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Project Shield America


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Project Shield America is an integral part of the strategy utilized by HSI through the Counter-Proliferation Investigations (CPI) Program.
Project Shield America

Project Shield America is an industry and academic outreach program, the intent of which is to obtain the assistance and cooperation of those companies involved in the manufacture and export of U.S. origin strategic goods, technologies, and munitions items as well as academic researchers who study and research these and other strategic fields. The focus of Project Shield America is to prevent the proliferation of export-controlled technology and components, the acquisition of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and the unlawful exportation of weapon systems and classified or controlled technical data.

In seeking to both gather and provide information, Project Shield America was established to increase public awareness of the importance of export controls and to seek the cooperation of the technology manufacturing and academic research communities. Project Shield America liaisons are established between HSI special agents and manufacturers, exporters, and freight handlers. In this cooperative effort, private industry and the academic community can improve their export control measures while avoiding issues that might affect legitimate business or scholarship.

Project Shield America assists industry and academic research institutions to better understand current U.S. export laws and aids in the recognition, detection and resolution of illegal acquisition attempts of controlled and sensitive commodities, technology, and data by foreign governments, companies, or individuals.  Only with the cooperation and diligence of the exporting and academic community can law enforcement succeed in preventing the proliferation of advanced conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction. Through established contacts, private industry and the academic community are encouraged to report all suspicious export inquiries to HSI. Cooperation will protect U.S. national security, secure the reputation of private industry, and protect research and development costs lost to illegal procurement.

Red Flags: Indications of Potential Illegal Exports

ICE solicits the assistance of private industry to share information related to suspicious acquisitions of high technology and munitions or services relating to these items. The following are possible indicators of illegal exports or diversions:

  • The customer is willing to pay cash for a high value order rather than use a standard method of payment, which usually involves a letter of credit.
  • The customer is willing to pay well in excess of market value for the commodities.
  • The purchaser is reluctant to provide information on the end-use or end-user of the product.
  • The end-use information provided is incompatible with the customary purpose for which the product is designed.
  • The final consignee is a trading company, freight forwarder, export company or other entity with no apparent connection to the purchaser.
  • The customer appears unfamiliar with the product, its application, support equipment or performance.
  • The packaging requirements are inconsistent with the shipping mode or destination.
  • The customer orders products or options that do not correspond with their line of business.
  • The customer has little or no business background.
  • Firms or individuals from foreign countries other than the country of the stated end-user place the order.
  • The order is being shipped via circuitous or economically illogical routing.
  • The customer declines the normal service, training, or installation contracts.
  • The product is inappropriately or unprofessionally packaged (e.g. odd sized/re-taped boxes, hand lettering in lieu of printing, altered labels or labels that cover old ones).
  • The size or weight of the package does not fit the product described.
  • "Fragile" or other special markings on the package are inconsistent with the commodity described.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 01/03/2018