NJ Federal Compliance and Defense Representation for Importers
Consumers don’t think much about buying products internationally. Whether we’re purchasing a new app from China or having a small business artist in Europe send us a handmade journal, the entire globe is open to our wallets. But businesses are subject to different regulations. If a business imports tangible or intangible products, they must comply with federal import standards. Federal import compliance can be overwhelming, especially considering all the small rules and minutiae. And failing to comply with regulations can lead to significant penalties.
Experienced attorneys can help with the import regulations. They can deal with federal agencies like the Office of Foreign Assets Control and Customs and Border Protection. They can also explain your situation, whether you have any potential liabilities, and what steps you can take to avoid potential sanctions.
What Do I Need to Be Compliant?
Federal import compliance is a complicated subject. It’s not always easy to simply check off a list of items to make sure that you’re compliant. Different regulations and laws can apply to different situations. Some of the factors that influence the circumstances are:
- What kinds of products you are importing
- Where they are being imported from
- What company you have purchased them from
Errors with compliance can be costly. They might land you in hot water with multiple federal agencies, and you could even be looking at the ruin of your business. Compliance lawyers can go over every aspect of your business plan and create a customized program to ensure that all of your transactions are above-board. If you do run into compliance issues, an attorney can provide legal representation at the federal level, so you don’t have to deal with the headache of federal agents yourself.
Import Compliance Program
If you import products from international businesses, you must be compliant. This means developing a compliance program. By creating regulations within your company, you can be sure that the steps you follow keep you well within compliance regulations for every purchase. Without codifying your procedures, you’re much more likely to make mistakes.
Federal attorneys can help you create internal compliance procedures. Every business should have a plan based around their needs, with understandable procedures and policies.
The first step is to assess your needs. Different businesses will have to comply with different regulations. The obligations for a company change depending on the circumstances. A company that’s importing tons of merchandise from a large corporation in China will likely be subject to different regulations than a company importing a single item from a boutique store in the UK.
So you’ll need to determine what you’re importing, where you’re importing from, and what measures you personally need to take to ensure your business is compliant.
The second step is to create procedures that allow for company compliance. These should allow you to meet all of the needs outlined in your original assessment. There shouldn’t be any room for surprises. A compliance attorney can create clear instructional documents that explain exactly what your company does to comply with federal regulations. These will be a reference point for both your employees and for federal agents who want to investigate.
The third step is to add third-party due diligence. When you purchase from foreign companies, it’s important to be sure that you are not buying from anyone who might pose a national security risk. This includes not just the company itself, but their business partners and suppliers. By having an attorney do due diligence on each potential new supplier, you avoid running into potential hot water with your commercial agreements.