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D-6: Risk Assessment, designed by RespectUs, to determine your export control compliance risk level

Risks in export compliance are threats that can negatively affect your organization's reputation and export business, if ignored. Businesses that wish to establish an effective internal compliance program (ICP) need to be aware of the risks and dangers of various export control scenarios. It is essential that you look out for the key warning signs that can appear anywhere in the business process – from the initial offer to final delivery – and recognize the indicators of suspicious inquiries, bids, or customers.

The goal for any exporter is to identify preventable risks it may face and then build safeguards to control for these risks. Often, an internal compliance program is thought of as the frame where these safeguards are documented and implemented.

But where to start ?

First, are you aware of the multiple risks an export business must face in order to be compliant with export control rules? In export control, risks are events which, with a certain degree of probability, will adversely affect your compliance. Here, we are speaking about legal risks, because of the different regulations you have to observe to export worldwide. Is it not extremely difficult to come by the knowledge for these regulations in the various countries?

Is the export control law not often uncertain? Are you perfectly aware of the legislation which is applicable to your company? Is a sanctions and embargoes screening tool implemented in your company? These can make it difficult or impossible to deliver your products to certain states, or entities.

Are your products export controlled, meaning requiring a license or even being prohibited for export? Are you delivering technical or financial assistance, or brokering, with regard to your products? Do you have a license management policy in place?

Where are your customers located? Worldwide or regional sales? How much of your product portfolio goes into EU or outside the EU? What is the part of listed products and technology in these exports?

Risks are therefore defined in terms of products, customers and markets. But your internal organisation can also be at risk. Have you adequately staffed your export control department? Are the roles clearly defined? Are back-ups in place? Are staff benefitting from adequate training? Have you defined internal processes allowing your export control staff to halt critical transactions, whatever your sales people are saying? Do you understand the gaps in your company’s export compliance management? Do you have a risk mitigation plan or corrective action plan in place?

So, a lot of questions to answer for an export control risk assessment. And we have not been extensive here at all.

RespectUs has developed a risk assessment and matrix to address these challenges

The RespectUs solution helps you determine your organization’s current performance on export controls. It is a cost-efficient solution to your export control compliance needs. It results in a risk matrix visualising strong and weaker points in your export control management. It then serves to establish or review your internal compliance program.

Various employees from different departments can be given access to the online risk assessment tool environment. Your employees will determine, in a collaborative approach, the potential level of likelihood and impact for multiple risk-based export control scenarios.

In brief, the RespectUs Risk Assessment module is

a risk assessment tool, whose outcome will be plotted in a risk matrix, reflecting an organization’s performance on export control compliance, that

  • leaves you with a practical, prioritized list of actions to strengthen the export compliance measures at your company

  • delivers a handy risk assessment report, able to be shown to your management

  • allows you to monitor your progress

  • identifies and attacks vulnerabilities in your compliance efforts

  • serves as a basis to determine how to manage export control risks, and for developing or improving an ICP

  • shows the progress that you have made in mitigating the risks to which you are exposed.

Test us. Challenge us. Give us feedback so that we can improve and design this module according to your specific needs.


For the RespectUs team,

Patrick Goergen, CEO


Next to come in this series:

D-5: License Determination, a unique and innovative way to check if a license is needed

Did you miss part(s) of the series? Read here the last blogs:

1 March 2023: D-14 RespectUs is opening subscriptions on 15 March 2023

2 March 2023: D-13 Knowledge Base, the collection of export control and sanctions regulations

3 March 2023: D-12 Product Classification made by RespectUs, to determine dual-use and military codes

6 March 2023: D-9: Sanctions & Embargoes, RespectUs style, to get fast answers to an interrogation about exports

7 March 2023: D-8 Customer Screening, with due diligence processes and name checks

8 March 2023: D-7: End-use checks, a set of diversion and other risk indicators designed by RespectUs

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