If you undertake overseas activities or interact with foreign individuals or organizations, you should become familiar with certain U.S. and foreign laws and University policies that could impact those activities or relationships.

You can receive a brief overview on employing University faculty and staff overseas by reviewing the following Powerpoint presentation.

If you have a question regarding the information provided on this page, please contact Jeff Goetz.

Federal Laws

The following federal laws may impact a cross-border transaction:

  • The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA): an extremely broad U.S. anti-bribery law that makes it unlawful for U.S. persons to make a payment to a foreign official for the purpose of improperly influencing any act or decision by that official.

  • Withholding Tax Obligations: the University may be obligated under U.S. tax law to withhold tax on certain payments, such as royalty payments, made to foreign parties.

  • Export Control and Sanctions Laws: The U.S. government imposes restrictions on activities involving certain technologies, organizations, persons, and countries. For example, the U.S. government restricts many activities including certain countries or regions, including Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. In addition, US export control laws prohibit, without an appropriate license, the “export” of certain items, services, technology, and technical data. Importantly, export control laws even prohibit the transfer of controlled technology or software to certain foreign nationals present in the U.S. (known as a “deemed” export). Please contact the University’s Export Control Office for more information.

Foreign Laws

The following foreign laws may impact a cross-border transaction:

  • Employment and business registration laws: Many countries prohibit foreign organizations, such as the University, from employing individuals in-country without either establishing a local subsidiary or registering to do business as a branch or representative office in that country. Employing someone in a foreign country also typically requires the University to comply with that country’s labor laws, employment laws, social welfare benefit laws, and tax laws, among other laws.

  • Data protection and privacy laws: Many countries, such as within the European Union, have comprehensive data protection laws that prohibit, among other things, the transfer of personal information outside of the country without certain safeguards being put in place.

You may also need to be aware of other foreign laws, such as laws regarding the use of independent contractors, customs laws regarding the importation of goods, and foreign tax laws.