Exporting? Odds Are You’ll Cross the Line
Peter Quinter cautions companies in LexisNexis webinar on export compliance
“I don’t care how big a company you are, how small a company you are, how many lawyers you have on staff—compliance people on staff—sooner or later the chances are pretty good that every company is going to end up making a mistake or error or somehow commit a violation of law or regulation” covering exports, Peter Quinter told attendees at a recent LexisNexis webinar.
Case in point: FedEx’s agreement to pay $370,000 in fines to settle charges that it violated US export regulations by shipping computer equipment to a Dubai company that allegedly used such equipment to make explosive devices used in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Quinter, shareholder in law firm GrayRobinson, is the Datamyne blog’s contributor on legal and regulatory issues related to trade.
According to Quinter, if the government has cause to believe there’s been an export violation, its first step is often to issue an enforcement subpoena or a summons to the company under suspicion. At this early stage, the government is not obliged to tell – indeed, may not have decided – whether it’s considering criminal prosecution or an administrative fine. But the company should prepare for the worst.
“Keep in mind that when someone contacts you, you’re not necessarily required to answer their questions. The subpoena you are required to respond to, however. How you respond and when you respond is of course up to you and your legal counsel,” said Quinter.
You can read more about the webinar and Quinter’s advice to exporters on the GrayRobinson blog.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of its author and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views or Descartes Datamyne. In addition, this article is for general information purposes only and it’s not intended to provide legal advice or opinions of any kind and my not be used for professional or commercial purposes. No one should act, or refrain from acting, based solely on this article without first seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice.
Date posted: October 4, 2012