Flir Systems Consent Agreement: What You Need to Know
Flir Systems, a leading provider of thermal imaging technology, has recently reached a settlement agreement with the US Department of State over violations of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). The consent agreement, which was signed on August 28, 2020, requires Flir to pay a civil penalty of $30 million and undertake remedial measures to prevent future ITAR violations.
If you`re not familiar with ITAR, it is a set of US government regulations that control the export and re-export of defense-related articles and services. In other words, if your business deals with products or services that have a potential military application, you need to comply with ITAR.
So, what did Flir do wrong? According to the consent agreement, between 2008 and 2012, Flir exported thermal imaging cameras and related software to various countries without obtaining the necessary export licenses. These exports included cameras and software with military applications, such as the ability to detect human body heat signatures, and were sent to countries like Canada, Mexico, and Belgium.
Flir also failed to properly manage its ITAR compliance program, which led to the violations. The consent agreement requires Flir to undertake a number of remedial measures, including appointing a new Chief Compliance Officer, conducting extensive training for its employees, and implementing new policies and procedures to ensure ITAR compliance.
So, what does this mean for other businesses? First and foremost, it`s a reminder that ITAR compliance is crucial if your business deals with defense-related products or services. Exporting these products without the necessary licenses can lead to hefty penalties, as seen in Flir`s case.
It`s also a reminder that having a strong compliance program is essential. Flir`s ITAR compliance program was found to be lacking, which led to the violations. If you`re not sure if your business`s compliance program is up to par, it may be worth consulting with an expert in ITAR compliance.
In conclusion, the Flir Systems consent agreement serves as a cautionary tale for businesses dealing with defense-related products or services. ITAR compliance is not something to take lightly, and violating its regulations can lead to significant financial and reputational damage. By taking the necessary steps to ensure compliance, businesses can avoid the costly mistakes made by Flir.