U.S.Department of Commerce Releases New Web Tool to Help U.S. Companies Comply with Export Laws

New Consolidated Screening List Format Supports Private Sector Innovation and Strengthens National Security


Thursday, November 20, 2014

The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced the creation of a new web search tool to help U.S. companies easily search the federal government’s Consolidated Screening List (CSL). The CSL is a streamlined collection of nine different “screening lists” from the U.S. Departments of Commerce, State, and the Treasury that contains names of individuals and companies with whom a U.S. company may not be allowed to do business due to U.S. export regulations, sanctions, or other restrictions. 

The CSL is also now available through the Trade Developers Portal Application Programming Interface (API) in an open, machine-readable format. By making the CSL available as an API, developers and designers can create new tools, websites or mobile apps to access the list and display the results, supporting private sector innovation to help disseminate this critical information in ways most helpful to business users.

“One of our key priorities at the Commerce Department is to unleash more of our data to help businesses make better decisions, innovate and become more globally competitive, ” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker. “Through collaboration with other federal agencies, we have made crucial information available to businesses and entrepreneurs in a free and easy-to-use format. The consolidation of screening lists also helps businesses ensure they are not working with bad foreign actors, thereby strengthening U.S. national security.” 

It is extremely important for U.S. businesses to consult the CSL before doing business with a foreign entity to ensure it is not flagged on any of the agency lists. The U.S. agencies that maintain these lists have targeted the entities for various national security and foreign policy reasons, including illegally exporting arms, violating U.S. sanctions, and trafficking narcotics.

If a company or individual appears on the list, U.S. firms must do further research into the individual or company in accordance with the administering agency’s rules before doing business with them.

The CSL search tool and API are also deliverables under President Obama’s Export Control Reform initiative, which is strengthening the national security and the competitiveness of key U.S. manufacturing and technology sectors by focusing on current threats, as well as adapting to the changing economic and technological landscape.

During the process of creating the API, the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration and Bureau of Industry and Security worked with the Departments of the Treasury and State to form an authoritative, up to date, and easily searchable list with over 8,000 company and individual names and their aliases. These improvements provide options to the downloadable CSL files currently available on export.gov/ecr.

In addition to the simple search tool, the CSL API is now available to developers through ITA’s Developer Portal. For more information about the search tool, API or CSL, please visit http://developer.trade.gov/consolidated-screening-list.html.

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