Export Controls in Flux


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U.S. export control rules have changed significantly over the last decade, and more changes are expected as policymakers tackle the treatment of new and foundational technologies and respond to geopolitical developments.

To help electronics companies comply with these rules and stay abreast of developments, IPC recently held three training workshops in California, Illinois, and Virginia, with the California and Virginia workshops sponsored and hosted by TTM Technologies.

Featured speaker Gary Stanley – president of Global Legal Services, PC, and one of the nation’s top legal experts on export controls – gave an in-depth presentation that covered the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), Export Administration Regulations (EAR), and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) cybersecurity, with a focus on printed circuit boards and electronics.

Among the key points that Gary stressed were the following:

  • Correctly determining the commodity jurisdiction (State Dept./ITAR versus Commerce Dept./EAR) and the commodity classification (U.S. Munitions List versus Commerce Control List) is the most critical step in complying with U.S. export controls, because only then will you know what licensing requirements apply.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate! Open lines of communication within your company’s functional areas, e.g. legal, sales, procurement, IT, HR, as well as you’re your customers and suppliers, is essential to avoiding export control mistakes.
  • Measures relating to Trusted Suppliers, DFARS cybersecurity, and export controls certainly overlap, but each regulatory area has its own special requirements.
  • The most effective export control managers typically display intellectual curiosity, attention to detail, extroversion, and political skills. The last trait is important because export control managers must occasionally say “no” to their CEOs and colleagues, while maintaining their cooperation and support.

The workshops also featured remarks by Special Agents from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry & Security, Office of Export Enforcement, who addressed, among other things, “red flags” to be aware of when approached by a potential customer, especially if that potential customer is new, foreign, and/or unknown to your company.

Other speakers at the workshop presented on IPC-1791, Trusted Electronic Designer, Fabricator and Assembler Requirement; supply-chain risk management within the U.S. Department of Defense printed-circuit-board supply chain; and the DoD Executive Agent for Printed Circuit Board and Interconnect Technology.

It is the responsibility of the company to understand all export control rules and regulations and ensure that they are in compliance. That’s why IPC will continue to make educational opportunities available on this topic, and why we encourage you to ensure that your company has solid export-control-compliance measures in place.

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