In the world of international trade, corporate compliance officers bear the brunt of responsibility for export and import compliance program oversight, analysis, development, implementation, audit, investigation, review, coordination, training, and support.
Identifying potential areas of compliance vulnerability and risk, and recommending and implementing corrective actions.
As subject matter experts for understanding and communicating regulations issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), and the Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), compliance officers draft and revise policies, processes, procedures, instructions and training to ensure compliance with International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR), design, implement and manage complex TAA and MLA agreements, and identify re-export and deemed export issues.
Their coordinating activities include virtually all company functions—from executive to business development, business management, contracts, engineering, supply chain, production, human resources, security and facilities, and IT to customers, materials and logistics suppliers, and trade compliance providers.
On a day-to day basis, they perform, review, and resolve issues resulting from restricted/denied party screening, embargo and sanction screening, and license determination; perform and support classification activities across multiple regulatory systems: CCL, USML, and Schedule B; apply for and manage commodity jurisdictions, technology control plans, and export licenses, ensuring compliance with conditions; work with procurement and suppliers to verify country of origin status for marking and preferential trade agreements; support duty drawback and other trade program processes; and investigate and resolve any number of issues.
In addition to homeland responsibilities, those with global operations often take lead roles in developing and implementing policies and processes to standardize trade compliance processes, develop and track standardized worldwide trade compliance metrics, assist with merger and acquisition activities by performing due diligence on targets, integrating acquired entities into the global trade compliance program, and strengthen existing partnerships with relevant governmental authorities.
Many travel as much or more than they can be found in their own offices, meeting with site personnel worldwide to ensure implementation of trade compliance procedures and contractual obligations, reviewing and auditing existing programs, training and supporting business functions to identify export licensing requirements and ensure compliance with international regulations, and rolling out global trade compliance solutions to new staff, and new subsidiaries.
As subject matter experts for understanding and communicating regulations issued by the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and to varying degrees, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a lesser extent the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and the Department of State Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), compliance officers draft and revise policies, processes, procedures, instructions, and training to ensure compliance with the Customs Modernization and Informed Compliance Act, Customs, and other government agency regulations.
Their coordinating activities include most corporate business functions and supports, as well as exporters, shippers, logistics providers, bonded warehouse and free trade zone operators, and other trade chain partners. They analyze service failures/issues, develop and implement performance improvements, and manage government communication. They develop standardized import processes including SOPs, KPIs, reporting, systems and compliance, participate in compliance assessments, reviews and audits; manage relationships with trade chain vendors—air, ocean, and rail representatives, freight forwarders, custom brokers, local, regional and line haul trucking, warehouses, terminals, etc.; and develop and implement procedures for tracking, tracing, and communication.
On a day-to day basis, they perform, review and resolve issues resulting from import shipments; perform and support tariff (HTS) classification; apply for or request and manage rulings, permits and certifications; process or reconcile broker-cleared entries; work with procurement and suppliers to verify country of origin status for marking and preferential trade agreements; perform reconciliations, duty drawback, and other relevant trade program activities.