News & Noteworthy

Rick Phipps

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The Value of Snapshot Assessments

Posted by Rick Phipps on Jul 30, 2019 10:27:53 AM

The goal of all good systems is incremental improvement. This is as true in export control compliance as it is in other corporate activities. Improvement doesn’t happen accidentally but rather as a result of specific steps, regularly and studiously performed. You need to periodically examine the system, identify the weaknesses, design and deploy the remedies, and then test again at regular intervals. This rigor promotes continuous evolution and it enables the system to recover from the inevitable internal and external changes that might otherwise compromise its function.

Of all these steps, the Compliance Assessment is the first and most important. You need to regularly measure your system against its baseline performance indicators, regulatory requirements, and industry best practices. Doing this enables you to determine the effectiveness of the compliance system and, most importantly, identify the gaps that need to be addressed.

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Topics: Export Compliance, "Risk Assessment"

Smoking Hot: Proposed Changes to USML Categories I, II, and III

Posted by Rick Phipps on May 15, 2018 3:19:53 PM

 On top of the background buzz regarding the ZTE zigzag, the latest shoe has dropped in the ongoing export control reforms. Three shoes actually, since we can now read about the proposed move of certain items controlled in Categories I, II, and III on the U.S. Munitions List (USML) over to the Commerce Control List (CCL). Long awaited by U.S. gun and ammunition manufacturers and exporters, these proposed rules describe how articles the President determines no longer warrant control under USML would be controlled on the CCL and by the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and describe more precisely articles warranting export and temporary import control on the USML.

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Topics: Export Compliance, Commodity Classification

CTP Expands Service Offerings with Digital Services Group

Posted by Rick Phipps on May 8, 2018 10:30:00 AM

CTP is pleased to announce the appointment of Sean McDevitt to serve as the Director for our newly formed Digital Services Group (DSG).  The DSG group will build upon CTP’s established online and digital services capacity to meet the needs of an evolving market place.  Sean will apply his 20 years of website production, user experience, and media expertise to help CTP deliver high quality eLearning, online engagement, and 508 compliance services.

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Topics: News & Noteworthy

Deemed Export Risk in the I-129 Visa Petition

Posted by Rick Phipps on Feb 16, 2017 10:30:00 AM

With H-1B visa window approaching, there is renewed attention on the I-129 visa application, notably the certification that “[a] license is not required from either the U.S.  Department of Commerce or the U.S. Department of State to release such technology or technical data to the foreign person.” Alternatively, the applicant can certify that an export will be required, and the applicant will prevent access by the employee to the controlled material until an export license is obtained. This required assertion is not new, but in 2011 the language was strengthened to read: “I certify, under penalty of perjury. . . ”  As a result, quite understandably, nervous managers and HR departments immediately sought advice on how to understand the requirement, research the situation, and then sign their visa petitions without suffering sleepless nights afterward.

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Topics: I-129, deemed exports

"Surge" or "Flow" - Optimize Your Classification Strategy

Posted by Rick Phipps on Sep 7, 2016 1:00:00 PM


Commodity classification is critical. In fact, we call it Job #1 since most of your compliance requirements are based on these determinations. But classification projects are not all the same. Most companies use the “surge” approach, tackling the entire inventory all at once, be it dozens, hundreds or thousands of items. Other companies, for various reasons, can’t process everything at once and must rely instead on the “flow” method of classifying items only when they enter the Order Processing system. Both are valid and effective methods, giving companies the licensing requirements they need, but to help you pick your strategy, we’ll walk you through the pros and cons of wholesale “surge” classification versus the “flow-through” basis.

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Topics: Export Compliance, Commodity Classification