Under US law it is illegal to comply with boycotts that are:
- Unsanctioned by the US, and
- Fostered by one foreign country against another
While not all foreign boycotts are illegal, U.S. entities must remain wary of requests to support those targeting specific foreign nations. In most cases such requests would be to participate in the Arab League boycott of Israel but may include other nations as well. The U.S. Government strictly prohibits the following actions with respect to the Israeli boycott (and others which it has not sanctioned):
- Complying with requests to participate in any way with such boycotts
- Acting to further such boycotts in any way
- Agreeing to provide information used to verify compliance with such boycotts
Note that in order to violate US antiboycott provisions one must have intent to comply with, further, or support an unsanctioned foreign boycott. Such "intent" is present if the boycott is at least one of the reasons for the action taken. The person need not intend to violate U.S. laws or regulations or necessarily agree with the boycott. If at least one reason for taking the action is to comply with, further, or support an unsanctioned foreign boycott, the person will be deemed to have the necessary level of intent.
By law Duke must report any contractual language it encounters which supports the boycott of Israel (or any other boycott not sanctioned by the U.S. Government). Please contact the Office of Export Controls for further guidance in such matters.
Countries which may require participation or cooperation with the international boycott of Israel are:
- Saudi Arabia
- Republic of Yemen
Diligence should also be exercised when receiving a request to "comply with" or be held "subject to" the laws of one of the above countries. Such a request can be viewed as tantamount to participating, or agreeing to participate, in a prohibited boycott program. Such language should be negotiated out of agreements. Alternatively, one may wish to agree that the laws of these countries merely "apply" to the agreement, rather than making oneself fully subject to them.
Examples of Israeli Boycott Language
The following are examples which, if accepted, would violate anti-boycott laws. If you encounter similar language, you are required to report this language to the government immediately. Contact Export Controls.
- "Importation of goods from Israel is strictly prohibited by Kuwait import regulations; therefore, certificate of origin covering goods originating in Israel is not acceptable."
- "Contractor shall comply with the Israel boycott laws in performing his contractual obligations."
- "Certificate from insurance company stating that they are not blacklisted."
- ".... do you have or any of your subsidiaries now or ever had general agencies or offices in Israel?"
- "Invoices must be endorsed with a certificate of origin that goods are not of Israeli origin and do not contain any Israeli material and are not shipped from any Israeli port."