News & Noteworthy

Rick Phipps

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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: Commodity Classification, Export Compliance

What's Your Compliance Risk Perimeter?

Posted by Rick Phipps on Feb 2, 2016 12:35:32 PM

We all recognize risks, consciously and unconsciously. We are careful near cliffs or driving at high speed; we watch our diet and we manage our investments. We look out for our kids before – and sometimes after – they know how to care for themselves. We understand and manage risks in virtually all aspects of our lives by staying on the prudent side of our various risk perimeters.

The same is true in business. The nature of the risks are different, depending on your role in the company, but there are a wide variety of events that can put your business in jeopardy. Fire, theft, falling sales, rising costs, changing markets, aggressive competitors—all these are obvious. Not easy but at least apparent.

Compliance risks are not always evident or easily understood but, make no mistake, they can be damaging to your company. Export control compliance is a good example. This category of compliance provides plenty of cautionary tales involving companies and individuals who have suffered crippling penalties, fines and negative publicity for violating export control regulations.

While some knowingly and deliberately skirted the regulations, many more got in trouble out of ignorance, laziness, or both. They either didn’t understand the law well enough to recognize and rectify export compliance risks or they were insufficiently motivated to take the necessary precautions. Neither reason is prudent or defensible.

The “compliance risk perimeter” is a simple concept that is diversely useful in this context. Once executives and employees understand the concepts of export controls, they learn to recognize a risk before it becomes a violation. In the industry, these risks are referred to as “red flag scenarios.” If you encounter one or even if you’re not sure, stop and ask someone with more experience in export control compliance. If in doubt, check it out.

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Topics: Export Compliance