Ukraine crisis highlights need for due diligence in global ecommerce

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The Ukraine crisis is providing logistics providers, merchants, and marketplaces with major compliance challenges.

It has put a global spotlight on the importance of screening for denied parties and prohibited and restricted goods following the imposition of sanctions on Russia, Belarus and a growing list of their citizens.

In the case of denied parties – individuals, companies, or entities it is forbidden to trade with – all parties in the supply chain have a responsibility to ensure that transactions do not take place.

Similarly, certain commodities, may have some form of prohibitions or restrictions that apply and could require special processing, documents, or licences.

– Martin Palmer, Chief Content and Compliance Officer, Hurricane Commerce

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has ruled that under the US Export Administration Regulations (EAR) “all entities involved in a transaction” are responsible for complying with the EAR.

Failure to do so can result in up to 20 years of imprisonment and up to $1 million in fines per violation, or both.

In the European Union, the task of conducting investigations into potential non-compliance cases falls to Member States and their appropriate authorities. Member States must have in place effective, proportionate, and dissuasive penalties, and enforce them when EU sanctions are breached.

Some of the world’s biggest names including global brands, online marketplaces and transport carriers have, in recent times, been hit with fines ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to several million dollars.

Similarly, it is best practice to ensure that you are aware of any prohibitions or restrictions that apply to all commodities being shipped.

The shipping of prohibited or restricted commodities without the correct paperwork, certificates and licences can lead to serious delays with additional costs and penalties.

Significant numbers of everyday commodities can require special processing, depending upon the commodity and the destination of the shipment.

– Martin Palmer, Chief Content and Compliance Officer, Hurricane Commerce

Certain commodities are classed as potential ‘Dual Use’ items. These are commodities that can be used for military purposes as well as everyday (civilian) purposes.

Dual Use items can include GPS equipment, drones, range finders, cameras, laptops, car parts and even certain clothing and footwear. It is important when exporting commodities that companies are fully aware of the export and import requirements.

It is also important to understand that simplified clearance solutions, for example clearance via the EU’s Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS) or Type 86 in the United States, are only available for specific goods. Many items requiring additional processing or documentation do not benefit from simplified clearance and screening for prohibited and restricted items is an ideal solution to check if goods qualify for the efficient, simplified clearance solutions.

While the requirement to demonstrate effective risk and reputation management through good due diligence and a complete audit trail, is the number one concern for many businesses at the current time, there are many other benefits to having an effective system of screening for denied parties and prohibited and restricted goods.

They include supply chain optimisation and the ability to access the most effective delivery solutions; transit time reduction resulting from hassle-free electronic customs clearance; and cost savings due to reduced returns and fewer storage requirements.

Compliance is never optional. It is a legal requirement.

– Martin Palmer, Chief Content and Compliance Officer, Hurricane Commerce



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