International Trade Law Advice Services

Training and Auditing

Training and auditing are fundamental parts of any compliance programme. Regular training delivers a clear message to the business as to its regulatory obligations, and what this means in practice, as well as how to spot and report any issues within the business.

Compliance training should extend to all employees, including management, senior executives and board members, with greater emphasis on high-risk groups of employees, such as sales, purchasing and technical groups.

Businesses should conduct regular audits of the efficacy of all systems controls, in order to highlight any gaps or failures within the system. Existing controls should be assessed for their appropriateness and functionality in mitigating any inherent compliance risk.

Andrew Skinner advises businesses on their compliance training and auditing programmes, and has trained employees in multi-national companies including in-house lawyers, compliance teams, technical sales teams and board members.

Policies and procedures are a fundamental part of any compliance programme. Businesses should draw up and operate compliance policies and procedures that are effective for the business concerned, and where possible reflect best practice. Andrew Skinner helps clients draft and maintain compliance policies, procedures and training material in a rapidly changing trade compliance environment.

The UK Export Control Joint Unit (ECJU) has the authority to audit the use of export licences. This function assures the UK Government that businesses are using export licences correctly. Compliance inspectors will examine all records relating to the use of each export licence within the audit period, so thorough records should be kept. If the ECJU finds any mistakes during the audit, then it will advise on the necessary corrective action, and it may also take regulatory action against the business concerned. Andrew Skinner provides client support and advice at times of government audit.

From 1st January 2021, new customs rules govern trade between the United Kingdom and the European Union. These rules can be confusing, particularly around the issue of preferential trade, where only goods originating, or mostly originating in the UK or EU will qualify for zero tariffs. It is therefore important that businesses avoid regulatory penalties by falling foul of these new rules. Andrew Skinner offers advice and training on all trade issues relating to the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) which came into force on 1st January, 2021.

One of the ways of monitoring the success of a business acquisition is to carry out a post-acquisition audit. Many businesses now do this as a matter of routine, both to review the acquisition process and to assess the integration of new businesses and its internal compliance programme so that lessons can be learnt and mistakes avoided in future acquisitions. Andrew Skinner provides advice and guidance relating to regulatory trade compliance due diligence at times of merger or acquisition.

Andrew Skinner is an experienced regulatory trade lawyer (Solicitor) and has previously worked as an in-house lawyer for a global technology company, as well as in private practice. He is also a professionally qualified engineer and registered with the UK’s Engineering Council as a Chartered Engineer (CEng). Andrew advises clients on a range of trade compliance issues in various sectors, including electronics, aerospace & defence, cosmetics, IT, automotive, civil nuclear and industrial engineering, delivering timely pragmatic advice in a way that recognises the commercial demands faced by clients.