We operate in strategic areas, so our businesses are bound by a specific regulatory framework. We have developed rigorous procedures as part of a process of continuous improvement to ensure that our businesses comply with regulations at all times.
Major risks, increasing complexity
We undertake to operate in strict compliance with export control requirements. Each of our 56 countries of operation has its own sovereign interests and its own export control rules — so we need to comply with 56 different sets of regulations. The number of potential risks is enormous.
Bound by the law
Any infraction of export control rules could have a whole range of consequences. Fines, export bans, import bans and other sanctions all pose serious threats to our business and our reputation.
Production in democratic countries
To limit our risk, all our strategic production sites are located in democratic countries. All Thales sites have rigorous procedures in place to control sensitive technologies and assure compliance with international export control agreements*.
A central plank of our governance model
Given the global nature of our business, a rigorous export control system is a clear necessity. The Export Control Department defines Thales strategy at corporate level, and 250 Export Control Officers are responsible for deployment worldwide. Each exporting entity has its own team of experts with a full understanding of local rules and regulations.
Export control is everybody's business, so all our employees have access to online training to raise their awareness of export control issues and help them comply with the rules.
Audit, audit, audit
Prevention is central to our strategy. Our 35 internal auditors draw up a full export control audit plan every year.
These annual audits, and self-assessments in which each entity identifies their own potential risks of non-compliance, help us improve our export control practices a little bit more every year. We recognise the scale of the risk involved and fully understand the value of continuous improvement.
Anticipating problems for a timely response
Just like any other internal procedure, export control systems are not infallible. Even with our many safeguards in place, we realise that an export could still fall foul of regulations.
Anticipation is the key to developing a timely response, and if a problem were to occur, our response would always be the same — full disclosure. We will always work transparently with the authorities to find the weak link in the system and quickly improve our procedures.
*International laws and conventions regulating the production, sale, export, re-export and import of dual-use components, equipment and technologies