The ECJU has issued new guidance on the operation of remote compliance checks in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance covers the key points below.
First, the guidance requests that all businesses that have closed due to the pandemic should inform their compliance officer as soon as possible enclosing a formal notice confirming the closure.
Second, the ECJU will accept digital or copy consignee undertakings in lieu of original documents, accompanied with an email explaining why it is not possible to submit an original. The ECJU has reserved the right to request originals at the next onsite visit. Moreover, the ECJU has asked that businesses should keep it informed of any inability to access physical or electronic records as a result of the COVID pandemic.
Third, dates for remote compliance checks will be confirmed 4-6 weeks in advance. In preparing for the check, businesses are asked to complete a pre-visit questionnaire and return it to the ECJU 7 days before the remote check. The returned questionnaire should enclose a list of exports made under the relevant export licences for the past 2 years.
Lastly, the ECJU notes that businesses are experiencing delays in obtaining Ministry of Defence (“MOD“) approvals. As a result, the ECJU will accept evidence of application to the MOD and email acknowledgement from the MOD team. The ECJU has reserved the right to request copies of the authorisations at the next on-site visit.
Link to ECJU summary: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-to-exporters-202009-export-control-joint-unit-updates-guidance-on-compliance-checks-for-open-licences/changes-and-further-clarification-on-ecjus-remote-compliance-checks