Export Compliance - Are You Exporting Legally?

Do you know what an export is? Do you know it's not just something you "FEDEX" in a box, or send by air to a foreign destination? An export can be a telephone conversation with someone in your building who will be traveling abroad, an e-mail to a colleague, a faxed document, traveling to a foreign destination with your baggage, or a PC you take outside your country's boundaries. Transferring anything (logical or physical) outside the boundaries of a country constitutes an export.

Each country has its own set of export and import regulations. They are used to protect their national security and their trade balance. Exporting is serious business, and it can be confusing and costly. Without the proper information, you may be placing yourself and your company at risk, both legally and financially. For example, in 1992 a very large corporation paid the largest civil penalty ever imposed for export control violation, which amounted to $2.4 million.

In the course of regular business process, many companies export a wide variety of products, services, and technical data around the world. However, exporting also imposes responsibilities upon companies and its employees to comply with the laws and regulations for export / import control established by the United States government and the governments of countries in which they conduct business.

Export / import regulation is a very detailed and ever changing requirement, and most companies have designated someone to be the official Export Compliance Coordinator to help other employees understand those export / import control laws and regulations that are applicable to their specific industry and geographic location. Prior to exporting anything, you should contact your coordinator and/or become familiar with the export requirements associated with your project or travel.

Know the Export Law and the underlying legal ramifications!