News & Noteworthy

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"

Export Control 101: Commodity Jurisdiction

Posted by Bruce Webb on Apr 16, 2019 10:15:00 AM

As technical specialists, we often get asked about Commodity Jurisdiction. The questions are simple but important and the answers are invaluable for newcomers to export control.

What is a Commodity Jurisdiction (CJ) determination? The first and most basic step in export control is determining if your item (be it a physical product, software, technology, or service) requires an export license. To ascertain this, you must first verify which set of regulations pertain to that item. It may be the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) or it may be the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).  Since the ITAR is administered by the State Department and the EAR is overseen by the Department of Commerce, you are trying to determine which jurisdiction your product belongs to, based on its technical characteristics or capabilities.

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Topics: Export Compliance, Commodity Classification

Technology Controls, Part III: Definition of "Required"

Posted by John Sturtevant on Mar 12, 2019 11:10:23 AM

We're back with Part III of our blog series in understanding “technology” controlled under the EAR. In Part I, we explored the concept of controlled technology. Then, in Part II, we examined the three different types of technology (“development,” “production,” and “use”) and how they are applied in practice. Now, in this Part III post, we’re examining what it means when an ECCN controls technology that is “required” for the development, production, or use of an item on the CCL (and also what it means when a control entry doesn’t include the defined term “required”).

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Topics: Export Compliance, Commodity Classification, Technology

Heightened Scrutiny for "Emerging" Technologies

Posted by Chalinee Tinaves on Nov 21, 2018 8:41:37 AM
This week the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) seeking comments from the public on criteria for identifying “emerging technologies” essential to U.S. national security. As part of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA), the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (ECRA) authorized the Department of Commerce to establish appropriate controls for exports of “emerging and foundational technologies.” However, at the time, what was covered under this phrase was not clear. BIS took a step forward this week by identifying several technology sectors of concern. 
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Topics: BIS, Export Compliance, Technology

Using National Stock Numbers for Commodity Classification

Posted by Bruce Webb on Jun 19, 2018 11:25:00 AM

Compliance practitioners know that commodity classifications are the essential first step in determining export control requirements, responsibilities and risks. However, in situations where the exporter is not the original manufacturer of an item or specific product specifications are unavailable, making an export classification determination can be difficult. One valuable and often overlooked piece of information is the National Stock Number (NSN) but it must be used with caution.

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Topics: Export Compliance, Commodity Classification