An Export Compliance Program (ECP) is a program that can be established within a U.S. exporter’s office to manage export-related decisions and transactions to ensure compliance with the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). These regulations are administered by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), a department within the U.S. Department of Commerce, and list the requirements for U.S. exports and reexports by product category. An ECP gives exporters a clear plan of how to audit their company's procedures and processes so they can identify and address any potential violations before they arise.
To assist exporters, the BIS provides an extensive offering of reference materials and services:
- Creating an Effective Export Compliance Plan Video. The video provides an overview of the eight elements of a plan: management commitment, risk assessment, export authorization, recordkeeping requirements, training, audits, export violations and corrective actions, and build and maintain manual. BIS cites management commitment as the most important element.
- Export Compliance Plan Review. BIS will review an exporter’s ECP for compliance and offer suggestions free of charge. The service is limited to one plan submission per exporter.
- How to Develop an Export Compliance Plan Seminars. These seminars cover ECP best practices and other guidelines.
Mistakes do happen in exporting, and companies can face penalties. Having an export compliance program in place keeps exporters on track. Should a violation ever occur, and a company can document it’s following its ECP, the BIS has considered this to be a mitigating factor.
It is not a requirement to have an ECP in place to work with EXIM, but it is a common course of action for exporting success. Schedule a consultation with an EXIM trade finance specialist to learn more about EXIM’s products and services.