Trade compliance is a massive undertaking. Companies involved in exporting and importing goods have a lot on the line if they violate trade regulations.

According to the Bureau of Industry and Security, export fines can reach $1 million per violation for criminal cases and $250,000 or twice the value of the transaction for administrative cases, not to mention lengthy jail sentences for those found guilty.

So, your company must follow the guidelines, regulations, and laws set forth by various regulating agencies and maintain strict paperwork documenting the process.

It just got more expensive to violate U.S. import/export regulations. In recent weeks, the various governmental agencies who administer and enforce these regulations have released updated penalty amounts. The main culprit? Everyone’s favorite “I” word – inflation! The cost of non-compliance isn’t getting any cheaper. Now more than ever, companies must institute proper compliance programs, training and other measures to avoid these costly fines and penalties.

Whether you’re part of the Great Resignation, quietly quitting or just career cushioning, you may find yourself in the following scenario someday:  It’s your first day on the job as the new Trade Compliance Manager for ABC, Inc.  Where do you go?  What should you do?  Who should you see?  Perhaps most importantly, how will you know if you’re hitting your milestones? Here are some helpful tips.

One of the questions we often hear is: "How do you stay current on the regulations?” Of course, there’s no single-source answer to this. To help you get started, we've created this list of 12 must-read blogs for trade compliance managers. Bookmark these and check back often. You’ll be glad you did!

When I started my career in trade compliance in 1990, China and Russia were just beginning a period of robust trade with the United States. Now, its seems like we are moving back in time in terms of our relationships with both countries. What do the new restrictions on China mean? And what can U.S. exporters do to comply?

It may “take two to tango,” but it takes 27,000 sanctions violations to dance with the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).  Last month, Tango Card, Inc. agreed to pay $116,000 to settle these violations.  This case serves as an important reminder for any ecommerce business.

When it comes to bringing product into the United States from a foreign country, there are a lot of customs brokers and courier services that will get this done for you.  But beware, they don’t always do it the correctly and you, as the importer, are responsible regardless of who you have hired to assist.

After the Wassenaar Arrangement (WA) Plenary meeting in December 2021, BIS announced four technologies that meet the criteria of Section 1758 of the Export Control Reform Act which is specific to emerging and foundational technologies.

Much like the Open General Export Licenses (OGELs) popular in the United Kingdom, these two general licenses will give exporters authorization to reexport and retransfer unclassified defense articles to pre-approved parties in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. This means that if your transaction meets the criteria for the OGL, you will not need to submit a license for the reexport or retransfer.

Higher penalties. Suspended sentences. Admissions of fault. Public charging letters. Welcome to a new era of export enforcement. The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has changed the game when it comes to penalizing companies and individuals for export violations. How did they do it? And what does this mean for your organization going forward?