Export Compliance! Why should I care? Part 1

An opportunity for companies to turn the perceived compliance burden into a competitive edge  

Many large multinationals have already undergone their export compliance transformation or are in the middle of the process of implementing the necessary measures. This will allow them to continue doing business while at the same time they will adhere to applicable export compliance laws. Smaller sized companies are increasingly involved in the same global business environment. Hence, they face equal conditions and obligations when it comes to export compliance. However, they often consider it too much of a burden, less relevant and above all too costly for their business.

Inter alia by to the increased focus on enforcement measures, export controls and trade sanctions significantly impact almost every sector: automotive, chemical, banking, food & beverages, life sciences & new technologies are but a few examples of areas having to deal actively with compliance processes. 

When you consider the fact that export controls and trade sanctions are vividly alive and here to stay, try to look at it from another angle. Knowing the rules and regulations of export control and trade sanctions also creates understanding within a company, and the ability to adapt more easily to changing conditions, to enter new markets or expand the business.

In the Netherlands, the obligation of having implemented an Export Compliance Program (ECP) is the basic principle of export policy. A global export license application will only be accepted if a company can show the existence of this handbook. 

Also, from an EU perspective the importance of having an ECP is mentioned in the new regime for the control of exports, brokering, technical assistance and the transfer of dual use items. It states that increased requirements help to reduce risks and granting of export licenses will depend on the company’s proven reliability obtained by a functioning ECP

So, besides a condition, having an ECP implemented is a sign of trustworthiness. It provides a status of reliability. And not only for authorities, but increasingly for business partners an ECP is a requirement and proof of being in control. 

To understand why authorities, and even business partners, demand for an ECP, it is important to understand Export Compliance.

To be continued in Part 2: Why I should care!