S. persons receiving a request to agree to participate in an unauthorized boycott must file a report with the US Government. Examples of real-world boycotts can be found on the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) website.

Aside from the EAR, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) maintains a separate set of boycott rules and regulations that require the annual reporting of operations in or related to boycotting countries, as well as receipt of and action in response to, boycott requests. The Treasury Department publishes a list of these countries in the Federal Register each quarter. The current list includes:

  • Iraq
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Syria
  • Yemen
  • United Arab Emirates

Downstate personnel who encounter boycott-related language in any research-related transaction must contact the Director of Sponsored Programs immediately, before taking any further action. If Downstate personnel are engaging in operations related to boycotted countries, they must report these to Sponsored Programs Administration who will work with Compliance and General Counsel both on campus and at the RF Central Office.