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Sean McGowan

Partner

Washington, D.C.
202 585 6976 direct

Sean helps his clients navigate the complex web of federal regulations that affect their transportation and export operations.

Sean has over 20 years of transportation regulatory experience in the aviation, trucking, rail and maritime industries. During this time he has handled numerous compliance issues regarding: general, commercial and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) matters; establishment of public charters; hazardous materials (HAZMAT) classifications; responses to HAZMAT violations; obtaining U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) registration and motor carrier (MC) operating authority; responding to USDOT safety audits; drafting and reviewing transportation contracts; placing rail systems into the rails-to-trails system; and general inquiries regarding maritime regulatory and Shipping Act violations. Sean practices before a variety of federal regulatory agencies, including the USDOT; the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA); the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA); the Surface Transportation Board (STB); and the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). He is also co-chair of the firm's UAS (Drone) Practice Group and co-host of the Firm's UAS podcast, Three Lawyers and a Drone.

Sean also counsels clients on U.S. federal regulatory compliance issues associated with the export of controlled products, technology and related services. Sean routinely assists clients in: determining the correct export classifications for items controlled under the Commerce Department's Export Administration Regulations (EAR) Export Control Classification Number (ECCN) list or the State Department's International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) United States Munitions List (USML); obtaining export licenses; drafting and implementing export compliance manuals and procedures; reviewing transactions for compliance with U.S. sanctions; and representing clients in the initial and full voluntary disclosure (VD) or voluntary self-disclosure (VSD) process. Sean practices before a variety of federal regulatory agencies, including the Department of Commerce (DOC) Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS); the Department of State (DOS) Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC); the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC); the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Thompson Coburn Publications

USMCA allows challenges to U.S. grants of authority given to persons of Mexico providing cross-border long-haul trucking services in the United States

Beware: It’s time to reevaluate your exports and deemed exports to Hong Kong

Motor carriers and drivers beware: FMCSA scales back COVID-19 immediate needs in latest update to Emergency Declaration No. 2020-20

FAA announces remote identification proposed rule for drones

Trade Compliance Handbook

Checklists of Foreign Countries Subject to Sanctions

FAA announces new drone rule requiring visible UAS registration number

Update on academic use of drones

Micro UAS Committee charts bold new course for FAA treatment of smaller unmanned aircraft

Drone technology: The regulatory outlook

Anti-drone technologies: The regulation challenge

Senate committee examines unmanned aircraft system safety, privacy concerns

And on that farm he had a drone: UAS deployment in precision agriculture

Small Business Committee holds hearing to explore commercial drone operations

FAA grants exemption for large crop-spraying unmanned aircraft

Section 333 at 200 days: Where are we now?

Amazon Prime Air closer to takeoff: FAA grants Internet giant's request for drone ‘exemption’ and experimental certificate

Small UAS comment countdown begins: FAA publishes notice of proposed rulemaking

Final approach: FAA announces long-awaited small UAS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Florida drone bill a reminder to UAS operators: Know all the rules before you fly

Final rules for international trade data highlight issues for routed export transaction

FAA settles trail-blazing drone case for $1,100

UAS hearing yields details on systems research and development, but no timeline for small UAS rule

More boots on the ground: FAA provides law enforcement guidance for suspected unauthorized UAS operation

'Tis the season: FAA launches safety campaign for unmanned aircraft

Unmanned aircraft systems are 'aircraft' once again: National Transportation Safety Board reverses administrative law judge on key definition

Shipping hazmats by air? Follow the rules or pay the price: FAA imposes substantial penalties for hazardous materials violations

International trade compliance: 6 basic products questions a company should answer

BIS releases final rule implementing STA license exception

Podcasts

Episode 8: Arthur Frisch and Robert Sweeting on drone deliveries in the Bahamas

Episode 7: Tomislav Žigo of Clayco on drone use in commercial construction

Episode 6: Drone photographer Justin Barr of @STL_From_Above

Episode 5: Andrew Elefant of Kittyhawk

Episode 4: Public and government use of drones

Episode 3: Commercial UAS basics

Episode 2: Tips for first-time drone operators

Episode 1: Drone disruptions at airports and public spaces

Blogs

Ag and drones – What do you need to know?

FAA provides clearer skies for educational use of drones

Drones on campus: What higher ed needs to know

Publications

"FAA announces remote identification proposed rule for drones";
December 2019

"Introduction to U.S. Trade Compliance for Legal, Customs and Compliance Personnel";
March 2019

"Countries Subject to Various Restrictions by the U.S., EU and UN";
March 2019

"FAA announces new drone rule requiring UAS registration number";
February 2019

"Update on academic use of drones";
May, 2016

"Micro UAS Committee charts bold new course for FAA treatment of smaller unmanned aircraft";
April, 2016

"Shippers, are you ready for SOLAS’ verified container weight mandate?";
April 2016

"Anti-Drone Technologies: The Regulation Challenge";
The Cipher Brief March 2016

"Drone Technology: The Regulatory Outlook";
The Cipher Brief September 2015

"Drones and sports: A brief overview";
September 2015

"And on that farm he had a drone: UAS deployment in precision agriculture";
September 3, 2015

"Small Business Committee holds hearing to explore commercial drone operations";
July 23, 2015

"FAA grants exemption for large crop-spraying unmanned aircraft";
May 2015

"Section 333 at 200 days: Where are we now?";
April 2015

"Amazon Prime Air closer to takeoff: FAA grants Internet giant's request for drone ‘exemption’ and experimental certificate";
March 2015

"Small UAS comment countdown begins: FAA publishes notice of proposed rulemaking";
February 2015

"Final approach: FAA announces long-awaited small UAS notice of proposed rulemaking";
February 2015

"Florida drone bill a reminder to UAS operators: Know all the rules before you fly";
February 2015

"FAA settles trail-blazing drone case for $1,100";
January 2015

"UAS hearing yields details on systems research and development, but no timeline for small UAS rule";
January 2015

"More boots on the ground: FAA provides law enforcement guidance for suspected unauthorized UAS operation";
January 2015

"'Tis the season: FAA launches safety campaign for unmanned aircraft";
December 2014

"Unmanned Aircraft Systems Are 'Aircraft' Once Again"
November 18, 2014

"Shipping hazmats by air? Follow the rules or pay the price: FAA imposes substantial penalties for hazardous materials violations"
October 3, 2014

"Drones and Commercial Real Estate - The Wait Continues"
September 23, 2014

"International Trade Compliance: 6 Basic Products Questions A Company Should Answer,"
Corporate Compliance Insights October 2011

Co-Author: "Trade Compliance Handbook"

Presentations

"It's A Bird? It's A Plane? It's A Drone!: Unmanned Aircraft on Campus";
NACUA virtual seminar November 2015

"International Trade Law: Export Control Reform: What Does It Mean or Not Mean For Your ITAR and/or EAR Exports";
September 2013