Governments in every country are taking international trade compliance seriously. Unlike other company departments that heavily rely on automation to track supply chain compliance, those departments responsible for international trade compliance must rely on human interaction to ensure laws, regulations and company policies are followed. Thus, the human resource department is a vital link to ensuring compliance with a company’s international trade policies and procedures and those human resource managers should not shirk from such responsibility.
There is a myriad of international trade laws and regulations that a company must adhere to if it decides to enter the global marketplace. In the United States, the most notorious laws include the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and those regulations enforced by the Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC). To ensure proper compliance with these laws, among others, a company must rely on several different departments, including accounting, operations, sales, marketing, legal, and human resources.
In many companies, a trade compliance manager is directly responsible for coordinating these departments to ensure compliance. Other companies rely on their legal departments. But, some companies still have trade compliance as a collateral duty for an individual in one of the several departments listed above, usually operations – which has its own pitfalls. Outside the trade compliance and legal departments, the human resources department should rightfully be empowered to ensure compliance amongst a company’s employees, independent contractors, sales representatives, foreign and domestic staffing agencies, and, most importantly, senior management.
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