- Distribution/Supply Chain
- Sourcing/Vendor Operations
- Law Department
- Tax and Risk
- Finance or Treasury
- Compliance (under Chief Compliance Officer)
When it comes to reporting structures, of course some of it may influenced or driven by corporate politics and/or the corporate culture. The bottom line is that in my opinion, a trade compliance group should report where they fit best within an organization AND where they have the most authority and influence to mandate the necessary controls to keep the company compliant. They must also have the authority to (when required) say, “No!”
In a past corporate compliance life my policy was to say, “No” only when absolutely necessary and unavoidable. For example, a merchant or buyer wants to import switchblade knives from North Korea…um, that would be a, “NO!” But we also needed respect, so in the infrequent instances when we did say, “No” it would stick and no one would dare try a “workaround” or alternate solution. As compliance wonks though our answers were usually, “Yes, but sometimes with conditions.”
So, my answer to the question posed above (and I hope you don’t think it’s a ‘cop out’) is wherever your department fits best, gets the most support for your mission and garners the most respect and authority.
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