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Russia Sanctions and Technology Controls

March 14, 2022

This post will be periodically updated

On February 24, 2022, the US and its allies, including NATO members and other independent nations around the globe, imposed sweeping sanctions and technology controls against Russian parties (government institutions, banks, public and private sector companies, and persons) operating inside and outside of the Russian Federation. This is a very fluid situation and monitoring of US government websites is essential in terms of export activities. New US sanctions and controls are expected to be added frequently. Recently, Belarus and occupied territories within Ukraine have also had sanctions imposed. These actions by the US government mean that US businesses must be more vigilant in the export of their goods, services and/or technology in terms of:

  • Understanding export control classifications and associated restrictions (EAR99 products are now subject to Military End-Use (MEU) restrictions in Russia, for example);
  • Obtaining certifications that collect key screening elements, including the end user, intended end use and ownership; (foreign resellers/distributors should not reexport merchandise to Russia or Ukraine)
  • conducting screening checks on all parties to the transaction (be mindful that buyers may be wholly or partially owned by sanctioned Russian entities, possibly making them blocked parties);
  • understanding new limitations on licensing policy and the use of license exceptions related to Russian transactions and requesting licenses where applicable, prior to export.
  • Any of your foreign customers that export to Russia must ensure that their product contains no more than 25% US-origin controlled content (de minimis rules).



Companies must possess a clear understanding of their responsibilities regarding end-use, end-user, and market where the good, service and/or technology is destined, as well as any and all license obligations for that export. Screening prior to shipment is key.

Ongoing information on sanctions and controls are found on the following websites and links:

Businesses of all sizes should use the tools the US Government has made available to stay up-to date as this is a fast moving and often changing environment. The US government provides readily accessible screening tools to help determine if organizations or individuals are on parties of concern/restricted parties or sanctioned entities lists. These tools, along with proper training on utilization, can support a robust screening effort as part of a company’s internal trade compliance program.

These sanctions will have implications for your business operations in other ways. SMEs should be particularly mindful of vulnerabilities and exposures within their supply chain. Recommendations include:

Diversify Supply Chain Inputs: SMEs should review the lower layers of it supply chain. For example, even if a business has a sourcing arrangement with two different suppliers in two different locations, if both suppliers source raw materials from the same Ukrainian sub-supplier, then there could be threats to the continuity of operations as the situation worsens.

Warehousing, Inventory Banks & Safety Stock: The Just-In-Time (JIT) model is efficient but it’s also incredibly tenuous if there are any breaks in the supply chain. Identify key inputs that may be impacted and begin amassing safety stock and inventory where possible.

Lock in Transportation and Shipping Rates (to the Extent Possible): Given the volatile fluctuations in oil pricing, which will have impacts on all forms of transportation, lock in transportation and shipping rates as soon as possible. Companies are partnering with third-party logistics providers in order to defray some of the increasing volatility across labor, warehousing, transportation, and other logistics.

Contract Review: For customer and supplier relationships that could be impacted, it is once again time to get out those contracts to see: (a) whether the contracts contain a force majeure provision; (b) whether the force majeure provisions cover events such as war, embargoes, etc.; and (c) assess whether the force majeure clauses provide termination rights and what the associated notice requirements are. Finally, even if there is no force majeure provision in the applicable contract, the parties may have certain rights to suspend performance under the doctrine of commercial impracticability, depending upon the particular circumstances”.

For questions, contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC), US Export Assistance Center (USEAC) across the US, or the BIS help desk. These entities can also help you identify a trusted trade advisor or legal counsel for further information.

Humanitarian relief: Donors should consider making their contribution through a reputable organization with a well-known performance record which will satisfy all compliance requirements directly related to the sanctions.

Checklist on Better Understanding Your Business Credit Reports

March 14, 2022

Author: Sharita M. Humphrey

A company’s capacity to buy something now and pay for it later is referred to as business credit. You may make it easier to borrow money when your firm needs it by obtaining a solid business credit report. It is a document that contains a picture of a company’s financial credit health.


It will include.

  • Company’s financial background
  • Payment history on tradelines
  • Current credit inquiry history
  • Any legal filings, such as judgments, collections, and bankruptcies

While each credit bureau’s report will differ slightly in appearance, they will all contain the same information. As you proceed through the process of securing a small business loan, it’s a good idea to buy a credit report and understand it. Any business credit report you buy should include the following items.

  1. Financial History Section

The Financial History Section is composed of commercial banking, insurance, and leasing data. Your payment history with creditors, lenders, and insurance are shown in this section.

It displays information such as:

  • The date the tradeline was opened
  • The terms
  • The original and current balances
  • Any account delinquencies
  • Business loans
  • Insurance policies
  • Lines of credit
  • Equipment leases
  1. Collections Filings Section

Any legal filings, bankruptcies, or collection reports that your company has filed are in this area. Tax liens, judgments, and accounts that have been in collections for 90 days will be included here.

It includes details such as:

  • Open and Close dates of your collection filings
  • Agencies and their contact details
  • The status of your collection
  • Amount disputed
  • Amount collected

Lenders are less likely to give loans to you if you have a lot of court filings on your background.

  1. Tradeline Experiences Section

The Tradeline Experience Section shows the tradeline payment history of your business. Displayed in the tradeline payment history section is your company’s payment history over the last three years. Payments to vendors are frequently included in this section.

In addition, here are some details included in this section:

  • The time your business was first initially reported to the credit bureau
  • Payment terms
  • Recent high credit line
  • Maximum credit line
  • Monthly payment, whether it’s current or past due

It will also tell you how many times you’ve passed due on a tradeline for 30 days or more.

  1. Business Profile Section

The business profile or company information section is the first thing that appears on a small business credit report. The legal name, address, and data about the company’s incorporation are shown in this section.

It also includes other business data such as:

  • Ownership subsidiary information
  • The number of employees
  • Type of business
  • Years in business
  • SIC code (Standard Industrial Classification)
  • NAISC code (North American Industry Classification System)
  1. Business Credit Score Section

A credit score will be included in a company credit report, just as it is in a personal credit report. Each credit reporting bureau has its own credit scoring range. They should all produce an easily understandable number.

A business credit report states some business information such as:

  • Your company’s degree of credit risk
  • The reasons that went into calculating your credit score
  • A prognosis of your company’s future credit risk based on your report

Credit reports and scores for businesses are indicators of a company’s financial soundness. Business owners’ primary goal should be to develop a track record of regular payments on all their financial obligations. It is a must to build a strong business credit report and score.

Here are some common factors that could affect your business credit score:

  • How much credit do you have
  • How long you’ve had credit
  • How many late dues do you have on your credit report

You can try to buy a business credit report to help you maintain track of your company’s credit health. It is regardless of which credit reporting agency you choose.

Business Credit Reporting Agencies

There are many business credit reporting agencies you can trust. In most cases, all company credit reports contain the same information. They have common key data components even when they have a unique process for validating and collecting data.

The following are some of the most well-known business credit reporting organizations.

Dun & Bradstreet

It is the credit report that is most widely used. D&B assigns credit ratings to businesses based on many indices that represent their current and future financial risk.


To calculate its score, it gathers business data, payment and collection history, and financial data. The Credit Ranking Intelliscore from Experian goes from 1 to 100, with 100 being the highest attainable score.


It is most commonly used for SBA (Small Business Administration) financing. To generate a credit score, it gathers information from all three credit bureaus.


The more efforts you take to establish business credit, the more financial prospects your company will have. Banks, lenders, and suppliers use business credit reports to determine a company’s creditworthiness. So, make every effort to control your debt and keep on top of payments.

You can start to make paying bills on time a priority. Resort to make a budget, cut back on certain purchases, or set up payment reminders. Any late dues will have a negative impact on your company’s score. And it will make it harder to attract lenders, partners, or investors in the future.

Don’t hesitate to seek professional help from a financial counselor. It helps in times when your company does find itself in debt.

About the Author: Sharita M. Humphrey is an award-winning finance expert, money mentor and Certified Financial Education Instructor. Once broke and homeless, Sharita completely transformed her life and is now a successful entrepreneur and one of the most in-demand money coaches for individuals and business owners of color. In 2020, Sharita was named National Financial Educator of the Year.