Advisory

FCC is an integrated one-stop firm, providing valuable cross-disciplinary compliance services. Our portfolio covers the expansive trade compliance spectrum. We invest in trusted, long-term relationships that benefit all parties involved

FCC provides the following services, but please contact us to find out how FCC can specifically assist your company in the area of Trade Compliance

Performing global compliance audits, including risk assessments and gap analyses.

Global Compliance Audits

Our primary competence is the global audit, while understanding the delicacy, the approach, corporate culture and local culture, with minimal disruption to employee daily routines. We assisted our client by performing a gap analysis at several sites by examining documents and interviewing key employees. We reduced the cost and disruption to company operations by using a remote, web-based tool that included questions on the current and desired status of the organization’s Internal Compliance Program (ICP), completed by employees in over 60 countries.

Impact

We raised the export compliance awareness of employees who completed questionnaires. The analysis showed the company levels of compliance at the different locations and functional levels. We provided our client with an overview of our findings, risks, and recommendations on how to improve client’s ICP to reduce risks and prevent non-compliance.

Reviewing, designing, and assessing the effectiveness of an Internal Compliance Program.

Internal Compliance Program
One client retained FCC to help improve its global Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) system. FCC assessed the company’s Internal Compliance Program (ICP) to determine how to enhance their current ICP, and help them understand the company’s International Trade Compliance risks. We conducted a gap analysis to show the client the difference between the company’s current ICP and the standard expected in the client’s industry. We then developed improvements for their current ICP, and created procedures for the company’s compliance reporting system.

Impact
This prior engagement affected the client’s business in two main areas:
1) Risk appetite and risk taking capacity: We recommended that the company identify risks across the enterprise to determine which risks could be tolerated, and how to take immediate corrective action for those risks that justified changes.
2) Reduced exposure to loss. By helping our client identify its risks, the company was able to reduce the likelihood of financial, regulatory, or reputational losses.

Incorporating cultural aspects, into an internal compliance program, because compliance is not possible unless employees fully understand and support corporate compliance goals.

Cultural Aspects
Our primary competence is the global audit, understanding the delicacy, the approach, corporate culture and local culture, with minimal disturbance to the organization. We assisted our client by performing a gap analysis at several sites by examining documents and interviewing key employees. We reduced the cost and disruption to company operations by using a remote, web-based tool that included questions on the current and desired status of the organization’s Internal Compliance Program (ICP), completed by employees in over 60 countries.

Impact
We raised the export compliance awareness of employees who completed questionnaires. The analysis showed the company levels of compliance at the different locations and functional levels. We provided our client with an overview of our findings, risks, and recommendations on how to improve client’s ICP to reduce risks and prevent non-compliance.

Identifying and helping to prioritize your employee training, throughout your company.

Well-informed employees reduce the risk of non-compliance. We assisted our global client to set up training programs by:

  • Establishing training priorities and target audiences based on risk analysis of transactions with restricted countries or end-users with known risks of diversion.
  • Setting up a pool of trainers, and designing “train-the-trainer” sessions.
  • Developing training materials for all levels, from introductory awareness for employees and supervisors with minimal risk of export violations, to advanced sessions for high-exposure employees. (“Some for all, all for some.)
  • Designing training didactics that take into account the client’s cultural settings.

Impact
After the training, employees were aware of the export compliance essentials. Trained employees were able to identify compliance “red flags” and suspicious circumstances requiring further investigation and possible assistance from the internal or external export compliance specialists.

Offering advice on how to implement best practices, in evaluating your internal compliance program. This includes internal politics (national and corporate culture alignment) and a sound foundation for compliance and cost reduction, with a minimum of operational disruption and employee concerns.

Best Practices
An effective compliance function must be adequately financed, staffed, and justified in the annual budget.  We helped our client prepare compliance job/function descriptions, transformed regulations into corporate policies & procedures, and recommended industry best practices and standards.

Impact
The client improved staffing its compliance function, and was able to reduce overall costs by reducing delays and improving efficiencies.  Employee satisfaction was improved by providing employees with clearly stated performance standards for employee ratings and rewards.

Offering strategic advice, on how to enter the A&D market, on relocation to emerging markets, or on launching a new product.

Strategic Advice
Before expanding into markets or offering new products and services, it is essential to be able to make well-founded strategic decisions. Expanding services or launching new products should lead to higher profits, but the company must know beforehand the full costs of expanded export compliance. For one client, we quantified the expected return on investment by including expected compliance costs. We assisted by performing a market analysis and strategic study of the opportunities and regulatory costs necessary to expand their business.

Impact
Based on our market analysis and strategic study, our client was able to make a well-founded decision of the desired market expansion and proposed new products.

Performing due diligence before proposed mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures, advising management on how risks and deficiencies influence the value of the deal.

Mergers & Take-overs
Our client, who was considering potential partnership involving cross-border transactions, wanted to know whether the potential partner had a sufficient Internal Compliance Program, and what the risks and costs of adequate international trade compliance would be. Our client asked us to perform compliance assessments and audits of the proposed partner’s business, including its subcontractors and vendors.  We included the review of obligations of signatories on ITAR Technical Assistance Agreements, Manufacturing License Agreements, Warehouse Distribution Agreements, and use of the new Strategic Trade Authorization (STA) license exception, which allows controlled items to be exported to certain Allies and other friendly countries without a transaction-specific license, but requires an audit trail to ensure the U.S. Government’s ability to enforce the controls, and requires foreign importers to certify in advance of receipt of STA-eligible items that they will abide by U.S. export control regulations.

Impact
Based on our rigorous due diligence review of the potential partner, including its business relationships, our client was able to decide avoid a risky and unwise investment.

Offering advice on relationships with authorities, both in the U.S. and EU, from applications for licenses and agreements to possible voluntary disclosures and remediation.

Voluntary Disclosures and Remediation
The US State Department Directory of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry & Security (BIS), and Treasury Department Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC) strongly encourage the voluntary disclosure of information if an exporter suspects it may have violated any export law regulation.  DDTC voluntary disclosures (“VDs”) and BIS and OFAC voluntary self-disclosures (“VSDs”) may be considered a mitigating factor in determining the administrative penalties. If any, that can be imposed by the agencies. We assisted our client by working with outside counsel to advise on the applicable laws and regulations, best practices, risks, and impact of a disclosure for the organization and persons involved. We assisted the client with performing an audit to ensure all possible violations were discovered.  We also assisted our client’s law department with preparing a report for the CFO and CEO, explaining the materiality of the disclosure.

Impact
Failure to report suspected violations may result in circumstances detrimental to United States national security and foreign policy interest, and result in penalties that could be avoided by a prior disclosure. Based on our advice, our client submitted a VD that resulted in remediation acceptable to the agency without payment of a cash penalty or other punitive measures.

Assessing your current reporting procedures to ensure that your processes are effective and comply with all requirements.

Internal Compliance Program
One client retained FCC to help improve its global Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) system.  FCC assessed the company’s Internal Compliance Program (ICP) to determine how to enhance their current ICP, and help them understand the company’s International Trade Compliance risks. We conducted a gap analysis to show the client the difference between the company’s current ICP and the standard expected in the client’s industry.  We then developed improvements for their current ICP, and created procedures for the company’s compliance reporting system.

Impact
This prior engagement affected the client’s business in two main areas:

1) Risk appetite and risk taking capacity:  We recommended that the company identify risks across the enterprise to determine which risks could be tolerated, and how to take immediate corrective action for those risks that justified changes.

2) Reduced exposure to loss.  By helping our client identify its risks, the company was able to reduce the likelihood of financial, regulatory, or reputational losses.

Assisting essential senior management in demonstrating the corporate commitment to Trade Compliance.

Reinforcing Senior Management Commitment
Management commitment is the most fundamental element of a good Internal Compliance Program. When management is able to demonstrate their commitment to International Trade Compliance, staff will follow the example. We assisted our client to prepare their management commitment statement, advised management on how to demonstrate their commitment through a video message of the CEO, meetings with employees, and briefings to the corporate board of directors. 

Impact
When our client’s management demonstrated its commitment to export compliance, the client was able to improve employee attitudes towards compliance. Changing mindsets is the heart of effective compliance. This was strengthened by adequate export compliance training from the operation level though middle management, to the board level. It also resulted in a clear linkage between internal communication standards, accountability, and enforcement mechanisms.

Evaluating, and where necessary, assisting your company in establishing an efficient compliance function.

Establishing and running a compliance function
An effective compliance function must be adequately financed, staffed, and justified in the annual budget.  We helped our client prepare compliance job/function descriptions, transformed regulations into corporate policies & procedures, and recommended industry best practices and standards. 

Impact
The client improved staffing its compliance function, and was able to reduce overall costs by reducing delays and improving efficiencies.  Employee satisfaction was improved by providing employees with clearly stated performance standards for employee ratings and rewards.

Helping you to establish compliant operations in emerging markets.

Strategic Advice
Before expanding into markets or offering new products and services, it is essential to be able to make well-founded strategic decisions. Expanding services or launching new products should lead to higher profits, but the company must know beforehand the full costs of expanded export compliance. For one client, we quantified the expected return on investment by including expected compliance costs. We assisted by performing a market analysis and strategic study of the opportunities and regulatory costs necessary to expand their business.

Impact
Based on our market analysis and strategic study, our client was able to make a well-founded decision of the desired market expansion and proposed new products.