Saturday, May 3, 2008

Exports Compliance

Recently, Latifi, and executive and owner of Axion Corp has been vendicated of Export Violation charges filed by the U.S. Government. Though not as sinister and espionage riddled as other recent news events, it demonstrates the grave attention the State Department gives to contractor activities. Not only must DoD contractor companies mind the store concerning classified projects, but they must be prepared to live above reproach while dealing with foreign entities. In this case, the leader of Axion had no mal intent but though acquitted, lost his clients and company.

A little education for those who desire to pursue contracts with foreign persons; the U.S. Government encourages companies to pursue business with foreign enterprises. However, there are rules in effect that govern such exporting.
Exporting is defined as the business of:
• Sending or taking hardware out of the U.S. or transferring to a foreign person in the U.S.
• Disclosing (oral, email, written, video, or other visual disclosure) or transferring technical data to a foreign person whether in the U.S. or abroad
• Providing a service to, or for the benefit of a foreign person, whether in the U.S. or abroad
This just reminds us to be cognizant of what kind of information we disclose to foreign persons. Whether or not we are in the U.S. or visiting overseas, we can only discuss what is authorized by our licenses.
Keep in mind that exports can and do occur not only during shipments but when hosting foreign visitors, during meetings, trade shows, plant tours, chat-room discussions, published articles and many other means. You can even export technical items exposed on your desk or otherwise revealed when a foreign visitor tours the facilities.

The enterprise must do everything within its power (and then some) to ensure no technical data or service is given with out proper approval. This means performing due diligence prior to foreign visitor stepping onto the plant, sending business development to trade shows, and prior to hiring non US person janitorial crews to clean on premises.

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