UK/USA/EU Export Controls Customs Advisor




The Team


Alex McLoughlin

Nigel Gibbon

Graham Chapman

Ngaire Takano

Janet Donbavand





Alex McLoughlin

A political economist specialising in Customs and Trade Law, with some 30 years experience in dealing with these matters on behalf of multi-national companies. He is acknowledged as one of the foremost experts in US Export Controls in Europe and was responsible for Compliance Worldwide.


He graduated in Politics, Economics and Statistics and has a post-graduate diploma in Computing and Business Studies. After nearly thirty years dealing with Trade issues on both sides of the Atlantic and with Asia-Pacific countries, he is well placed to interpret European, US and International Export Controls and Customs legislation especially for multinational and High Technology companies.

Alex was for many years Head of Trade and Regulatory Affairs at ICL and Fujitsu-ICL. He also served as Vice President of the US Companies of The Group.


In Brussels, London, International Chamber of Commerce HQ in Paris, and in Europe generally, he is best known for his contributions to the development of Trade Policy and the WTO.

He has been active on these issues and Export Controls in Trade Associations, Conferences and "Think Tanks ".


He is best known in the IT industry world-wide for leading UK, US, Japanese and European High Tech industry in successful opposition to European Anti-Dumping and Customs tariffs on Microcircuits, PCBs and Software and in obtaining suspensions of Customs and Anti-Dumping Duties. His success on these issues has led to multi-million of ECU in Tariff reductions for the High Tech industry.

In Washington DC, he assisted in the development of US Trade Policy on GATT, Tariffs, Export Control including industry representations to USTR and to Congress. He successfully negotiated with the US Departments of Commerce, State and Defence increasingly broad exemptions from the US Export Administration Regulations including a "deminimis rule" and precedent setting exemptions from US embargoes on trade.

He was registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), for the purposes of influencing changes in US Regulations

Other US issues he covered included:-

  • Customs valuation, classification and compliance

  • Free Trade Zones / Trade with Canada and Mexico under NAFTA

  • Due diligence on companies acquired or merged with the client company in matters of Export Control, FCC Regulations and Customs law

  • Public procurement including access to defence markets and interpretation of Pentagon regulations

  • Liaison with embassies, particularly the British Embassy

  • US Extraterritorial controls on re-exports

  • Controlling a substantial legal budget and the efforts of US lawyers

He has written submissions to Select Committees of both the House of Lords and Commons, as well as leading industry delegations to the European Parliament, the European Commission and to NATO Parliamentarians. He has addressed UK, US and European legislators, Commissioners and Chief Justices on Trade, GATT and competition issues.


He has been involved in lobbying through Trade Associations and directly to European Commission, British Government and US Government Agencies for changes in regulation in Export Control, Anti-dumping, Customs, Trade Legislation and Industrial policy.


He has successfully dealt with Customs cases, Import/Export issues, etc. for over 20 years in Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, India, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Turkey, Singapore, EU Countries, Hong Kong and every English speaking country in the world including S. Africa, Canada, New Zealand, UK, USA, Australia, and Ireland.

The specific areas of Customs Law included:-

  • Customs valuation including Computer hardware and software and Electronic Transmission.

  • Classification of whole variety of hi-tech products including chain of sales transactions and issues of ownership.

  • Preference for entry to the EU, Origin of Goods

  • NAFTA - North America Free Trade Area

  • Customs and Export Control Compliance

  • Warehousing under Customs Regulations

  • Free Trade Zones in US, Europe and elsewhere

  • Inward and Outward Processing Relief, Temporary Imports

  • Counterfeiting and Trades Descriptions Act UK

Nigel Gibbon

Is a solicitor specialising in Customs and VAT.


Having previously worked in the Customs and Excise Solicitor's Office, he is one of the UK's most experienced advocate in VAT and Duties appeals, having represented HM Customs more than 1000 times between 1988 and 1996.


He qualified as a Solicitor in 1983, and spent 3 years in general litigation practice in Cardiff before joining HM Customs in London in 1986. In 1990, he set up the Solicitor's Office VAT and Excise Division in Manchester, of which he was head until 1996, when he joined Hammond Suddards.

He has handled every area of VAT and Excise liability, including land and property, partial exemption, retail schemes, TOMS, pyramid selling and finance as well as mainstream assessment cases.


Nigel and Alex have worked in association for many years on multi-million pound cases involving 7 countries.


Graham Chapman

He was previously Export Control and Licensing Manager of FUJITSU-ICL .


He has for many years been a member of the UK COCOM team and is one of the foremost experts in classification of High Tech equipment including Cryptography. Graham also chaired the UK Electronics Industry Export Control Group (FEI JETSECC).

He also was responsible for Export Control Compliance in FUJITSU-ICL worldwide.


He is one of the foremost experts in UK/European Controls in Europe and were instrumental in developing the first Open General Export Licences (OGELs ) and Open Individual Export Licences (OIELs) working with Alex and with the BIS.


He can also fairly claim to be as expert in US Export Controls as anyone this side of the Atlantic.


He (and Alex) have negotiated or otherwise advised many UK/US, Japanese and European companies and dealt with thousands of issues involving US Export Controls over more than 20 Years, including the Tech Data controls, which are now being emulated in the UK and we believe in Japanese and EU regulations.


He also has considerable experience in Customs Law and Data Protection. Graham is an honours graduate in Maths.


Janet Donbavand

A graduate in Mathematics and has worked as a statistician in both the public and private sector.


She is also a marketing consultant and an expert in evaluating computer systems.


Has also worked in econometric forecasting and has led many training courses in IT and statistics.


She has undertaken a study on free trade zones worldwide and used her charting and statistical experience to illuminate and expand the defence cases pursued by Alex and Nigel.





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