DOJ Stressed Export Compliance Diligence

DOJ Stressed Export Compliance
Image by kstudio on Freepik

During a recent address at the Ethics and Compliance Initiative Impact Conference, Marshall Miller, the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice (DOJ), stressed Export Compliance diligence in ensuring compliance with export regulations.  He further stated that as the agency continues enforcement efforts connected to United States national security investigations that they are increasingly encountering corporate crime.

These crimes have varied from money laundering to sanction violations and even involvement in terrorist organizations.  Corporations involved in these acts have included companies involved in construction, agriculture, telecommunications sectors, and financial institutions.  Many were established, publicly traded entities such as LaFarge who was penalized $750 million for funneling monies to terrorist groups such as ISIS.

DOJ Increasing its Enforcement of Export Activity

The DOJ has dramatically increased its export control and sanctions enforcement activities.  Previously the agency had minimal association with export, mostly centered around sanction enforcements.  In February, however, the Disruptive Technology Strike Force was formed as a multi-agency initiative to target illicit export of sensitive technologies.  Agencies included in this enforcement effort will include the Department of Commerce, the FBI, and Homeland Security Investigations (HFI).

In enacting this law enforcement, U.S. agencies will use use advanced data analytics, and enhanced intelligence to coordinate actions. They will be furthering coordination between agencies in the Intelligence Community and enhancing partnerships in the private sector.  Additionally, the agency added over two dozen new prosecutors to the DOJ’s Nation Security Division to focus on corporate crime.  

The department is also issuing joint advisories with the departments of Treasury and Commerce and SEC to inform the private sector about evolving national security concerns.  Given the current state of global affairs, it can be expected that these updates should be frequent.

What Compliance Managers Can Expect

In the current global landscape, private sector businesses are at the forefront of facing the geopolitical and national security hurdles. Export Administration Regulations, sanctions, and other regulations are rapidly changing.  This has placed a dynamic and increasingly complex load on companies that are serious about compliance.

Marshall Miller and the Assistant Attorney General have repeatedly iterated how the DOJ will approach enforcement of export controls and sanction violations.  The department has upgraded and standardized its approach to organizations that voluntarily self-disclose. The Criminal Division’s Voluntary Self-Disclosure Policy incentivizes companies to disclose misconduct uncovered during program audits and due diligence.  The Criminal Division often declines enforcement actions against companies that promptly self-disclose violations, cooperate with the department, and engage in remediation policies.  

Another area that has received a substantial overhaul pertains to companies with good export compliance programs acquiring companies with less than exemplary histories of conduct.  Companies that conduct proper pre-acquisition investigations will be less likely to face penalties if problems later arise.

Concluding Remarks

In his closing remarks, Marshall Miller stated that, businesses that maintain effective compliance programs, protect our nation from security risks and protect their clients.  He also stated that the Department of Justice will continue to conduct robust enforcement with predictability, uniformity, and transparency so as to incentivize businesses to cooperate with them.

CVG Strategy Export Compliance Management Programs

Recent comments of the DOJ stressed Export Compliance programs should place regulations that involve national security high in their risk assessments.  Failure to comply with regulations can result in criminal prosecution including imprisonment and fines.  It can also result in civil penalties and disbarment from export activities.  Your business cannot afford to have its reputation ruined by a failure to comply with rapidly evolving regulations.

If you are part of a large corporation or a small company with a part-time compliance person, CVG Strategy has the compliance and training programs to help you meet International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR) rules and requirements.  As the BIS place controls on a growing number of technologies it becomes increasing difficult for smaller businesses to stay abreast of regulatory developments.  Because of this, we provide Export Compliance Management Programs (ECMP) for businesses of all sizes.  

CVG Strategy, LLC is recognized the world over as the premier provider of Export Compliance Consulting and Export Compliance Programs for businesses involved in export in the U.S. and Canada.  We also provide the essential training that ensures that your team is up to date on governmental regulations, including the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), the Canadian Controlled Goods Program, and Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC) and other regulatory agencies and more.


Kevin Gholston

Share this post