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Effective controls on trade in dual-use items — goods, software and technology — are vital for countering risks associated with the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and the destabilizing accumulations of conventional weapons. In response to these threats, many national governments have instituted legislation to regulate trade activities involving strategic items (goods, software, and/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 (STC), 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.


Taking into consideration rapid scientific and technological advancements and the complexity of today's supply chains, effective trade controls depend to a great extent on the awareness of exporters and their active efforts to comply with trade restrictions. 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.


Developing an Internal Compliance Program (ICP) acts as an invaluable way a company can meet its STC obligations while protecting vital business interests. An ICP is a set of internal policies and procedures that help to ensure compliance with EU and national dual-use trade control laws and regulations. The scope and the extent of these policies and procedures are usually determined by the size and the commercial activities of the specific company.


An ICP contains procedures that require a company 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 company running afoul of the law.