Common ITAR mistakes

The first mistake companies make is the lack of an internal compliance program. It takes a solid commitment from management as well as money and training to handle the compliance process. Many businesses in this economy are so focused on sales to get the money they do not spend the appropriate time making sure all their products are properly licensed.

Secondly some companies also believe that having a compliance program on paper is enough, which is a mistake. Their program is largely ineffective because it does not tie in with actual company procedures or because they don't have the trained export compliance personnel to help with issues.

A third mistake that results in a vast number of violations is when a company fails to classify long-term products as ITAR or EAR controlled. It doesn't matter how long you've been making it, it still needs to be licensed properly or it is a violation.

A forth mistake companies make is when they realize something in their program has been missed. Such as foreign national employees, or foreign procurement of controlled parts, or they don't have controls in place that follow shifting programs or products.

A fifth circumstance is when a company sees a potential export problem with one of their orders and knows it is a red flag. When you have a red flag, you need to stop and look into it. In the ITAR world you need to make sure you identify all the potential problems.

A sixth common mistake companies make is with their record keeping system. They have focus on getting the license, but fail to maintain their records. They need to answer all the requirements, show that they did, how they did it, and that they did what they said they would do. Export compliance is important to become intimately familiar with the process that supports the generation of each record. So that when someone wants to review or validate what you did the records are right where you put them. Self imposed audits assist show the flaws in your system. Plan, Audit, Fix!