It’s All About Compliance: NAITA to Host International Regulations Seminar

While Export Control Reform changes have relaxed the controls on defense-related items and technology, it has made understanding and complying with the regulations even more complicated.

Compliance is everything and it’s important for businesses to learn how to avoid potential pitfalls.

On Feb. 17-20, the North Alabama International Trade Association will host the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, Export Administration Regulations, and Office of Foreign Assets Controls & Embargoes event at the Westin Hotel at Bridge Street. This in-depth, comprehensive seminar will be presented by the Export Compliance Training Institute. The first two days will be devoted to ITAR; days 3 and 4 will be focused on topics related to EAR/OFAC.

The shift of many military and space items from the ITAR to the EAR obliges exporters to learn the challenging ins and outs of maintaining compliance.

Recent ECR changes, as well as the potential of coming changes from a new administration can have a significant impact on compliance programs. This event will provide novice and experienced export compliance professionals with a comprehensive education on complying with United States export regulations.

Featured presenters are Marc Binder, Maarten Sengers and Jonathan Young.

Binder, a licensed Customs broker with ITC Strategies, is certified in the field of HAZMAT transportation. Sengers is a principal with BSG Consulting, an export compliance consultant group based in Washington and has more than 20 years of advisory experience on all aspects of EAR, ITAR and U.S. sanctions compliance. Young has served as a military intelligence analyst before his export compliance career. With a corporate background in managing AES filings, export classification and due diligence screening, Young provides Industry perspective for the Air Force and Nissan North America. 

ECTI trains companies on compliance with regards to export, import, transaction and activity regulations administered by the U.S. Departments of Commerce, State and Treasury. Each year, ECTI presents seminars throughout the world and offers customized training programs designed to help businesses stay compliant with U.S. trade controls.

“NAITA has partnered with ECTI for a number of years in bringing this valuable training to Huntsville, and we highly recommend their hands-on practical approach to our business community,” said Amanda Berkey, Senior International Trade Specialist, Madison County Commission/NAITA. “Export control and compliance training is critical for North Alabama’s aerospace, defense, and high-tech companies, and ECTI even finds a way to make this dry regulatory subject entertaining.”

NAITA is a business-driven organization committed to increasing knowledge, interest, and activity in international trade in North Alabama. NAITA’s mission is to provide international trade advocacy, training, and networking to promote economic growth in North Alabama.

As a nonprofit membership organization, NAITA provides an international networking forum, education relating to trade issues, and prepares businesses for global success. NAITA is managed by the Madison County Commission International Trade Development Center and strives to be the regional resource for international trade development.

To register, visit


Local small businesses go global for defense sales

The theater at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center’s Davidson Center was filled with small, locally owned defense contracting firms eager to learn more about foreign military sales.

They were not disappointed as The North Alabama International Trade Association (NAITA) presented its industry networking event, “FMS Across the Globe.”

The keynote speaker, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Drushal, commanding general of USASAC, discussed the goals for shortening the time between Letters of Request and Letters of Acceptance, as well as the need to combat the perception that FMS is a detriment for Army readiness.

“Our international partners are relying on us to get it right, there are other choices out there; we need to collaborate to increase speed of execution,” Drushal said.

Drushal also emphasized the Total Package Approach and it is a win-win for the army as well as FMS partners. As a component of the “4 Ts”: Trust, Transparency, Teamwork, and Total Package Approach, TPA includes spare parts, equipment maintenance, training, documentation and non-standard equipment.

The first panel discussion, “FMS Around the Globe,” featured a trio of USASAC regional directors: Cols. Jason Crowe, Jose Valentin, and Michael Morton.

The discussion focused on eliminating the competition by providing expert training, maintaining a presence, and providing high-quality American equipment. The panel also touched on the importance of securing prime FMS market, responsiveness, unique regional requirements, and how industry can assist by providing compatible spare parts and training support.

Timothy Schimpp, security assistant specialist for the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Defense Exports & Cooperation, presented the Export Control Update. Heiscussed Technology, Security, Foreign Disclosure, the Conventional Arms Transfer Policy Implementation Plan, and how export control reform is working to create “Higher Fences around Fewer Things,” while lowering “fences” for items, such as spare parts.

The second panel session, “Collaboration to Meet FMS Demand,” was Nancy Small, director of Small Business Programs for the Army Materiel Command. Panelists were Larry Lewis, president of Project XYZ, and Rob Willis, director of Aviation & International Programs for Integration Innovation Inc. (i3). They discussed how businesses must know their customers and what the business’s value proposition means to the customer, the importance of understanding the realities of cultural expectations, differences, and how business is conducted in other countries.

For more information on upcoming NAITA events, visit