The global and independent platform for the SAP community.

Security through holistic consulting

Setting up an efficient export control system is a complex task. Software solutions such as SAP GTS and a holistic process structure help to comply with complex regulations in customs and foreign trade, thus preventing severe sanctions or loss of reputation.
Dr. Michael Tervooren, PwC Germany
September 28, 2020
GettyImages 1149765377
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

A business trip abroad, with the company laptop in your luggage and some internal company documents on paper: what sounds harmless could, however, depending on the content of the data stored on the computer and the documents printed out, already be interpreted as a technology transfer requiring approval or even prohibited. Background: The EU has restricted certain areas of foreign trade, for example through embargo measures. Exports of military equipment as well as technical assistance or financial services may be prohibited or restricted. Possible restrictions on export trade also include dual-use goods, i.e. goods with a possible civilian as well as military use.

To avoid unintentionally violating export restrictions and risking severe sanctions such as imprisonment, fines or the loss of customs simplifications, it is worthwhile for companies to set up an export control system. This includes, among other things, analyzing existing processes, adapting them if necessary, and determining responsibilities. Customers and suppliers must be checked against current sanctions and embargo lists. Export goods must be checked for export license obligations, for example. Compliance with these obligations is a complex task that can quickly overwhelm small and medium-sized companies in particular.

Holistic consulting approach makes sense

In order to be able to act in compliance with the rules at all times, it is advisable for companies to establish a holistic system for foreign trade matters. External service providers can help set up or - if one already exists - review an efficient export control system. It can also be useful to receive advice on the implementation, operation and maintenance of a digital export control system. Customs and foreign trade software such as SAP GTS with which relevant processes are automated.

Assistance in setting up an export control system

PwC offers all these competencies from a single source. With a global team of 550 customs specialists and 50 GTS experts, the consulting firm offers, for example, management dialogs and workshops to assess export and geopolitical risks using structured questionnaires. Together with the client, PwC develops processes and structures that ensure the highest possible level of compliance.

In addition, the PwC team supports customers in operating and maintaining the SAP GTS customs and foreign trade software from the PwC cloud. Companies can use it to process their global trade in compliance with regulations. The software automates the checking of sanctions lists, for example.

In addition to the implementation of foreign trade-related IT modules, the development of the export control structure is another essential element in which the PwC team supports clients. In particular, the structuring of appropriate and effective processes and controls, which are a required component of a purposefully developed structural and procedural organization, often present companies with major challenges.

Building up these competencies themselves would generally be very time-consuming and more expensive for companies than hiring an external provider. Whether customs and foreign trade specialists, SAP experts for GTS and other modules, or developers, specialists from a wide range of fields are indispensable for the smooth handling of customs and foreign trade processes.


Read more:

[adrotate banner="233″]

Dr. Michael Tervooren, PwC Germany

Dr. Michael Tervooren is a partner at PwC Germany.

Write a comment

Working on the SAP basis is crucial for successful S/4 conversion. 

This gives the Competence Center strategic importance for existing SAP customers. Regardless of the S/4 Hana operating model, topics such as Automation, Monitoring, Security, Application Lifecycle Management and Data Management the basis for S/4 operations.

For the second time, E3 magazine is organizing a summit for the SAP community in Salzburg to provide comprehensive information on all aspects of S/4 Hana groundwork. All information about the event can be found here:

SAP Competence Center Summit 2024


Event Room, FourSide Hotel Salzburg,
At the exhibition center 2,
A-5020 Salzburg

Event date

June 5 and 6, 2024

Regular ticket:

€ 590 excl. VAT


Event Room, Hotel Hilton Heidelberg,
Kurfürstenanlage 1,
69115 Heidelberg

Event date

28 and 29 February 2024


Regular ticket
EUR 590 excl. VAT
The organizer is the E3 magazine of the publishing house AG. The presentations will be accompanied by an exhibition of selected SAP partners. The ticket price includes the attendance of all lectures of the Steampunk and BTP Summit 2024, the visit of the exhibition area, the participation in the evening event as well as the catering during the official program. The lecture program and the list of exhibitors and sponsors (SAP partners) will be published on this website in due time.