On February 8, 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced that it has updated the content of its Export Compliance Guidelines (Guidelines) and Audit Module (Module) and combined both documents into one “easy-to-use” booklet. We understand that BIS’s primary purpose in updating the Guidelines and Module was to shorten and simplify them because, in BIS’s view, the prior versions of the documents were too long and contained too much unnecessary technical language.

The updated Guidelines and Module are designed to help exporters build and maintain an Export Compliance Program (ECP) that is considered effective by BIS to ensure that a company’s export activities are conducted in accordance with the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The Guidelines provide details on the eight elements that BIS has determined are critical for an effective ECP for goods, software, and technology subject to the EAR, including: (1) management commitment; (2) risk assessment; (3) export authorization; (4) recordkeeping; (5) training; (6) audits; (7) handling export violations and taking corrective actions; and (8) building and maintaining an ECP. The Module provides a checklist that allows exporters to assess their particular export activities and export programs in order to revise or develop their ECP. The Guidelines and Module can be used by companies engaged in exports to benchmark their own compliance programs against the expectations set out by BIS in these updated documents.

The updated Guidelines and Module booklet can be found on the BIS Office of Exporter Services’ Export Management and Compliance Division website, which also provides a number of other helpful resources for exporters, including webinars related to ECP development and other aspects of EAR compliance.