With the increase in foreign trades, export reform remains an essential element for the economic success of the United States. Compliance with ever-evolving export regulations will be essential if US companies want to compete in the global market place. Understanding regulatory updates within ITAR, including product classification, brokering definitions, license exemptions and electronic data transfers will be necessary for improving operation efficiency and maintaining business opportunities.
marcus evans had the privilege to hear from Bob Schuettler before the upcoming 3rd Annual Advanced ITAR Compliance Conference. Below he shares with us his perspective on key issues facing the approval process when completing an ITAR license application, as well as challenges in export controls and implementing ITAR into internal policies within the organization.
Bob Schuettler joined Alliant Techsystems, Inc. in March 2011 as Director, Corporate Export Licensing. In this role, he is responsible for representing ATK's interests in effecting changes to export/import laws and regulations; engaging the USG and industry associations on behalf of ATK; formulating export/import reports to the USG; maintaining the corporations export/import registrations; and providing training, guidance and instruction to employees on licensing matters.
What recent changes to export controls have created the biggest challenge for you and are there any changes on the horizon that you would like to know more about?
Bob Schuettler: Based on recent changes to the regulations, the biggest challenge involves Dual/Third Country National employees of foreign parties. The changes to the ITAR can be of great benefit, but the challenge is in two areas: 1) ensuring foreign parties understand their options and the requirements, and then conveying the information back to the US Party; and 2) including the correct language in the Part 124 Agreement.
Professionals are eager to learn more about the proposed changes to the ITAR regarding Brokers and Brokering Activities. The DDTC has taken several attempts at changing ITAR Part 129 but all have left industry discouraged and concerned with the direction the Directorate is heading.
What are the biggest challenges that professionals face with licenses and exemptions? How do you tackle these challenges?
BS: The biggest challenges I see with licenses and exemptions are ensuring: 1) the parties and commodities are captured in their entirety; 2) provisos are implemented and those that limit a transaction don't prohibit the core purpose of the transaction; 3) a discrete transaction is within the scope and limitations of the license or exemption; and 4) complete and accurate records are maintained.
The best way to tackle these challenges is through communication and education with your internal customer executing against the license or exemption. These are not activities that occur once at the outset of the transaction, instead they must be continuous as the program matures and new employees join the program.
What obstacles do you face when implementing ITAR into your internal policies and how important is employee training?
BS: The biggest obstacle when implementing ITAR into internal policies is awareness and training. Rarely does a policy only affect the ITAR professionals within an organization; most policies affect other functional areas. Bringing awareness and training of the policy to those other areas should start even before the policy is issued. Employees don't go around looking for policies to read, so if the policy is to have any hope of being successful and affecting change, training and awareness are the core of compliance.
What role does technology and data transfer play within ITAR and what industry efforts are being made to ensure compliance?
BS: Every transaction does, or at least, has the potential to involve technical data transfer. The means and methods of such transfers are constantly evolving and expanding. Unfortunately, the ITAR has not been as nimble or quick in its evolution. Many of the electronic methods and systems utilized for technical data transfers were not created with compliance in-mind; rather they were created with the intent to quickly share information amongst a group. Therefore, industry applies patches to manage, track and ensure compliance, which includes paper forms, independent electronic systems or expensive and customized overlay systems.
What do you believe attendees can gain most from attending this event?
BS: The conference faculty brings extensive expertise representing various opinions, backgrounds, and employer size. In addition, the attendees will hear first-hand experiences of the faculty and the other attendees. Many of those experiences will mirror challenges the attendees have encountered themselves or will encounter in their career. Besides the knowledge gained from the faculty and other attendees through these shared experiences, the attendees will leave armed with best practices, lessons learned and knowledge and confidence to affect changes within their organization and company.
For more information please contact Michele Westergaard, Senior Marketing Manager, Media & PR, Marcus Evans at 312-540-3000 ext. 6625 or Michelew@marcusevansch.com.
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