On April 14, 2011, in Washington, D.C., David Mills, the new Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), U.S. Department of Commerce, and his Special Advisor, Bob Rarog, explained the enforcement priorities of BIS, as established by Eric Hirshorn, who was just sworn in as Under Secretary of the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) on April 2, 2010, after being appointed by Presdent Obama. This event was part of the American Bar Association's Section of International Law's Export Controls and Economic Sanctions Committee.
Sometimes it is beneficial for an exporter to voluntarily self-disclose its export violations to the U.S. Government. Maybe an exportation of an item occurred without first obtaining the necessary license, or maybe the items was shipped to a company overseas other than allowed in a license. Both situations are violations of the Export Administration Regulations, and both violations could result in $250,000 penalites against the exporter. By voluntarily sefl-disclosing the violation, the exporter would reduce, and might even eliminate, such a penalty.
In the next few weeks, I am giving lectures and doing a webinar on the general topic of export compliance. In my legal practice over the past 20 years as a Customs and International Trade attorney, I am increasingly involved with clients on export compliance and penalty matters, especially with the BIS and OFAC. The laws and regulations have changed dramatically over the past few years, as has the name and number of Federal agencies enforcing them, plus the penalties for non-compliance are much higher now.