Building an effective export control system for your organization requires a partnership and cooperation between different government agencies and their adjacent entities. With numerous regulations and definitions to consider, it is important to have an organized compliance system that addresses all regulatory details. Although there are plenty of guidelines and tips available on the subject, keep in mind that every organization is responsible for establishing its own program. Read the advice below for tips on getting started.
Definition of an Export Control System
Screenshot via BIS
The U.S. Department of Commerce through the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) requires all companies to maintain an export management and compliance program (EMCP) to regulate the transfer of goods, software, and technology beyond country borders. The guidelines published by the BIS consist of the following 9 sections:
- Management Commitment
- Risk Assessment
- A Written EMCP
- Compliance Training
- Cradle to Grave Export Compliance Security & Screening
- Reporting & Escalation
- Corrective Action
This documentation was created to assist companies in setting up their own internal compliance programs that are unique to their business plans and movements.
Here are five important ways to ensure that your export control system is created with the best practices in mind to adapt to future requirements:
1. Clarify roles and responsibilities
It’s important to build your export control system around your existing business processes; the best way to do this effectively is to start with your executive team and employees. To secure critical management commitment, appoint a high-ranking export officer to oversee the compliance program and ensure all components are followed. It’s also important to establish clear roles among personnel who work with export control to clarify how the program will be administered and maintained. With this newfound transparency among your organization’s most vital stakeholders, you can now focus on the necessary details of carrying out the program.
2. Identify and control technical data
Screenshot via BIS
Having a complete list of all the applications, servers, cloud software, and file storage services that your company uses is a great first step in determining which technical data should be controlled. There are two groups of regulations that define export controls for technical data: the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Based on the export control classification number (ECCN) for your products, the types of technical data that must be controlled are unique in each case. Because of this, it is especially important to thoroughly review any relevant data related to the product, such as design, production, operation, and maintenance.
Within your export control system, it’s also imperative to set up proper security verifications to restrict access to controlled technical data. These are often best organized as a Technology Control Plan (TCP) that fully outlines digital and physical control methods for managing data access. Data can often be overlooked when it comes to export compliance, but it’s just as critical as equipment, packaging, and other hardware.
3. Institute site access controls and labeling
You should properly label your controlled articles, including technical data, external storage devices with sensitive information, and all related equipment, parts, and storage containers. If there are external partners involved in the operation it may warrant additional signs and labeling on items and within your facility. For equipment labeling, use permanent UID labels, long-lasting, durable solutions that are designed to fit the needs stipulated by the Department of Defense. Your site security plan should provide full access control for areas that need to be protected based on the controlled articles present. Any travel or transportation of articles or data by employees must also be strictly controlled.
4. Clarify your export documentation and record-keeping
We’ve already covered data and equipment, but document control is also a vital aspect of setting up a robust export compliance system. With so many forms, procedures, and records to keep track of, it’s a good idea to review the documentation information maintained in the EMCP guidelines.
Export regulations are complex, involving ever-changing regulations and numerous important terms that your team must understand. Training goes hand-in-hand, and as a result – beyond simple training records – many opportunities exist to reinforce roles and responsibilities while keeping export compliance systems at the forefront.
5. Maintain a strong audit process from the start
The best way to prepare for external oversight and auditing is to create a strong internal audit as part of your compliance control program. By scheduling reasonably frequent reviews of your systems, documentation, and procedures, you can ensure that any issues can be corrected in a timely manner. Your export control system represents your primary means of protecting your shipments, property, and internal information.
The foundation of a compliant export control system is proper labeling. Learn more about Camcode’s expert UID label registration and installation services here.