Russia and Ukraine: How Sanctions and Regulations May Affect the Fiber Optics Industry

The Russia/Ukraine conflict is not the first war to resonate beyond borders affecting not just people but shaking up international business. Fiber optics technology providers, OEMs and electronics manufacturers are also affected. All US-based businesses, particularly ones that trade internationally, must follow strict procedures and comply with increasing trade sanctions imposed by the Federal government.

The rules are strict, in flux but must be followed even by companies that don’t export directly to Russia, Belarus or that region. Non-compliance can lead to fines, negative publicity, brand damage and possible jail time.

To stay up to date with international compliance for US exports whether it’s for new products or replacements, start with this list of resources:

  1. Prohibited imports and exports to “sanctioned” countries. As of today, this includes Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Russia, Belarus, and others. This “no” list of sanctioned export destinations is maintained and regularly updated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the US Dept. of Treasury (see Russia-/Ukraine-related sanctions here) and separately by the Bureau of Industry and Security (U.S. Department of Commerce).
  2. Double check that your Export Classification Control Number (ECCN) is not prohibited from export. To ensure US export compliance by product, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) US Department of Commerce assigns a five-character alphanumeric Export Classification Control Number (ECCN). Go here for more ECCN information. Based on the ECCN, any company shipping products overseas or to another country must verify that their product(s) is not prohibited from being exported as listed in the BIS Export Administration Regulations (EAR).
  3. Is your client on the International Trade Administration’s Consolidated Screening List? The ITA is resource for any US company interested in the export market. This government website, solely for the export of US products, has wide-ranging services and helpful information about export compliance.
  4. Are you shipping documents up to regulations? Read about the required Destination Control Statement (DCS) as mandated by the Bureau of Industry & Security’s Export Administration Regulations and the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls’ International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
  5. Stay up to date with the rest of your world. Russia and Ukraine are news headlines today, but the rest of the globe is monitored and regulated too. If you’re regularly shipping or receiving products or components from overseas, we recommend that you periodically monitor the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control site for updates on the latest sanctions related to exports.

If you have questions about specific sanctions or policies related to the import or export of products to Russia, Ukraine, or that region, it’s best to reach out to your company’s legal team or adviser. As a US-based fiber optics supplier, we recognize that compliance and communication about compliance to our customers is part of our best business practices. As such, we screen and comply with relevant regulations and continue to carefully monitor updates on embargos, sanctions, and required procedures.

Reach out to us at 201-296-0145 or email us at if you have any questions about the process we follow.

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