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Digital Tools for a Global Distribution

International business law firm Graf von Westphalen has developed an export control assistant to help export businesses assess rules and regulations for export control seamlessly. This module is the first in a series of automated reasoning advisors to help business stakeholders get advice in an interactive way.

Businesses which export goods often have to make decisions regarding export control which are both complex and significant in terms of the underlying value of the goods. These decisions need to be taken quickly: do they accept or refuse delivery, with each decision having far-reaching consequences. Such decisions usually take place directly in the trading hubs like ports and delivery areas or in transit. In these cases, legal advice needs to be available fast and seamlessly.

Let’s draw an example of a possible use-case scenario

A truck is standing at the factory gate, ready to go and we have to decide if we can give the go-ahead. That’s a lot of pressure and a lot of responsibility, isn’t it?

GvW Graf von Westphalen has developed the application for this type of situation. It offers standardized tests used to assess the legal requirements of export control situations and provides a special, interactive assistant to those involved. The know-how comprised in the application can be accessed quickly and efficiently meaning that the error rate can be kept to a minimum.

Using GvW´s online export control application, users receive an initial risk assessment under export control law free of charge. Professionals like Dr. Lothar Harings at GvW Graf von Westphalen have developed the application using BRYTER’s no-code automation software. The automated assessment does not replace the lawyer’s final verdict and, in some cases, a manual assessment will need to follow. But many situations and decisions in the area of export control are, in part, based on defined and standardized assessments.

BRYTER understands very well how to translate these complex issues in this area of law into simple questions and answer solutions. This is important in the area of export control because not everyone needs to know the regulations down to the smallest detail, but they need to know the right answer quickly. And with this tool, you can solve standardized cases very well and practically.

Dr. Lothar Harings, Head of the practice group Customs and Foreign Trade Law at GvW Graf von Westphalen

Dr. Lothar Harings is a lawyer and partner in the GvW Graf von Westphalen law firm. His expertise is often recommended in the field of foreign trade. He is regarded as an outstanding expert in this domain, extremely competent and very well networked.

He studied law at the universities of Freiburg and Heidelberg. In addition to his work as a legal expert, he is the founder and managing director of the Hamburger Zollakademie and worked as a lecturer at the Bucerius Law School in Hamburg.  Dr. Harings is chairman of the European Forum for External Trade, Excise Duties and Customs (EFA).

With its standardized processes, our tool is a very good addition to our legal advisory services. However, it cannot replace them. In case of questions of interpretation or doubt, companies must always have access to personal, legal support in order to receive individual advice.

Dr. Lothar Harings, Head of the practice group Customs and Foreign Trade Law at GvW Graf von Westphalen

GvW also produced exciting video material in the port of Hamburg, to discuss the effects and advantages of the module presented here with Dr. Lothar Harings and Michael Grupp.

The module serves one of GvW’s core areas

The area of export control is one of the focus areas of the consulting activities in GvW’s customs and foreign trade team. The Firm assists companies and their personally liable employees with their international exports and advises them on how to comply with export bans. The area of export control is one of the focus areas of the consulting activities in GvW’s customs and foreign trade team. The firm assists companies and their personally liable employees with their international exports and advise them on how to comply with export bans and restrictions. GvW also supports them in integrating a reliable compliance system for export controls, embargos and sanctions into their processes. GvW has repeatedly been vaunted as the undisputed number one in this field of law.

The export control tool is now the fourth online tool that GvW has launched using BRYTER. Most recently, the firm released various digital tools to deal with the coronavirus crisis, e.g. a short time working allowance tool. We are excited to see what excellent solutions GvW will develop in the future and look forward to showcasing their future innovations in the field of legal automation.

You can find out more about the e-services of GvW here.

About GvW Graf von Westphalen:

GvW Graf von Westphalen is a partnership of attorneys at law and tax advisors with 160 legal professionals. GvW is one of Germany’s largest independent law firms with offices in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg and Munich. GvW also provides advice to clients around the world running offices in Istanbul, Shanghai and Brussels and through membership in several highly respected global networks.

GvW´s independence is the key feature that sets them apart from competing law firms and their roots extend back to the 19th century. They do not want to be known as a “legal assembly line”. Clients work with the partners they know and respect and will continue to work with them.