All too often, companies find themselves operating without a documented program for import/export compliance. Either they rely on an employee’s “head knowledge” of what to do, or they (mistakenly) think that compliance is being handled by someone else in their supply chain. Even worse, some companies have a documented program, but unfortunately, it sits on a shelf collecting dust – too complicated and burdensome for anyone to actually follow.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, “… it behooves companies in all industries to adopt an export compliance program.”1 Not only will this help contribute to U.S. national security, but it can also save you from costly import/export violations.
A good export compliance program will:
- Define your company’s policies and procedures with regards to import/export compliance
- Provide step-by-step instructions for employees to follow in critical areas of compliance
- Be customized to address the unique realities of your business, products/services and organization
- Have full support from top management
- Be a “living” document that is understood and followed by all employees – daily
Building an effective ITAR Compliance Program can seem like a daunting task, but there’s no need to start from scratch. A good consultant will be able to understand your business needs, and bring forward a customized, practical solution that actually works.
Read more: How to choose an ITAR consultant.
1 Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Exporter Services, Export Management and Compliance Division: Compliance Guidelines: How to Develop an Effective Export Management and Compliance Program and Manual. June 2011.