Five Best Practices for Export Compliance Leaders

1. Proactively Conduct Risk Assessments

  • Create a strong foundation by garnering support or sponsorship by senior leaders.
  • Determine which sites or departments have the greatest potential to generate – or license in – export controlled goods, technology, and software within the organization.
  • Investigate administrative processes that support international shipments, purchasing, and international travel for the researchers, engineers, and scientists.
  • Revisit the risk assessment on periodic basis to document mitigation actions, reevaluate the level of risk for each potential gap, and revisit the prioritization of future mitigation actions.

2. Ensure Proper Classification of Goods, Software, and Technology

  • Ensure the jurisdiction is correct before diving into the EAR’s Commerce Control List or the ITAR’s United States Munitions List.
  • Use comprehensive key words when searching the relevant government control list.
  • Hold detailed discussions with your researchers/engineers/scientists to ensure a full understanding of the goods, technology, or software in question.
  • Document your rationale for the classification in a systematic fashion.

3. Fully Secure Access to Electronic Export Controlled Files

  • Ensure only legally authorized users can access the files.
  • Establish systematic manual protocols or use automated software for granting access.
  • Understand the limitations of any cloud services being utilized.

4. Leverage Creative Training Methods

  • Bring the education materials to your audience whenever possible. Join a department meeting, utilize organization-wide emails, or include information in a standing company newsletter.
  • Leverage a wide range of training approaches to educate personnel. Offer a variety of methods including in-person workshops, on-demand videos, and webinars.
  • Ensure training content is customized to the audience. Show how the regulations impact the audience on a day-to-day basis.

5. Stay on Top of Constantly Evolving Regulations

  • Sign up for email updates from the primary relevant government agencies (BIS, DDTC, and OFAC.)
  • Quickly review all Federal Register Notices and Advisory Opinions as they are published. Read the details if they at all appear relevant to your organization to ensure export compliance.


About the Author

Dr. Jennifer Saak is a consultant based in Philadelphia whose practice focuses on export controls services for technology and research organization in the public and private sector. To learn about Dr. Saak and her services visit For more information on this subject, you may contact: Dr. Saak at or at 215.237.6612

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply