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Can Our Church Buy Crosses from a Foreign Business?

Check export and import rules, and suspected terrorist lists.

Q: We want to purchase some olive wood crosses from a business in Jerusalem to use in our high school ministry in the season leading up to a significant religious holiday. Are there any steps we need to take with respect to U.S. rules and regulations before making an international transaction like this?

A: As long as your church satisfies Israel's export requirements and the United States' import requirements, then the only requirement will be to check the suspected terrorist lists operated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control to make certain the business is not on any of those lists. You can find these lists at the following websites:

treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/SDN-List/Pages/default.aspx
state.gov/j/ct/list/index.htm
treasury.gov/about/organizational-structure/offices/Pages/Office-of-Foreign-Assets-Control.aspx

Frank Sommerville is a shareholder in the law firm of Weycer, Kaplan, Pulaski & Zuber, P.C. in Houston and Dallas, Texas, and an Editorial Advisor for Church Law & Tax Report.

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