International Index

Click on a topic below to jump down the page to its summary and a direct link to its Digital Compoundings article.
JAN 2019 / V69 / No1

International Insights  –  Iran and Nicaragua at Year's End: US Sanctions Update
James Eggenschwiler provides an update on the impact of growing sanctions against Iran and Nicaragua on manufacturing. This article discusses the executive order issued by Trump and the resulting direct and indirect burdens on any company engaged in commercial activity with either of these markets. Eggenschwiler describes the essential steps to avoid violating this executive order and explains that certifications of compliance along are categorically insufficient. #Trump #Sanctions #Iran #Nicaragua 

DEC 2018 / V68 / No12

International Insights  –  The New Korea Biocides Law: K-BPR
James Eggenschwiler provides an update on the new Korean biocides law titled "K-BPR" amidst ongoing changes to the changes to the regulatory process in the form of K-REACH. This article details the aspects of the new law related to industrial products including registration requirements, grace periods, and pre-notifications. Many of the implementation details remain uncertain and this discussion is an excellent place to develop a foundational understanding of the law before the enforcement date commences. #K-BPR #K-REACH #Korea #MOE

NOV 2018 / V68 / No11

International Insights  –  The 2019 K-REACH Preregistration Window
James Eggenschwiler follows up on his previous article detailing the redesign of K-REACH with a piece focused solely on the required preregistration window. The new law requires the registration of all existing chemical substances manufactured or imported at one ton per year during prescribed dates based on tonnage bands or chemical hazard profiles. This information is invaluable because failing to properly file a preregistration during the window effectively closes the market in Korea for the given chemical substance until it has been registered and approved. #K-REACH #Korea #Preregistration #OR

OCT 2018 / V68 / No10

International Insights  –  New US Policy On Iran: The Perilous Sanctions Landscape
James Eggenschwiler discusses potentially crippling penalties related to commercial activity with Iran on the horizon. This article calls attention to the controls needed to survive the threatening commercial and geopolitical landscape. This information is very important because safety begins with having the ability to control these dangers associated with prohibited commercial activity. Once you have controls in place, these Iran penalties or any future sanctions can be addressed with relative ease and expediency. #Iran #Sanctions 

Counsel Compound  –  Lubricants and Additives: Exclusion from Chinese Tariffs? 
Jeff Leiter reviews the process for seeking exclusion from the Chinese tariffs imposed by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) through the Trump administration. This article lays out the exact steps necessary to preparing an exclusion request for each product depending on the extent that your company is directly affected by the new duties. These resources will be invaluable to companies in their efforts to compile the necessary information to mitigate the impact of these tariffs. #Trump #China #Tariffs

SEP 2018 / V68 / No9

International Insights  –  Explaining the Korea Chemical Control Act
James Eggenschwiler explains the Chemical Control Act (CCA) which is often overlooked in discussions of the Korean regulations because it is overshadowed by K-REACH. The CCA regulates use, handling, and related disclosures and licensing concerning chemical products and related substances placed on the Korean market. In particular this article considers the law's impact on foreign suppliers by obligating them to fully disclose chemical ingredients. Eggenschwiler examines the limited but effective alternatives that allow importers to directly and confidentially disclose to Korean regulators. #CCA #Korea #K-REACH #SDS #GHS #OR 

AUG 2018 / V68 / No8

International Insights  –  K-REACH Redesigned: Seoul's "Do-Over" for 2019
James Eggenschwiler explains the long-awaited amendments to K-REACH that were recently passed by South Korea. This article catalogs these changes including pre-notification of all existing chemicals, relaxed registration burdens on smaller amounts of new chemicals, the elimination of the annual reporting responsibility, and the replacement of the Toxic Chemical Control Act (TCCA) with the Chemical Control Act (CCA). These updates to the regulatory system were intended to replicate the overall design of the EU-REACH. This article is a great resource for reviewing the numerous and complex changes in the ongoing chemical management under K-REACH in an accessible format. #K-REACH #EU-REACH #TCCA #CCA #Korea #EU

JUL 2018 / V68 / No7

International Insights  –  Commercial Risk Goes Viral After the Latest US Sanctions on Russia
James Eggenschwiler discusses the significant manufacturing risks associated with the unprecedented scope and reach of the new sanctions against Russia issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). This article lists the twelve designated companies and examines the direct and indirect scope of their commercial activity. The immediacy of these sanctions cannot be overstated and any company with undivested ties to these sanctions must seek counsel straightaway to examine their options. Eggenschwiler makes it clear that all commercial dealings now require denied party screening and extra caution. #OFAC #Sanctions #Russia

JUN 2018 / V68 / No6

International Insight  –  EU REACH Registration Period Ends
James Eggenschwiler discusses important issues that arise for registrants following the European Union's (EU) Registration, Evaluation Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) deadline. This article contains strategies for dealing with a variety of these issues including increased substance identity profile (SIP) scrutiny by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), enforcement of Extended Safety Data Sheets (eSDS), and maintaining registrant supply chain integrity. Eggenschwiler reminds registrants to stay vigilant and preserve record-keeping compliance following the EU REACH deadline in order to properly navigate the complex enforcement agenda. #REACH #EU #SIP #ECHA #eSDS

MAY 2018 / V68 / No5

International Insight  –  Where to Go With a Flat Global Market
Lam Lye Ching catalogs expert recommendations for finding opportunities in the relatively flat global lubricant market. This article contains valuable information about volume growth markets such as Africa and South America and quality lubricant markets like Asia and the Middle East. Becoming familiar with these developing lubricant markets is the first step to achieving successful industry growth in a flat global market. #FlatMarket #Asia #MiddleEast #Africa #SouthAmerica

Counsel Compound  –  Tariffs and Trade
Jeff Leiter discusses the impact of Trump's recently announced plans to impose tariffs on Chinese imports will have on manufacturing. This article reflects on the possibility of an all-out trade war with China and the preceding concerns of U.S. manufacturers including ILMA members. Leiter examines these trade concerns from a reassuring and informative historical context. #China #Trump #Tariffs #Trade

APR 2018 / V68 / No4

International Insight  –  Post-Toxic Substances Control Act Inventory "Reset" Importer Dilemmas 
James Eggenschwiler provides useful tips for navigating the complicated process of complying with the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This new ruling issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires importers to report essential information about their substances. These self-disclosures become significantly more challenging in circumstances where the Audit Policy is unavailable. This article helps you understand the process which is essential to avoid potential penalties for failing to achieve the required compliance. #TSCA #EPA #AuditPolicy

MAR 2018 / V68 / No3

International Insight  –  The Tide Has Turned: US Toughens Enforcement of Forced-Labor Imports Ban
James Eggenschwiler examines the newly strengthened forced-labor imports ban and the potentially disastrous outcome of failing to comply. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently established presumptions concerning use of forced labor that must be effectively disproven by the importer. Unfortunately, the evidence required to establish forced-labor involvement has been significantly relaxed and Withhold Release Orders (WROs) are being issued more frequently. This article describes the standard procedure for challenging a forced-labor accusation, the penalty process once initiated by the CBP, and the appropriate controls necessary to avoid purchasing tainted commodities. #CBP #WROs

FEB 2018 / V68 / No2

International Insight  –  Lubricant Business Benefits from IT
Lam Lye Ching discusses the many ways in which the lubricant industry is benefiting from information technology (IT) solutions. Some of the innovative IT solutions mentioned in this article include enterprise resource planning (ERP), sales communication networks, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud storage, and "internet of things" (IoT) integration. Learning more about how these software platforms and using that knowledge to develop intelligent applications can provide answers, predictions, and recommendations to your customers and employees. #IT #ERP #IoT #AI

Counsel Compound  –  Weathering the "Storm" After a Storm
Jeff Leiter describes the process of identifying, mitigating, and minimizing risks from flooding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends using a hazard and operability (HAZOP) analysis as a risk management tool. The dangers of companies not being adequately prepared for a natural disaster were fully realized during Hurricane Harvey. Leiter suggests that ILMA members' facilities integrate HAZOP into their existing emergency response plans. The details in this article should not be overlook because failure to properly prepare for disasters can result in criminal investigations by governmental authorities. #FEMA #HAZOP #SPCC #Emergency

JAN 2018 / V68 / No1

International Insight  –  European Market Steadily Flat, but With Niche Opportunities
Lam Lye Ching remarks that despite Europe being the third largest lubricant market there are still niche opportunities for lubricant blenders even while the market remains flat. This article contains useful information, provided by oil and lubricant industry consultancies, for identifying and seizing these niche opportunities. Additionally, the article identifies challenges for lubricant blenders looking to navigate this market including developing industrial production technologies, REACH registration deadlines, and strict environmental regulations. #EU #REACH

Counsel Compound  –  How is Regulatory Reform Shaping Up Under President Trump?
Jeff Leiter revisits Trump's deregulation efforts as the first year of his presidency ends. These efforts include the elimination of certain regulations, the exemption of more entities from particular rules, and the reduction of compliance costs in federal rules. The focus of this article is primarily on the long-term impact these efforts will have on ILMA members. #Regulations #Trump

DEC 2017 / V67 / No12

International Insight  –  What Does it Take to Make Biolubricant Demand Grow?
Lam Lye Ching reviews the current state of biolubricant demand and the potential for market growth. She acknowledges that environmental regulations are the primary driver of demand while indicating some industry players have developed alternative offerings to boost demand. This article catalogs the new technologies that are enhancing biolubricant performance and predicts more applications will be developed for the global market. Additionally, this article contains insights from researchers at energy companies, industrial biolubricant companies, and science/technology consultancies. #Biolubricants

Counsel Compound  –  Investigating Sexual Harassment Claims: Don’t Be an Ostrich
Jeff Leiter tackles the difficult subject of sexual harassment in the workplace amidst the spread of the Me Too movement. He advises that they key to minimalizing liability as an employer is to take reasonable steps to prevent workplace harassment and to promptly take action against any sexual harassment that occurs. This article provides useful tips for accomplishing these tasks based on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines. #EEOC #MeToo #SexualHarassment 

NOV 2017 / V67 / No11

International Insight  –  Global Branding with Big Data Analytics
Lam Lye Ching examines the challenge of global branding for lubricant blenders and the recommended solutions by the experts. This article contains useful information related to creating brand relevance and differentiation using big data analytics sourced from several global consultancy firms and market research companies. Additionally, she provides details on an example of a valuable analytic tool called the Brand Relevance Index (BRI) developed by one of the marketing consultancies. The BRI helps companies measure the relevance of brands from a consumer perspective and would be a valuable addition to any lubricant blender's market efforts. #Analytics #BigData #BRI

Counsel Compound  –  What to Expect From a Republican National Labor Relations Board
Jeff Leiter makes predictions about what to expect from a Republican National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that caution against employers assuming significant changes to existing labor laws in the near future. This article notes the variety of reasons that it could take several years to see any of these changes finalized despite a Republican majority of pro-business members. Leiter advises employers to continue to conduct their labor activities with the assumption that Obama-era labor policies will remain in place for the foreseeable future. #NLRB #Obama

OCT 2017 / V67 / No10

International Insight  –  Automotive Production Disrupts Metalworking Fluid Industry
Lam Lye Chang discusses the impact of automotive manufacturers adopting new materials and moving plants to emerging markets on the metalworking fluid industry. This article indicates that metalworking fluid marketers may have to make changes to their product portfolio and supply chain infrastructure. This article contains useful information related to this market trend, shifting production from mature markets to growth markets, sourced from a variety of global consultancy firms. #Metalworking #MarketTrends

Counsel Compound  –  Autonomous Trucks Almost Here
Jeff Leiter discusses the inevitable transition to autonomous cars and trucks. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), these highly automated commercial vehicles (HACVs) provide significant benefits for safety and sustainability. This article catalogs the current testing of self-driving trucks by various companies, the environmental impact based on fuel efficiency estimates, and the dearth of regulations prepared by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for driverless commercial vehicles. #HACV #FMCSA #DOT

SEP 2017 / V67 / No9

International Insight  –  Africa’s Automotive Lubricant Market Grows
Lam Lye Chang discusses the growing demand for automotive lubricants in Africa. This article attributes this recent demand to increasing motor vehicle sales and the growth of foreign automotive manufacturing facilities on the continent. However, she cautions that lubricant blenders will have to take into account the heterogenous automotive markets when developing their products and marketing strategies. This article contains useful information about the major lubricant markets in Africa sourced from a variety of global consultancy firms. #Africa

AUG 2017 / V67 / No8

Counsel Compound  –  Another Look at Employee Handbooks
Jeff Leiter provides a helpful reminder that companies should routinely review and update their employee handbook. It is important to remember that company policies and procedures cannot be enforced if an employee does not read them. Therefore, keeping employee handbooks up-to-date along with a clause signed by the employee stating that they received, read, and understood the information within is essential for any company. This article reviews the different sections of a standard employee handbook with recommendations for properly drafting this important document. #EmployeeHandbook 

JUL 2017 / V67 / No7

Counsel Compound  –  Employer Health Insurance Plans Affected by Obamacare Replacement Legislation
Jeff Leiter discusses the potential impact of the American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA) on employers who offer health insurance coverage to their employees. This article reviews the alterations to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) most relevant to ILMA employers including the elimination of penalties for failing to offer health insurance to full-time employees, the redefinition of "essential health benefits", the delayed implementation date of the "Cadillac Tax", and the rollback of tax credits. Leiter emphasizes the ambiguity of these changes due to the contentious and uncertain fate of the AHCA in the Senate. #AHCA #ACA #Healthcare

JUN 2017 / V67 / No6

International Insight  –  New Pre-import Responsibilities for Nanoscale Material Reporting
James Eggenschwiler discusses a new rule published by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that initiates a notification process for nanoscale forms of Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory-listed substances. This rule requires chemical importers to implement a routine process that screens for the presence of nanoscale ingredients and holds them responsible for directly reporting these materials to the EPA. This article explains how and what to report electronically through the EPA's CDX reporting portal and notes a potential complication when dealing with foreign manufacturers. #EPA #TSCA #CDX #Nanoscale

Counsel Compound  –  Is Real Change Coming to Federal Regulations?
Jeff Leiter ponders the likelihood of the Trump administration successfully reducing federal regulations and examines the typical political process involved in the implementation and evaluation of government regulations. This article takes a critical approach to the process particularly when it comes to inadequate regulatory impact analyses which increase the probability that a regulation is unable to effectively and efficiently solve perceived issues. Leiter calls for a more reasoned discussion of regulatory outcomes and improved quality of regulatory impact analyses rather than a political debate about the amount of overall regulations.  #Regulations  #Trump

MAY 2017 / V67 / No5

International Insight  –  K-REACH Brining Sweeping Changes in June 2017
James Eggenschwiler discusses major changes to the South Korean Act on Registration and Evaluation of Chemical Substances (K-REACH) drafted by the Ministry of Environment (MOE). This article covers the more salient changes including the abolishment of the annual reporting system, the establishment of a pre-registration system, the deletion of the designation of Priority Existing Chemicals (PECs), the expansion of several existing articles in K-REACH, and new penalty provisions. These changes accompany the design of new substructures which separated some of the responsibilities of the Korean Chemical Manufacturers Association (KCMA) and assigned them to the Korean Environmental Corporation (KECO). Eggenschwiler states that these changes will stress the resources of agencies, sub-agencies, IT systems, and the group of Only Representatives (OR) which will substantially delay the related approval processes. #K-REACH #MOE #PECs #KCMA #KECO #OR

Counsel Compound  –  Taking Another Look at Noncomplete Agreements
Jeff Leiter updates his advice to ILMA members issuing noncompete agreements in consideration of recent government actions opposing overreaching noncompetes. His current recommendation is that employers discuss tailoring narrower noncompete agreements with their local counsel. In this article, Leiter provides a list of suggestions for narrowing these agreements including the adjustment of geographic boundaries and time limits, specifying restrictions on employees working for a competitor's business, and distinguishing between "restricted" and "prospective" customers. Following these suggestions should reduce complexity in your noncompete agreements and avoid perceived employer overreach by the government. #noncompete 

APR 2017 / V67 / No4

International Insight  –  New DOJ Corporate Compliance Guidance: Insight and Message
James Eggenschwiler provides valuable insight into a new corporate guidance document published by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The new guidelines imply that the DOJ expects businesses of all sizes to expend considerable resources to design and maintain highly-risk responsive compliance programs. This article reviews the salient focus of the guidance, that corporate compliance should be tangible and measurable, while saving a more thorough discussion for future articles. #DOJ #Compliance

Counsel Compound  –  Employee’s Outside Political Activities and the Workplace
Jeff Leiter discusses the complicated and frustrating issue of employee off-duty lawful political conduct negatively impacting the workplace. This article lists some of the variables that must be considered in these circumstances including state laws, workplace policies, and federal laws protecting the rights of employees to engage in these political activities. Leiter cautions employers to base and document any termination or disciplinary action on an objective assessment of the employee’s actual job performance. #Politics #EmployeeConduct

MAR 2017 / V67 / No3

International Insight  –  Destination Hong Kong: Exports and Re-Exports Have a New Focus
James Eggenschwiler analyzes the new destination-based documentation requirements for exports and re-exports to Hong Kong. The new rules state that U.S. exporters of commodities subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and controlled by a provision of the Commodity Control List (CCL) must receive supporting documents from the Hong Kong importer prior to the export. This article notes that the Bureau of Industry Security’s (BIS) new rule will add complications to U.S. exporter’s due diligence and document retention. Eggenschwiler emphasizes the importance of following this new rule, stating that failure to comply will result in the cancellation of your eligibility for the U.S. license exception. #EAR #CCL #BIS

Counsel Compound  –  Overseas Employees in the Trump Era
Jeff Leiter discusses his thoughts on expanding businesses internationally during the era of “reshoring” efforts by the Trump administration. This article notes the lack of an “employment at-will” doctrine in countries outside of the U.S. as a key consideration when hiring overseas employees. Without this doctrine, U.S. employers face legal and financial risks when terminating employees even for poor performance. However, despite these risks and the current administration’s opposition Leiter considers international expansion a huge opportunity for growth and in many cases new market opportunities overseas are best handled by local employees. #Outsourcing #OverseasEmployees

FEB 2017 / V67 / No2

International Insight  –  U.S. Customs’ New Audit Policy: Could it Be a Checkmate in Two Moves?
James Eggenschwiler cautions against underestimating the significance of recent revisions to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) audit policy. This change includes the CBP sending informed compliance letters that encourage importers to proactively monitor their compliance. Additionally, the CBP will use details in the importer’s Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) account to identify potential compliance issues. Eggenschwiler recommends having a qualified independent and unbiased third party periodically review your ACE account, evaluate your internal controls, and confirm your recordkeeping. This applies to every importer even those that haven’t received this letter for the CBP. #CBP #ACE

Counsel Compound  –  The State of the Obama Administrative State
Jeff Leiter predicts the consequences of Trump’s election on government regulations. The Republican party made it clear they intended to reverse Obama’s regulatory legacy, but the Obama administration responded in kind by issuing many new regulations and executive actions leading up to Trump’s inauguration. This article suggests that Republicans will use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to nullify regulations issued within the final 60 days of Obama’s administration. Furthermore, any executive orders issued by President Obama are eligible to be revoked by opposing executive orders issued by President Trump. Leiter also considers the power of the U.S. Supreme Court to provide a significant check on executive branch overregulation. #Trump #CRA #SupremeCourt #Obama

JAN 2017 / V67 / No1

International Insight  –  EU REACH 2018: End-Game Risks and Strategies 
James Eggenschwiler discusses important strategies and less obvious risks for registrants of Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). These registration obligations apply to anyone that manufactures or imports more than one metric ton of chemical substances per year. The strategies detailed in this article provide vital insight on handling the logistics of registration costs and developing registration dossiers. Additionally, this article identifies and explains risks associated with manufacturing including indirect volume coverage. #REACH #EU

Counsel Compound  –  Overseas Operations and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
Jeff Leiter reviews the overall guidelines, compliance training, potential violations, and risk management for the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) as it applies to ILMA members. The pace of FCPA prosecutions has gone up recently and as this enforcement trend continues, monitoring international employee activity closely is an imperative. The most common thread among FCPA prosecutions is improper employee activity, therefore this article stresses the importance of consistency in hiring, investigation, and disciplinary actions to minimize the risk of violations. #FCPA