Philipp Kiencke
Author: Philipp Kiencke
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Trade Compliance - Trust is good, control is better

In 2021, Germany exported goods for more than 1,375 billion euros, according to the Federal Office of Statistics. This is the highest amount in the history of the country, which once again impressively demonstrates that Germany's products  are in high demand.

However, this export market in particular poses several challenges, which have become increasingly more acute in the current year. When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the EU, the U.S., and other allies quickly responded with sanctions.

Before the war, Russia was one of Germany's most important foreign trade partners and thus also a partner of many companies. With the sanctions, a formerly important trading partner became a problematic one, as many products are now subject to sanctions and embargo lists. But not only Russia is subject to sanctions and embargo lists, but also other countries are no partners of integrity that should and must not be supplied.

But how do you keep track of your own company's goods traffic, customers, and suppliers? One component of these controls can be our ready-made trade compliance analytics for SAP systems, which I would like to explain to you below with a few examples.

Master data

When you onboard a new business partner, some checks should be made in advance. This makes it even more important to have good data quality in your SAP system. Poor data makes it difficult to check which companies actually exist and whether all information is still correct. Also, duplicates can easily be misused to carry out problematic transactions.

It is therefore important to ensure that the master data of business partners is of high quality. Regularly check your customer and supplier master data, for example with our dab:DQM - Data Quality Management

Likewise, partners' countries of domicile and foreign bank accounts should be subject to regular checks. We offer several predefined analytics for this purpose. Conclusions can also be drawn about data quality and fake accounts by checking the validity of the VAT IDs using our VAT ID checker.

Sales Orders

Quotations and orders that you send out to your customers are ideal for mapping preventive controls. Once the goods have been delivered, it is already too late. However, you can check the SD module to determine whether you are trading with critical partners. It is important to consider all important partner roles in the control and to not only look at the goods recipient.


Deliveries to critical countries require a detailed review in each case. Not all products are subject to the same restrictions, so it may well be that certain products can still be delivered to critical countries. 

Regular data-driven checks at the line-item level can help to keep track of which products are delivered to which countries.


Payments to third countries have become easier than just a few years ago. Nevertheless, it is important to monitor your payment flows well. Critical banking countries or conspicuous combinations of the supplier's country and bank details should be looked at, as well as payments to critical banking countries or critical business partners.

It is also important to include alternative payment recipients so as not to leave any circumvention options open.

CpD transactions

If you use CpD/one-time accounts, you should make sure that this does not open gaps that have already been considered closed due to good master data quality. Therefore, CpD transactions should also be regularly monitored and evaluated. But not only the CpD transactions that have already taken place need to be reviewed. In combination with the master data queries, checks on one-time accounts can also be carried out as a preventive measure.

Material documents

Goods receipts and issues are not only triggered by purchases and sales. Goods can also be moved from one warehouse to another within a corporate group: for example, through stock transfer orders. Particular attention should therefore be paid to these flows of goods, especially in the case of existing foreign subsidiaries in critical countries. To prevent that these internal movements of goods are not considered during the control.

As you can see, there are a variety of controls that can help your company meet trade compliance requirements. We would be happy to run the Trade Compliance Package at your site as a service if you are planning a focus audit on this topic. Of course, you can also obtain the analytics from us as usual and establish them at your company as a continuous system-based control. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact sales@dab-gmbh.de or our consultant Philipp Kiencke. We will be pleased to help you.

Did you already know?

HighBond and Robotics users take note! In addition to our Trade Compliance Analytics, Diligent's Risk Intelligence Data Toolkit provides an integrated way to test 1,400 different global lists that include Sanctions, Embargoes, Conflicts of Interests (COI) and Politically Exposed Persons (PEP). For more information on the Risk Intelligence Data Toolkit, please see the attached flyer.

A storyboard with exemplary results of such an analysis can be viewed HERE.

Flyer about Risk Intelligence Data Toolkit 

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