Exports Laws and Regulations
You’re a small technology manufacturing company with annual revenues of fifty million dollars or less. For the most part, you have commercial customers that are located here in the United States. You may also be a sub-contractor for the department of defense or be the supplier of a larger company which manufactures military equipment for the DOD.
Whatever your business, you need to be aware of the consequences of not complying with the considerable amount of laws that regulate exports. Larger corporations such as Raytheon, General Dynamics or Boeing have significant resources and utilize those resources to employ Customs or Export Compliance personnel to guide them through the sometimes confusing and always changing government regulations. They typically hire experts such as retired federal employees. These experts have spent a career enforcing the export regulations, have a wealth of knowledge, and continue to maintain a valuable network of contacts within their respective occupations prior to government retirement.
As a small company you either don’t have the resources or haven’t even given the compliance issue a thought. What happens when federal authorities knock on your door and want to interview you? Or even worse they have a search warrant in hand. Not having the resources or claiming ignorance of the law is not going to satisfy federal investigators who want to search your files with the hope they’ll find enough information to launch a full scale investigation.
The consequences of licensable material or information getting into the possession of an unfriendly government or individual can be financially devastating to your business. It may also mean the possible filing of a criminal complaint by the US attorney. So what is a small business with limited resources to do? Just in the same way small businesses outsource legal or accounting work, they can also outsource or contract out export compliance work.
In most instances, a smaller company can benefit just as much as their larger competitors simply by contracting out their export compliance concerns. In doing so they can avoid the consequences of non-compliance and at the same time protect their business from unnecessary liabilities. As a small business, don’t rely on the information you’ve gathered from searching the internet to protect you. Hire an expert who’s been there and done that to advise you on how best to protect your business.
Glenn Page, President
New England Global Advisors