LONDON (AEB) – Your company may have 50,000 customers. Or
your company may have 10,000 suppliers. But whatever the makeup of your
database, one thing is absolutely certain – the best solution for monitoring
trade compliance in any scenario is software.
This according to Mark Brannan, AEB’s International Business
Development Director, in a widely attended webinar last week hosted by U.S.
news and information icon Dow Jones, the international front-runner in
compliance screening data and content partner for AEB’s industry-leading sanctions list screening solutions.
‘’Most of you as businesses have quite large databases of
customers and suppliers,’’ Brannan said. ‘’If you are trying to check all of
those against all of the entities listed on government-issued sanctions lists,
it’s an impossible task. This is where software can really support.’’
The webinar was attended by 160 listeners and focused on the
evolving challenges in trade compliance in both Europe and Asia. Brannan was
joined by Aline Doussin, a partner at the international law firm Hogan Lovells
and well-known expert in trade law, and Kevin Cahill, director of Companies
Ownership Research at Dow Jones.
Doussin said trade wars and the resulting market turmoil has
made doing business in global trade more difficult now than it was four years
‘’I have been advising on sanctions compliance for 10 years
now and I always say that I feel for my clients,’’ she said. ‘’Their work has
become much more difficult because sanctions law is increasingly used as a
geopolitical tool. ‘’
Cahill said his team at Dow Jones is challenged to discover
risks in company ownership that may not be obvious to observers trying to
determine if a company meets compliance regulation guidelines.
He specifically focused on the 50 Percent Rule from the US’s
Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). It states that property and interests
in property of entities directly or indirectly owned 50 percent or more in the
aggregate by one or more blocked persons are considered blocked. This is
regardless of whether such entities appear on OFAC’s Specially Designated
Nationals and Blocked Persons List.
‘’In order to provide the most effective list, our inclusion
criteria goes beyond the 50 percent rule,’’ Cahill said. ‘’This allows
customers to identify possible risks that only including majority ownership
would not provide. This helps to deal with the cautionary zone. ‘’
Catching such issues with customers, partners, or suppliers
can be tricky and difficult though at companies that don’t employ a software solution
that not only removes the chance for human error but can integrate into
processes used in day-to-day operations.
‘’Software will do things in a standard and repeatable way
and I think that is very important when you are talking about processes,’’ said
Brannan. ‘’You can be confident you have done the right checks in the right
He added that compliance must be a key mission objective for
any company doing business in today’s global arena.
‘’I have been working in this industry for 20 years now and
when I first started the standard compliance department used to be down a very
long corridor and no one wanted anything to do with it because they were seen
as preventing business or slowing business down,’’ Brannan said.
‘’Now the export controls and compliance department is seen
as really protecting the business financially.’’
AEB’s Compliance Screening software automatically runs restricted party screening
for companies in the background as the business day goes on. It checks your
business partners against relevant global sanctions lists – quickly and
reliably. Moreover, the intelligent software can be used anywhere in the world
and warns you before a business partner becomes a liability.
‘’Our software has Dow Jones content fully integrated,’’ Brannan noted. ‘’Whether it is politically exposed
persons, state-owned companies, or adverse media. If you need to check for those
you can do that directly using our software and those checks are done in a
fully automated way.’’
Brannan said the software solution also allows you to keep
secure, accurate, and comprehensive records for the event of an audit. And the
data can also be used to produce management reports to examine how effective you’re
being in your compliance organization.
Concerned about integration into your company’s ERP
systems? AEB has an app for that.
Integrating processes and systems throughout international supply chains reduces trade risks and increases cross-border efficiency. This applies
especially to business partner screening, as it has a direct impact on the
security of your business. Compliance Screening from AEB offers a wide range of integration options for ERP and CRM systems: In SAP®, Salesforce, proAlpha®, abas ERP – and via API in many more.