How do I know if the components that make my goods are controlled by the US and what licences would I need to obtain?

Question

How do I know if the components that make my goods are controlled by the US and what licences would I need to obtain?

(This question was asked at one of our recent webinars on Export Controls. You can listen to this webinar on our recent webinars page at http://opentoexport.com/info/webinars/)

Answer

If you are purchasing potentially controlled goods, then it is the supplier’s responsibility to advise you of any controls that exist.

When it comes to ITAR controlled product, a non-US person/entity cannot apply for a licence (or license) for the export of the goods from the USA so the seller would need to do this prior to shipping.

The issue that you may find is that there are a lot of US companies who seem unaware of their responsibilities. In the past when I have asked the question of a US supplier the answer has been "Yes, we are ITAR compliant" (which means nothing) but when you push further and ask if the product is actually controlled the answer is "I don’t know". This stems from the fact that the USA is such a large country that a lot of – especially smaller – companies have never exported.

It definitely pays to ensure that they know what they are talking about as the penalties are severe !

When it comes to EAR controlled items then there are a lot more licence exceptions that are available, especially when shipping to places like the UK.

In either case, ensure that you have all the information relating to the ultimate end user of the product and any intermediate parties to the transaction to ensure they are all properly authorised.

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