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What's Hot In Global Trade Compliance, Export Controls, & Sanctions? The WorldECR Forum shows you...

We are excited to contribute to the WorldECR Forum, which brings together sanctions and export control experts from private practice, industry, and government to network and share ideas over the next 48 hours. Never before has the stability of Europe appeared so precarious, so there is a lot to discuss. We look at what is on the agenda.

The purpose of discussing trade compliance, export controls, and sanctions is to ensure that all parties involved in trade understand their obligations, the risks involved with non-compliance, and the consequences for non-compliance.

It is vital for companies to be aware of these issues because they may directly impact their bottom line. In addition, many companies are required to comply with export controls imposed by the governments like the United States Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to name just one authority. We could also mention the EU export controls or sanctions packages or the UK efforts in export controls, trade compliance, and sanctions. Compliance with EU, UK and US BIS regulations can also benefit companies by allowing them to enter new markets where they otherwise would not have been allowed to do business.

Trade compliance is a key issue in international business because it ensures that businesses and individuals comply with the laws governing international trade. As such, it is important for companies to understand their obligations when they engage in foreign commerce.

You may know this already, but just for clarity:

  • Export controls are regulations designed to prevent sensitive technologies from falling into the wrong hands or being used by hostile nations against the jurisdictions or countries like the US, EU or the UK. They help protect national security interests by preventing unauthorized exports or reexports of controlled items out of the country or into certain countries.

  • Sanctions are economic penalties imposed on foreign governments that violate international law or human rights standards through acts such as terrorism or genocide.

Urgency due to volatility

There is an urgency for businesses around export controls, trade compliance, and sanctions. Today, in 2022, most businesses and observers would argue, we are facing a more volatile world than ever before. As consultants and trainers of export controls (law interpretation, license support, and more), trade compliance, and sanction matters (interpretation of the applicability of sanctions to your business), we have been supporting a large number of enterprises of all sizes and sectors with their compliance obligations

Proud to attend World ECR Conferences on Trade Compliance, Sanctions and Export Controls

At Customs Manager Ltd we greatly support the WorldECR conferences, which take place in London and Washington every year and which we are proud to attend and contribute to. The excellent team around the co-editors of the Export Control and the Trade Compliance Journal are putting on a must-attend Forum that will bring together academics, industry professionals, and innovators.

Sanctions on the top of the agenda

Obviously, for the time being, Russia/Ukraine stands head and shoulders above the others, shedding light on larger themes and events. Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the EU has expanded its initial sanctions to include almost every economic sector, including banking, energy, shipping, insurance, franchising, and service exports. It limits the activities of wealthy Russians in the Union. To formulate a "palatable" response to Russian (and Belarusian) aggression, the bloc's member states organised vast diplomatic and financial resources to negotiate penalties. New designations of banks, businesspeople, and officials, energy import restrictions, export controls, and airspace closures are among the sanctions imposed against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Russia has its own counter-sanctions.

We are eager to discuss EU sanctions and find answers to such concerns as "who is punished and how?" What should our business do? What may future "sanctions waves" achieve? Engaging in a fruitful discussion with other sanctions and export control specialists is crucial for assisting a large number of enterprises with EU, US, and UK Sanctions.

During the conference, we will discuss significant strategic and operational difficulties faced by companies with operations or a presence in Russia, i.e. those engaged financially, strategically, and in terms of physical, human, and intellectual property assets. What are the repercussions of surviving an unpredicted geopolitical storm or retreating? What lessons have been learned from this extraordinary spike of sanctions legislation, and how will this impact future sanctions policies? How can multinational corporations successfully navigate varying interpretations of sanctions laws in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, as well as contradictory sanctions rules/counter-sanction regimes? How do businesses choose whether to leave or remain in Russia? Since February, Customs Manager Ltd. has been asked for advice on these business challenges. While the situation is fluid and ongoing, we are interested in hearing their perspectives during this moment of unprecedented activity.


But there are other topics too that often get left behind that merit almost equal attention. The constantly evolving dynamic between technology and security in the area of export controls is one of these. In the age of the Internet of Things, won't there be a regulatory mechanism on every corner?

ITC is pervasive!

Controls on exports and the Internet of Things The Internet of Things ('IoT') is omnipresent and ubiquitous in modern society. It enables a world of networked products and technologies that interact and 'communicate' with one another, such as smart phone-controlled gadgets, home security systems, logistics trackers, and even personal health monitors.

By necessity, the technology that makes the Internet of Things "function" is complex, and the reach and pervasiveness of IoT technologies require that it be governed. However, are our present export curbs adequate? We are excited to listen to, Magnus Nordéus, Group Head of Trade Compliance at Ericsson, outlines the key export control and related regulatory mesh (think encryption and software controls, data protection concerns, and others) that currently affects the Internet of Things, affecting innovation, research, and bringing new products to market, along with suggestions for ensuring compliance – and for better policy.

Human Rights in the spotlight

Next, there are the difficult ties between Europe, the US, and China on technology and Human rights. Many issues are becoming inextricably intertwined making it hard to see a way out.

Human rights and sanctions in the United Kingdom and wider Due in part to the success of the Magnitsky sanctions phenomena and the business 'ESG' agenda, human rights problems are now a top priority for C-suite decision-makers, who face not just public opinion penalties but also substantial legal and criminal liability for violations. The UK human rights NGO Redress – recently in the spotlight for its representation of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe – has been at the forefront of this conversation since before the UK government enacted its Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations of 2020, and we are thrilled to be discussing key elements of the sanctions/human rights conversation:

  • What kind of impact are Magnitsky-style sanctions having?

  • What has the British administration accomplished to date?

  • What criteria should legislators use when selecting nominees?

Putting these threads together, we will also consider how the business sector might foresee trends and what EU, UK, and US politicians can be anticipated to do.

Significant US enforcement cases and their lessons

US regulatory enforcement agencies, such as OFAC and the Bureau of Industry and Security, often publish notifications describing agreements with corporations that have settled for suspected breaches of sanctions and export control laws and regulations. There is more to this process than just identifying and shaming offenders: by describing the circumstances of the alleged violations and the substance of the infractions, the authorities want to give insight into their concerns and enforcement priorities. In other words, such incidents should be seen as a useful educational resource that contributes directly to compliance training and best practices. In this presentation, we discuss significant recent settlements, focusing on the parts most relevant to compliance education, and highlight best practices for reading and using public enforcement letters.

Other sessions

Finally, we are excited to discuss viewpoints in sessions like "l carry out business activities in conflict zones: am I incurring unintentional risks?” or “If you're trying to identify warning signs, how effective are your processes?”.


The purpose of discussing trade compliance, export controls, and sanctions is to ensure that your company complies with your country's laws and regulations. It is essential to recognize that these laws are constantly evolving; therefore, it is insufficient to learn them once. You must remain current on new legislation and ensure that you always adhere to the most recent rules and regulations. This and the desire to exchange views with other thought leaders and advisors on these complex matters are key reasons to attend the WorldECR Forum, which brings together sanctions and export control specialists from private practice, industry, and government to network and exchange ideas at a time when the stability of Europe has never appeared more tenuous.

Please get in touch if you wish to discuss export control or sanctions and how we can assist you, including our extensive array of export control training and sanctions packages.

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