image displayed if flash reader not installed
Prohibition on Incentive Payments in Arms Exports
These provisions of law date from 1994 and were amended in 1999 and 2010. The text shown here is as codified in Chapter 39 of Title 22 of the U.S. Code.



See also the CENTRAL guide to Security, Sanctions, and Compliance, including links to numerous other laws affecting sales of arms and related goods. 




§2779a. Prohibition on incentive payments

(a) In general

No United States supplier of defense articles or services sold or licensed under this chapter or exported pursuant to a treaty referred to in section 2778(j)(1)(C)(i) of this title, nor any employee, agent, or subcontractor thereof, shall, with respect to the sale or export of any such defense article or defense service to a foreign country, make any incentive payments for the purpose of satisfying, in whole or in part, any offset agreement with that country.

(b) Civil penalties

Any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be subject to the imposition of civil penalties as provided for in this section.

(c) Presidential authority

In the enforcement of this section, the President is authorized to exercise the same powers concerning violations and enforcement and imposition of civil penalties which are conferred upon departments, agencies and officials by subsections (c), (d), (e), and (f) of section 11 of the Export Administration Act of 1979 [50 U.S.C. App. 2410(c), (d), (e), (f)], and section 12(a) of such Act [50 U.S.C. App. 2411(a)], subject to the same terms and conditions as are applicable to such powers under that Act [50 U.S.C. App. 2401 et seq.], except that section 11(c)(2)(B) of such Act shall not apply, and instead, as prescribed in regulations issued under this section, the Secretary of State may assess civil penalties for violations of this chapter and regulations prescribed thereunder and further may commence a civil action to recover such civil penalties, and except further that notwithstanding section 11(c) of that Act, the civil penalty for each violation of this section may not exceed $500,000 or five times the amount of the prohibited incentive payment, whichever is greater.

(d) Definitions

For purposes of this section—

(1) the term “offset agreement” means an agreement, arrangement, or understanding between a United States supplier of defense articles or defense services and a foreign country under which the supplier agrees to purchase or acquire, or to promote the purchase or acquisition by other United States persons of, goods or services produced, manufactured, grown, or extracted, in whole or in part, in that foreign country in consideration for the purchase by the foreign country of defense articles or defense services from the supplier;

(2) the term “incentive payments” means direct monetary compensation made by a United States supplier of defense articles or defense services or by any employee, agent or subcontractor thereof to any other United States person to induce or persuade that United States person to purchase or acquire goods or services produced, manufactured, grown, or extracted, in whole or in part, in the foreign country which is purchasing those defense articles or services from the United States supplier; and

(3) the term “United States person” means—

(A) an individual who is a national or permanent resident alien of the United States; and

(B) any corporation, business association, partnership, trust, or other juridical entity—

(i) organized under the laws of the United States or any State, the District of Columbia, or any territory or possession of the United States; or

(ii) owned or controlled in fact by individuals described in subparagraph (A) or by an entity described in clause (i).