September 21st is your last chance this year to attend one of IWPA’s Compliance Training classes. Classes have been incredibly popular—they turned people away at the door in NC and were forced to add a second class in Atlanta because of overwhelming demand. Last I heard, there were only a few seats left, and by the time this blog reaches your computer screen, they may well be gone.
So why advertise it? Because I want you to consider the incredible variety of the attendees and recognize that if you’re not taking compliance seriously and integrating it into your day-to-day business, you’re falling behind.
The companies attending classes have been incredibly diverse in every possible way. The sizes have ranged from the biggest of the big box stores to single-man operations and everything between. All types of wood products have been represented—flooring, furniture, cabinetry, lumber, decking, plywood and many more. There have been multiple nationalities in attendance. There have been manufacturers, both domestic and foreign, importers, distributors and retailers, as well as customs brokers, lawyers and other service providers.
The class does not provide a specific standard or a single route to compliance. With such diversity, how could you? Importing plywood from Russia will have different challenges from decking from Africa, lumber from Brazil, and cabinetry from China. And, of course, the resources a giant company can bring to the table will be completely different from those of a small operation.
There are different areas where a company needs to consider compliance—Lacey and CARB/EPA TSCA are familiar, I’m sure—but do you know about (or even recognize) the recent changes to the Tariff Act regarding Forced Labor, have policies regarding the FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act), or know what OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) governs?
There will be at least one class early next year, at the IWPA’s convention in San Francisco in April. The association is also working on creating new modules on specific themes. Sooner or later, “compliance” is going to be part of everyone’s SOP.