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Prohibition on Arms Exports to Supporters of Terrorism
These provisions of law date from 1986 and were amended several times through 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.

 

 

 


§2780. Transactions with countries supporting acts of international terrorism

(a) Prohibited transactions by United States Government

The following transactions by the United States Government are prohibited:

(1) Exporting or otherwise providing (by sale, lease or loan, grant, or other means), directly or indirectly, any munitions item to a country described in subsection (d) of this section under the authority of this chapter, the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 [22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.], or any other law (except as provided in subsection (h) of this section). In implementing this paragraph, the United States Government—

(A) shall suspend delivery to such country of any such item pursuant to any such transaction which has not been completed at the time the Secretary of State makes the determination described in subsection (d) of this section, and

(B) shall terminate any lease or loan to such country of any such item which is in effect at the time the Secretary of State makes that determination.

(2) Providing credits, guarantees, or other financial assistance under the authority of this chapter, the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 [22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.], or any other law (except as provided in subsection (h) of this section), with respect to the acquisition of any munitions item by a country described in subsection (d) of this section. In implementing this paragraph, the United States Government shall suspend expenditures pursuant to any such assistance obligated before the Secretary of State makes the determination described in subsection (d) of this section. The President may authorize expenditures otherwise required to be suspended pursuant to the preceding sentence if the President has determined, and reported to the Congress, that suspension of those expenditures causes undue financial hardship to a supplier, shipper, or similar person and allowing the expenditure will not result in any munitions item being made available for use by such country.

(3) Consenting under section 2753(a) of this title, under section 505(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 [22 U.S.C. 2314(a)], under the regulations issued to carry out section 2778 of this title, or under any other law (except as provided in subsection (h) of this section), to any transfer of any munitions item to a country described in subsection (d) of this section. In implementing this paragraph, the United States Government shall withdraw any such consent which is in effect at the time the Secretary of State makes the determination described in subsection (d) of this section, except that this sentence does not apply with respect to any item that has already been transferred to such country.

(4) Providing any license or other approval under section 2778 of this title for any export or other transfer (including by means of a technical assistance agreement, manufacturing licensing agreement, or coproduction agreement) of any munitions item to a country described in subsection (d) of this section. In implementing this paragraph, the United States Government shall suspend any such license or other approval which is in effect at the time the Secretary of State makes the determination described in subsection (d) of this section, except that this sentence does not apply with respect to any item that has already been exported or otherwise transferred to such country.

(5) Otherwise facilitating the acquisition of any munitions item by a country described in subsection (d) of this section. This paragraph applies with respect to activities undertaken—

(A) by any department, agency, or other instrumentality of the Government,

(B) by any officer or employee of the Government (including members of the United States Armed Forces), or

(C) by any other person at the request or on behalf of the Government.

The Secretary of State may waive the requirements of the second sentence of paragraph (1), the second sentence of paragraph (3), and the second sentence of paragraph (4) to the extent that the Secretary determines, after consultation with the Congress, that unusual and compelling circumstances require that the United States Government not take the actions specified in that sentence.

(b) Prohibited transactions by United States persons

(1) In general

A United States person may not take any of the following actions:

(A) Exporting any munitions item to any country described in subsection (d) of this section.

(B) Selling, leasing, loaning, granting, or otherwise providing any munitions item to any country described in subsection (d) of this section.

(C) Selling, leasing, loaning, granting, or otherwise providing any munitions item to any recipient which is not the government of or a person in a country described in subsection (d) of this section if the United States person has reason to know that the munitions item will be made available to any country described in subsection (d) of this section.

(D) Taking any other action which would facilitate the acquisition, directly or indirectly, of any munitions item by the government of any country described in subsection (d) of this section, or any person acting on behalf of that government, if the United States person has reason to know that that action will facilitate the acquisition of that item by such a government or person.

(2) Liability for actions of foreign subsidiaries, etc.

A United States person violates this subsection if a corporation or other person that is controlled in fact by that United States person (as determined under regulations, which the President shall issue) takes an action described in paragraph (1) outside the United States.

(3) Applicability to actions outside the United States

Paragraph (1) applies with respect to actions described in that paragraph which are taken either within or outside the United States by a United States person described in subsection (l)(3)(A) or (B) of this section. To the extent provided in regulations issued under subsection (l)(3)(D) of this section, paragraph (1) applies with respect to actions described in that paragraph which are taken outside the United States by a person designated as a United States person in those regulations.

(c) Transfers to governments and persons covered

This section applies with respect to—

(1) the acquisition of munitions items by the government of a country described in subsection (d) of this section; and

(2) the acquisition of munitions items by any individual, group, or other person within a country described in subsection (d) of this section, except to the extent that subparagraph (D) of subsection (b)(1) of this section provides otherwise.

(d) Countries covered by prohibition

The prohibitions contained in this section apply with respect to a country if the Secretary of State determines that the government of that country has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism. For purposes of this subsection, such acts shall include all activities that the Secretary determines willfully aid or abet the international proliferation of nuclear explosive devices to individuals or groups, willfully aid or abet an individual or groups in acquiring unsafeguarded special nuclear material, or willfully aid or abet the efforts of an individual or group to use, develop, produce, stockpile, or otherwise acquire chemical, biological, or radiological weapons.

(e) Publication of determinations

Each determination of the Secretary of State under subsection (d) of this section shall be published in the Federal Register.

(f) Rescission

(1) A determination made by the Secretary of State under subsection (d) of this section may not be rescinded unless the President submits to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate—

(A) before the proposed rescission would take effect, a report certifying that—

(i) there has been a fundamental change in the leadership and policies of the government of the country concerned;

(ii) that government is not supporting acts of international terrorism; and

(iii) that government has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future; or

(B) at least 45 days before the proposed rescission would take effect, a report justifying the rescission and certifying that—

(i) the government concerned has not provided any support for international terrorism during the preceding 6-month period; and

(ii) the government concerned has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future.

(2)(A) No rescission under paragraph (1)(B) of a determination under subsection (d) of this section may be made if the Congress, within 45 days after receipt of a report under paragraph (1)(B), enacts a joint resolution the matter after the resolving clause of which is as follows: “That the proposed rescission of the determination under section 40(d) of the Arms Export Control Act pursuant to the report submitted to the Congress on __________________ is hereby prohibited.”, the blank to be completed with the appropriate date.

(B) A joint resolution described in subparagraph (A) and introduced within the appropriate 45-day period shall be considered in the Senate and the House of Representatives in accordance with paragraphs (3) through (7) of section 8066(c) of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act (as contained in Public Law 98–473), except that references in such paragraphs to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate shall be deemed to be references to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, respectively.

(g) Waiver

The President may waive the prohibitions contained in this section with respect to a specific transaction if—

(1) the President determines that the transaction is essential to the national security interests of the United States; and

(2) not less than 15 days prior to the proposed transaction, the President—

(A) consults with the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate; and

(B) submits to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate a report containing—

(i) the name of any country involved in the proposed transaction, the identity of any recipient of the items to be provided pursuant to the proposed transaction, and the anticipated use of those items;

(ii) a description of the munitions items involved in the proposed transaction (including their market value) and the actual sale price at each step in the transaction (or if the items are transferred by other than sale, the manner in which they will be provided);

(iii) the reasons why the proposed transaction is essential to the national security interests of the United States and the justification for such proposed transaction;

(iv) the date on which the proposed transaction is expected to occur; and

(v) the name of every United States Government department, agency, or other entity involved in the proposed transaction, every foreign government involved in the proposed transaction, and every private party with significant participation in the proposed transaction.

To the extent possible, the information specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) shall be provided in unclassified form, with any classified information provided in an addendum to the report.

(h) Exemption for transactions subject to National Security Act reporting requirements

The prohibitions contained in this section do not apply with respect to any transaction subject to reporting requirements under title V of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 413 et seq.; relating to congressional oversight of intelligence activities).

(i) Relation to other laws

(1) In general

With regard to munitions items controlled pursuant to this chapter, the provisions of this section shall apply notwithstanding any other provision of law, other than section 614(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2364(a)).

(2) Section 614(a) waiver authority

If the authority of section 614(a) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 [22 U.S.C. 2364(a)] is used to permit a transaction under that Act [22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.] or this chapter which is otherwise prohibited by this section, the written policy justification required by that section shall include the information specified in subsection (g)(2)(B) of this section.

(j) Criminal penalty

Any person who willfully violates this section shall be fined for each violation not more than $1,000,000, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

(k) Civil penalties; enforcement

In the enforcement of this section, the President is authorized to exercise the same powers concerning violations and enforcement which are conferred upon departments, agencies, and officials by sections 11(c), 11(e), 11(g), and 12(a) of the Export Administration Act of 1979 [50 U.S.C. App. 2410(c), (e), (g), 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.

(l) Definitions

As used in this section—

(1) the term “munitions item” means any item enumerated on the United States Munitions list 1 (without regard to whether the item is imported into or exported from the United States);

(2) the term “United States”, when used geographically, means the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any territory or possession of the United States;

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

(A) any citizen or permanent resident alien of the United States;

(B) any sole proprietorship, partnership, company, association, or corporation having its principal place of business within the United States or organized under the laws of the United States, any State, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or any territory or possession of the United States;

(C) any other person with respect to that person's actions while in the United States; and

(D) to the extent provided in regulations issued by the Secretary of State, any person that is not described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) but—

(i) is a foreign subsidiary or affiliate of a United States person described in subparagraph (B) and is controlled in fact by that United States person (as determined in accordance with those regulations), or

(ii) is otherwise subject to the jurisdiction of the United States,

with respect to that person's actions while outside the United States;

(4) the term “nuclear explosive device” has the meaning given that term in section 6305(4) of this title; and

(5) the term “unsafeguarded special nuclear material” has the meaning given that term in section 6305(8) of this title.


§2781. Transactions with countries not fully cooperating with United States antiterrorism efforts

(a) Prohibited transactions

No defense article or defense service may be sold or licensed for export under this chapter in a fiscal year to a foreign country that the President determines and certifies to Congress, by May 15 of the calendar year in which that fiscal year begins, is not cooperating fully with United States antiterrorism efforts.

(b) Waiver

The President may waive the prohibition set forth in subsection (a) of this section with respect to a specific transaction if the President determines that the transaction is important to the national interests of the United States.