CFIUS Laws and Guidance

CFIUS operates pursuant to section 721 of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (section 721), and as implemented by Executive Order 11858, as amended, and the regulations at chapter VIII of title 31 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

CFIUS legislation, regulations, executive orders, guidance, and other policy documents can be found below.

CFIUS Legislation

The authority of the President to suspend or prohibit certain transactions was initially provided by the addition of section 721 to the Defense Production Act of 1950 by a 1988 amendment commonly known as the Exon-Florio amendment.  Section 721 was substantially revised by the Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007 (FINSA), which became effective October 24, 2007, and the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA), which became effective August 13, 2018.  Section 721 of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended, is codified at 50 U.S.C. 4565.

CFIUS Regulations

In Executive Order 11858, as amended, the President directs the Secretary of the Treasury to issue regulations implementing section 721.  The regulations governing the CFIUS review process are codified at chapter VIII of title 31 of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.). 

  • 31 C.F.R. Part 800.  Prior to February 13, 2020, the regulations at 31 C.F.R. part 800 focused on transactions that could result in foreign control of any U.S. business.  Effective February 13, 2020, the regulations at 31 C.F.R. part 800 implement changes that FIRRMA made to CFIUS’s jurisdiction and process, including with respect to certain non-controlling “covered investments” that afford a foreign person certain access, rights, or involvement in certain types of U.S. businesses.  A final rule effective October 15, 2020, modifies the mandatory declaration provision for certain foreign investment transactions involving a U.S. business that produces, designs, tests, manufactures, fabricates, or develops one or more critical technologies; the final rule also makes amendments to the definition of the term "substantial interest" and a related provision, and makes one technical revision.
  • Provisions Pertaining to Certain Investments in the United States by Foreign Persons (31 C.F.R. part 800)
  • Final Rule on Mandatory Declaration Provisions (31 C.F.R. part 800)
  • 31 C.F.R. Part 801.  ​As authorized by FIRRMA, the regulations at 31 C.F.R. part 801 implement a pilot program covering certain transacting involving critical technologies and for which specified actions occurred between November 10, 2018 and February 12, 2020

Additional resources: 

CFIUS Executive Order

Executive Order 11858, wholly amended by Executive Order 13456 on January 23, 2008, defines the relationship among CFIUS agencies and between CFIUS and the President. 

CFIUS Guidance

The Department of the Treasury, as CFIUS chair, published Guidance Concerning the National Security Review Conducted by CFIUS in the Federal Register on December 8, 2008. 

The guidance describes the purpose and nature of the CFIUS process, how CFIUS analyzes whether a transaction poses national security risks, national security factors identified by FINSA, and the types of transactions that CFIUS has reviewed that have presented national security considerations.

Historical references

The documents listed below are provided solely for historical reference.