Export Management And Compliance Programs Are Essential To Avoiding Export Violations
When taking a long road trip, the first step is typically to locate directions. Planning your exporting business around U.S. government compliance guidelines requires similar preparation to avoid export violations.
As an exporter, you must understand different customs, cultures, currencies, and foreign policy. It’s your responsibility to make sure your exports meet the appropriate end-use and are received by approved end-users.
In order to meet all regulatory requirements, your company needs a program that will help you navigate any known or unforeseen challenges with license applications or dual-use exports.
Unfortunately, companies often 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 believe 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 recordkeeping shelf collecting dust – too complicated and burdensome for anyone to actually follow.
What Is An Export Compliance Program?
An Export Compliance Program, or ECP, analyzes bits of information and unique decisions to build them into an integrated, organized system.
This program is established to manage export-related choices and transactions to guarantee export compliance with the Export Administration Regulations, or EAR. It will identify any red flags and run risk assessment to ensure your meeting export control guidelines.
An ECP will help you make the best decisions for your company, like choosing the best freight forwarder that meets the required compliance guidelines, thus helping you avoid export violations.
Why Does My Company Need An Export Compliance Program?
The majority of exporters do not set out to violate EAR or break the law. But mistakes happen, and the consequences can have detrimental, long-term impacts on your business.
- Expensive Fines
- Loss Of Export License And Privileges
- Jail Time
- Tedious Corrective Actions
- Placement On A Denied Parties List
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, “… it behooves companies in all industries to adopt an export compliance program.” This means that the United States government considers having Export Compliance Programs in place to avoid export violations.
Not only will this help contribute to U.S. national security, but it can also save you from costly import/export violations. Even if they are accidental, these violations can impact your company for years to come.
Implementing a well-written ECP is a huge mitigating factor in the eyes of BIS if your business violates export regulations. If you can produce documentation of previously followed ECP procedures, you’re more likely to be able to avoid severe penalties.
An effective compliance program will offer the following benefits for your company.
- Clarity: Clearly define your company’s policies and procedures with regards to import/export compliance
- Transparency: An ECP will provide step-by-step instructions for employees to follow in critical areas of compliance.
- Relevant: An effective ECP is unique and customized to address the individual realities of your business, products/services, and organization
- Supported: Your Export Compliance Program should have full support from top management to help avoid non-compliance issues.
- Documentation: A good ECP is a “living” document that is understood and followed by all employees – daily.
What Makes A Compliance Program Effective?
A compliance program is pointless if it is not used and updated constantly. All exporters must demonstrate that they have done their due diligence following export control laws and export control policies.
An Export Compliance Program should have these key elements within its template:
- Constant Risk Assessment Of The Export Program
- Management Commitment
- Clear Technical Data And Record-Keeping Requirements
- Written Procedures For Export Authorization
- An Ongoing Compliance Training Program For All Employees Involved In Exporting
- Consistent Compliance Program Audits To Ensure It is Being Executed Properly
- A Plan Or Program For Dealing With Compliance Problems, Like Reporting Export Policy Violations
- Scheduled Maintenance, Updates, And Reviews Of The Written ECP As Needed
Creating the right Export Compliance Program for your company takes a considerable amount of time and effort. Not only that, designing the best program requires extensive knowledge of all aspects of exporting and governing bodies like OFAC.
However, it is worth it to guarantee the good health of your business.
Export Solution Has Created Hundreds Of Export Management And Compliance Programs Over The Years.
Building an effective ITAR Compliance Program can seem like a daunting task, but there’s no need to start from scratch.
You must choose the right ITAR consultant. A good consultant will be able to understand your business needs and bring forward a customized, practical solution that actually works.
Export Solutions offers a team of highly qualified experts who know how to navigate. We specialize in export compliance, customs compliance, ITAR, and EAR.
Contact us today for a free consultation on what services we can offer your company to help navigate U.S. export control policies and guidelines.