Export Control Laws restrict the use and access to controlled information, goods, and technology for national security or protection of trade. Why do you need to know about these? There are national security reasons like keeping weapons and technology out of the hands of rouge nations and terrorists. But you need to know because, if you violate Export Control Laws, you and your company will face harsh penalties. You can also lose your export privileges, which could drive your company into bankruptcy and destroy your career. Or, you can be penalized with massive fines, easily into the millions. And, if the government assesses fines against you personally, the company cannot pay them, which means that not only will your export career be gone, but the event will financially ruin you.
Worst of all, since penalties for export controls violations are both civil and criminal, you can end up in prison. Yes, that’s right. Up to 20 years in prison per violation. Since export control laws are governed by a legal concept called Strict Liability, it’s not a defense to say, “I didn’t know!” Simply, you need to know.