Trade compliance specialists not only need specialized knowledge of trade rules and regulations, they also should possess the ability to stand firm when things are going wrong or to stop a transaction that doesn't meet requirements, says Priecko.
Too often, trade compliance jobs are filled without sufficient effort to screen for these qualities, he says, and this can lead to serious consequences. "Mistakes can result in sanctions by the U.S. government or even a loss of export privileges," he says. "The government can ban companies from government contracts and individuals can lose their job or even go to jail. There are all sorts of negative consequences, especially if rules are willfully ignored."
The most common mistake people in compliance make is in failing to quickly notify and report any violation so that action can be taken to ensure that it doesn't happen again, says Priecko. "You need to show that you are making every effort to follow the law with a step-by-step process," he says. "This includes voluntarily disclosing any violations and taking appropriate corrective actions."
Having technology that supports compliance also is important, he says. "A few years ago companies could get by with manual processes for things like restricted-party screening, but in the current environment, with multitudes of lists of restricted or denied organizations, you have to have some kind of automation. These solutions have the added advantage of providing a permanent electronic record should enforcement questions arise," he says.
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