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ITAR is usually the topic when compliance with DoD regulations is discussed. But what about DFARS? This article will examine strategies one can implement to ensure that one is compliant with all DoD regulations, by analyzing internal and external factors in relation to procurement and compliance, and by asking the vital questions: what, how, where and to whom?
Governments regulate the import and export of defence-grade material and equipment, to ensure that their restrictions, laws and regulations are implemented and enforced. Governments and their domestic exporting companies are aware, educated, and receptive to ensuring that export compliance is implemented and documented in their compliance programs.
The challenge arises when the importing country has restrictions regarding compliance for the exporting country, and how the exporting companies in these countries can address these compliance demands in their local supply chain, consisting of domestic and foreign materials and components!
The largest actor on the global defence market is the United States Department of Defense (DoD). The DoD has imposed regulations regarding procurement, design, development and manufacturing. The most central regulations for DoD are described in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations Supplement (DFARS) and International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR).
The logical deduction is that DoD regulations will affect most acquisitions and the question is hence, how does this affect your trade, when comparing DoD regulation with your national export regulation? A foreign state trading with DoD will in principle not be allowed any exemptions from these regulations except perhaps some elements regarding a country’s privacy laws. Or putting it simply, if you do not abide by DoD regulations, then you will not be able to sell to or buy from the United States.
Severe Consequences and No Excuses
A company supplying an article to a supply chain of a defence product, and particularly one purchased by the DoD, must be aware of the strict compliance DoD places on all exports and imports. This irrespectively applies to all aspects of the trade, transaction and everybody is affected from the product owner, designer, sub-contractor by the compliance regulation of DoD as the end customer. The consequences can be severe; there are no excuses and one cannot simply claim that one did not know, as it is your responsibility to know.
Compliance management in the defence industry can be the defining factor between financial success and costly mistakes.
When procuring components, printed circuits or materials to the defence industry, there is no such thing as assuming or relying on questionable interpretations of rules and regulations. There is no option for shortcuts whether your supplier follows the regulations or not, and the costs of not properly examining what supply chain you are delivering to is far greater than the benefits of working faster.
As computer systems, XML files and purchasing entities are becoming more experienced and implementing stricter surveillance and control. One must assume that the frequency of noncompliant cases will increase and based on publicly available information, this seems to be the case.
To read the full version of this article which originally appeared in the July 2017 issue of The PCB Magazine, click here.