The proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and conventional weapons poses a serious threat to international peace and security. Preventing non-state actors, terrorist entities, and countries of proliferation concern from acquiring these weapons is one of the most serious challenges facing the international community today. In response to these threats, many national governments have instituted legislation to regulate trade activities involving “strategic items” (goods, services, or technologies) which have legitimate commercial applications but can also contribute to WMD, their means of delivery, or conventional weapon systems. These laws and regulations, known collectively as “strategic trade controls,” seek to restrict and regulate transfers of strategic items to end-uses, end-users, and destinations of diversion or proliferation concern. Strategic trade controls (STC) support your country’s national security, foreign policy, and economic interests and are not intended to restrict legitimate trade and commercial activities.
A robust public-private partnership is essential to effectively implementing your country’s STC system and balancing these interests. Industry is the first line of defense and is in the best position to evaluate commodities, customers, and transactions. Industry has unparalleled understanding of the technical characteristics, potential end-uses, and possible end-users of its products and therefore plays a critical role in detecting and preventing illicit procurement attempts. This requires your enterprise to develop a systematic approach to complying with strategic trade control requirements and to devote the resources required to support such efforts.
Developing an internal compliance program (ICP) is an invaluable way your enterprise can meet its STC obligations while protecting vital business interests. Simply stated, an ICP is a series of internal policies, procedures, and written guidelines that enterprises adopt to facilitate compliance with strategic trade control requirements. An ICP contains procedures that require an enterprise to thoroughly examine all parties to a transaction, the end-user, the final destination, the stated end-use of the items, and to assess the overall risk of diversion; during all appropriate stages of a business transaction. Ultimately, these procedures limit the potential for unauthorized transfers of strategic items and minimize the risk of your enterprise running afoul of the law.
The ICP Guide provides information and guidance intended to assist small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) establish, implement, maintain (and enhance) an ICP. The guide provides web-based training, implementation aids (templates, examples, and checklists), reference materials and sector-specific resources to guide and support your enterprise in developing and implementing an ICP, and in complying with national and international STC requirements.