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EU: Implement an ICP to avoid delays, fines and high costs.

Businesses should implement internal compliance programmes for their dual-use goods to minimize delays and fines through non-compliance argues Arne Mielken of Customs Manager Ltd

EU recommendations

The EU has published a recommendation for a so-called ICP to create an effective, uniform and consistent system of export controls on dual-use items in the EU. As such, the EU believes that common approaches and practices as regards internal compliance programmes can contribute to a uniform and consistent application of controls throughout the EU.

And the EU has repeated that we at Customs Manager are always saying, that awareness and active efforts are needed to comply with trade restrictions, export controls and customs regulations. This is especially true in Export Controls where the rapid scientific and technological advancements and the complexity of today's supply chains create an ever bigger need to understand and carefully follow trade controls to a great extent.

It is, therefore, not uncommon that companies have put in place a set of internal policies and procedures, also known as an Internal Compliance Programme (ICP).

Why have an ICP?

While trading in dual-use items such as goods, software and technology, effective controls on these items are vital for countering risks associated with the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and the destabilizing accumulations of conventional weapons.

Companies dealing with dual-use items are obliged to comply with strategic trade control requirements imposed under the laws and regulations of the European Union and its Member States.

The Guidance

The guidance published by the EU provides a framework to help exporters identify, manage and mitigate risks associated with dual-use trade controls and to ensure compliance with the relevant EU and national laws and regulations.

Based on what?

The development of EU ICP guidance for dual-use trade controls takes into consideration and builds on existing approaches to export control compliance, and in particular:

  • The 2011 Wassenaar Arrangement Best Practice Guidelines on Internal Compliance Programmes for Dual-Use Goods and Technologies

  • The ‘Best Practice Guide for Industry’ from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)’

It is not a new law, however, several EU Member States consider it, in essence, necessary to demonstrate understanding and compliance with rules & regulations. Some have even tied the use of EU or national General Export Authorizations to it.

Seven elements of an effective ICP

  1. Top-level management commitment to compliance

  2. Organization structure, responsibilities and resources

  3. Training and awareness-raising

  4. Transaction screening process and procedures

  5. Performance review, audits, reporting and corrective actions

  6. Record keeping and documentation

  7. Physical and information security

We can support you with the development of ICPs

ICPs have moved into more focus now, and it is right for EU and globally operating exporters to consider adopting such a programme or evaluating its effectiveness. We offer ad-hoc, bespoke SUPPORT to customs managers & global trade professionals in exporting companies to understand, evaluate, apply and implement ICPs in any business, large or small, wherever located in the world.

Visit our dedicated Export Control pages

EU, UK, US and Chinese Export Control support here:

Latest Updates in Export Control Expert Blog:

US Export Control Online Training


EU Export Control ICP Guidance

EU ICP Recommendations - CELEX_32019H1318_EN_TXT
Download PDF • 469KB

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