The Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) hosted the first meeting of the new export controls special interest group (SIG) today (30 January).
The SIG will be dedicated to promoting compliance within export controls and trade sanctions in the UK and globally.
With a keynote address from Adrian Bond, head of UK engagement for the Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU), the event also included a panel discussion and networking sessions for attendees to share best practice and build their networks.
Welcoming the members, IOE&IT membership engagement manager Helen Hastie said:
“IOE&IT members have faced a challenging number of years, from tackling the pandemic to navigating the post-Brexit landscape, while as handling supply chain issues, geopolitical tensions and economic challenges, all in very short succession.
“We are determined to ensure you are empowered and equipped with the expertise to trade effectively. Our special interest groups are where we provide members with professional resources and guidance to ensure the reduction of risk while helping firms to share and implement best practice.”
In his address, Bond updated the delegates about the government’s latest support for businesses affected by export controls.
He said the ECJU had a renewed focus on improved communication and guidance. He announced further details of the replacement of the government’s old system for digital licensing system SPIRE with the new Licensing for International Trade & Enterprise (LITE) platform.
Bond urged attendees to watch out for future notices from the ECJU, both on future sanctions and updates to LITE.
During the networking sessions, a number of issues were discussed, including consignee undertakings, the need to educate supply chains on export controls and end user statements.
These breakout rooms also provided an opportunity for more experienced members of the profession to share information with their younger colleagues.
There was also a panel discussion featuring contributions from the chairman of the IOE&IT’s Export Control Profession Roger Arthey, Brinley Salzmann, director of overseas & exports of ADS Group, Antonia Rudger, export controls manager at Rolls Royce, and Sam Hodgkins trade and customs specialist at the IOE&IT Academy.
Learning from members
Arthey told attendees of the “exciting opportunities” offered by the SIG:
“What this is going to allow us to do is to get positive, useful feedback on the things that we've already done and where you want the export control profession to go.
“It’s going to tell us what sort of resources you need, what webinars you’d like to see us run and key export control leaders that you'd like to hear from and ask questions of.”
When polled on what they wanted from the SIG, almost two thirds of attendees (63%) said sharing best practice was the most important benefit with most of the remaining members (31%) saying sector-specific advice was key.
The room was split on what the immediate challenge to their business was, with an equal amount listing post-Brexit changes and the impact of sanctions (30% each). The issue of new licensing systems came third (20%).
Commenting after the event, Hastie said:
“We launched not only a new SIG, but a fresh and open way for the IOE&IT to directly engage with members in industry. We were delighted to host Adrian Bond who gave timely updates to our members around notices, sanctions and embargoes.
“With well over 100 members in attendance, we saw key themes emerge around end users, consignees and educating the supply chain.
“Using the support of members, we are able to provide these timely insights to our colleagues in government, whilst simultaneously stimulating conversation amongst professional on best practice.
“I look forward to encouraging the next steps for the Export Control SIG and announcing new SIGs within the year.”
The next meeting of the SIG will be announced in due course.