Ed Lebow in Law360: Tips For Export Compliance That Won't Break The Bank


NEW YORK - An avalanche of export control enforcement actions and steeper penalties should have companies jumping through hoops to make sure they are in compliance, but in the current economic climate, a safeguard program that doesn't immediately benefit the bottom line can be a tough sell.

But make no mistake: In the long run, the benefits to building and maintaining an export controls compliance program can far outweigh the costs, especially since just over a year ago, penalties for violations increased to $250,000 or twice the value of the transaction ... Law360 spoke with experts in the field about the best practices for drafting and implementing an effective export controls compliance program that won't break the bank and compiled tips on everything from risk assessment to training and ongoing monitoring ...

Ed Lebow, who heads Haynes and Boone LLP's international trade practice group, said that employees involved in sales and logistics should be involved in compliance, but that any program should ultimately be run through the legal department. “It's important for maintaining the rigor of a program,” Lebow said. “It's a sign that a company takes compliance seriously, and it also just makes the program work better ...”

Export controls compliance programs are susceptible to changes within the company and changes to the regulations, so part of a compliance officer's role is making sure the program is up to speed.

A number of services provide updates to government regulations, but a forward-thinking compliance officer will also keep an eye on the news put out by the enforcement agencies, Lebow said.

“If you want to be proactive in your compliance program, one of the things you really need to do is watch announcements of investigations, opinions from the [U.S. Department of Justice] and keep an ear to the wall to see if anyone else in your industry is in trouble,” he said.

This article excerpted from Law360.com.

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