|Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement|
|Deputy Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement|
|Office of Export Enforcement (OEE)||Office of Enforcement Analysis (OEA)||Office of Antiboycott Compliance (OAC)|
The mission of the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Export Enforcement is to protect U.S. national security, homeland security, foreign policy, and economic interests through a law enforcement program focused on: sensitive exports to hostile entities or those that engage in onward proliferation; prohibited foreign boycotts; and related public safety laws. BIS's Export Enforcement (EE) is an elite law enforcement organization recognized for its expertise, professionalism, integrity, and accomplishments. EE accomplishes its mission through preventative and investigative enforcement activities and then, pursuing appropriate criminal and administrative sanctions against export violators.
In the post-9/11 world, the export control challenge is to enable legitimate global trade in U.S. goods and technology, while keeping these items out of the hands of weapons proliferators and terrorists. BIS addresses this challenge through assisting legitimate export traders to comply with export control and antiboycott requirements, preventing violations before they occur, and bringing willful export control violators to justice.
EE works with the Department of Justice to impose criminal sanctions for violations, including incarceration and fines, and with the Office of Chief Counsel for Industry and Security to impose civil fines and denials of export privileges. EE also works closely with other Federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, when conducting investigations or preventative actions.
EE consists of the Office of Export Enforcement (OEE), the Office of Enforcement Analysis (OEA), and the Office of Antiboycott Compliance (OAC). Together with BIS’s licensing officers and policy staff, EE employees apply their law enforcement and export control expertise to prevent and deter exports of the most sensitive items to illicit end-users and uses, to embargoed destinations, and to ensure that parties involved in U.S. commercial transactions do not engage in prohibited boycott activities.
OEE works to Keep the most sensitive goods out the most dangerous hands. OEE conducts its enforcement operations from Headquarters and nine field locations, in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Jose, and Washington, DC. Contact information for these locations may be found here. OEE works cooperatively with the exporting community to prevent violations, and conducts investigations to gather evidence to support criminal and administrative sanctions.
OEE Special Agents are sworn Federal law enforcement officers with authority to make arrests, execute search and arrest warrants, serve subpoenas, and detain and seize goods about to be illegally exported. OEE investigations are initiated on information and intelligence obtained from a variety of sources, and are conducted to objectively and thoroughly gather testimony and evidence of alleged or suspected violations of dual-use export control laws. OEE works closely with attorneys with the Department of Justice and the Office of Chief Counsel for Industry and Security to prosecute criminal and administrative cases.
Many end-use checks are conducted through BIS's Sentinel Program. Trained OEE Special Agents are deployed from the United States to countries to visit the end-users of sensitive controlled commodities and determine whether these items are being used in accordance with license conditions. Sentinel teams assess the suitability of foreign end-users to receive U.S.-origin licensed goods and technology, assess prospective end-users on pending license applications for diversion risk, and conduct educational outreach to foreign trade groups. In this way, Sentinel trips help to create the confidence needed to foster trade while strengthening U.S. national security.
Informed, voluntary compliance with U.S. export controls by the export trade community is an important contribution to U.S. National Security and a key component of BIS's export administration and enforcement programs. All parties to U.S. export transactions must ensure their exports fully comply with all statutory and regulatory requirements. Compliance not only involves controlled goods and technologies, but also restrictions on shipping to certain countries, companies, organizations, and/or individuals. BIS works closely with the export trade community to raise awareness of compliance best practices and "red flags" of potential illicit export activities, and to identify and act on export violations.
An Export Management and Compliance Program (EMCP) can assist you in developing a system to capture analysis, decisions, accountability and implementing procedures to stay in compliance with the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). See EMCP for more information.
Temporary Denial Orders are issued by the Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement, denying any or (typically) all of the export privileges of a company or individual to prevent an imminent or on-going export control violation. These orders are issued ex parte for a renewable 180-day period and cut off not only the right to export from the United States, but also the right to receive or participate in exports from the United States.
Section 11(h) of the Export Administration Act provides that, at the discretion of the Secretary of Commerce, no person convicted of a violation of the EAA, IEEPA, or Section 38 of the Arms Export Control Act (or any regulation, license, or order issued under any of these laws), or one of several espionage-related statutes will be eligible to apply for or use any export license issued under the EAA for up to ten years from the date of the conviction. In addition, Section 11(h) provides that the Secretary of Commerce may revoke any export license which the party had at the time of the conviction.
BIS encourages the submission of Voluntary Self Disclosures (VSDs) by parties who believe they may have violated the EAR. VSDs are an excellent indicator of a party's intent to comply with U.S. export control requirements and may provide BIS important information on other ongoing violations. BIS carefully reviews VSDs received from disclosing parties to determine if violations of the EAR have occurred and to determine the appropriate corrective action when violations have taken place. Most VSDs are resolved by means other than the issuance of an administrative penalty. Of the VSDs received and resolved in Fiscal Year 2005, 97% were resolved with either a finding that no violation of the EAR had occurred (55%) or with the issuance of a warning letter (42%). Of VSDs received and resolved in Fiscal Year 2006, 100% were resolved with either a finding that no violation of the EAR had occurred (52%) or with the issuance of a warning letter (48%). In instances in which BIS determines that the issuance of an administrative penalty is appropriate for the resolution of a VSD, BIS affords the submission of a VSD "great weight" in assessing and mitigating the penalty. In appropriate cases, fines and other administrative penalties may be significantly reduced. Guidance regarding administrative penalties is provided in Supplement No. 1 of Section 766 of the EAR. Additional information is also available at Voluntary Self-Disclosures.
Pursuant to Part 764.5 of the EAR, the information constituting a VSD or any other correspondence pertaining to a VSD may be submitted to:
Director, Office of Export Enforcement
1401 Constitution Ave.
Washington, DC 20230
Tel: (202) 482-1208
Facsimile: (202) 482-5889
OEA's efforts focus on ensuring export transactions are in compliance with the Export Administration Act; thus facilitating trade and promoting commerce abroad while protecting our nations security from unauthorized use of our nation's sensitive goods and technology.
OEA screens all export license applications to ensure export control enforcement information is considered before any final license decision is made. An interagency committee reviews license applications to assess diversion risks, to identify potential violations, and to determine the reliability of those receiving controlled U.S-origin commodities or technical data. In some instances, a pre-license check is conducted to determine the bona fides of the transaction and the end-user as well as confirming that nothing has changed with a known end-user. EE factors the result of this check into the licensing recommendation EE makes to BIS's licensing offices. Post-shipment verifications also help the U.S. Government ensure that an item that was exported is being used in accordance with U.S. export control regulations and the terms of the export license.
As part of BIS's international efforts to achieve its enforcement mission, BIS sends experienced Department of Commerce Special Agents overseas as Export Control Officers (ECOs) at key U.S. embassies in Beijing and Hong Kong, China; Abu Dhabi, UAE; New Delhi, India; and Moscow, Russia. The principal mission of the ECOs is to ensure that U.S. dual-use goods entering their region are used in accordance with U.S. export control laws and regulations. Compliance verification is accomplished through targeted end-use checks and by working with the host governments and local businesses to ensure that they understand and comply with U.S. export control laws and regulations. ECOs also work with host governments and local businesses to provide information and appropriate training to facilitate better understanding of U.S. dual-use export control requirements, and to help develop indigenous export control capabilities.
When BIS cannot conduct a pre-license check or a post-shipment verification for reasons outside of the U.S. Government's control, the names and countries of foreign persons who were parties to the transaction are placed on the Unverified List. That list includes persons involved in export transactions where BIS has not been able to verify the existence or authenticity of the end user, intermediate consignee, ultimate consignee, or other party to the export transaction. Any transaction to which a listed person is a party will be deemed by BIS to raise a "Red Flag" with respect to such transaction within the meaning of the guidance set forth in Supplement No. 3 to 15 C.F.R. Part 732.
OEA conducts reviews of selected Shipper's Export Declarations of past shipments and identifies those that may have violated the Export Administration Regulations and refers them to the Office of Export Enforcement (OEE) for further investigation. Hundreds of investigations of suspected export control violations occur annually, based on the routine review of SEDs.
The Visa Application Review Program is conducted to prevent unauthorized access to controlled U.S. technology or technical data by foreign nationals visiting the United States. EE reviews information on visa applications to detect and prevent possible violations of the EAR. Under this program, EE makes recommendations to the U.S. Department of State against issuing visas for technology control reasons, and identifies U.S. parties visited by foreign nationals for outreach contacts by OEE Special Agents.
Through OAC, EE ensures compliance with the antiboycott provisions of the EAA. EE investigates violations (such as furnishing boycott-related information, refusing to deal with blacklisted businesses, and religious discrimination), and pursues the appropriate administrative or criminal sanctions, including civil penalties, imposition of periods of export denial, and referral to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution. Cases warranting administrative action are settled by OAC, when authorized by the Administrative Case Review Board to do so, or referred to the Office of Chief Counsel for Industry and Security for the initiation of administrative proceedings. EE also compiles and publishes statistics about unsanctioned foreign boycotts and carries out extensive public education and counseling in antiboycott matters, via its telephone and E-mail advice line, to encourage compliance with the law.
OAC provides extensive guidance to the exporting community concerning the application of the regulations and trends in boycott activity through its telephone and E-mail advice line and speaking engagements to trade associations and banking groups. When preventative measures fail, OAC pursues criminal and administrative sanctions in matters that include furnishing boycott-related information, refusal to deal with blacklisted businesses, and discrimination for a boycott purpose based on religion or national origin. Please visit the antiboycott section of the BIS website for detailed information and if you have a question about any boycott-related matter, please contact the OAC advice line at (202) 482-2381 or via the E-mail link.
Voluntary Self Disclosure (VSD) of violations of the antiboycott provisions of EAR is provided for in Part 764.8 of the Regulations. If you believe you may have violated the antiboycott provisions BIS urges you to disclose to the Office of Antiboycott Compliance (OAC) via the procedures described in Part 764.8. These procedures include: timing of the disclosure, requisites for initial notification, nature of the narrative account of the violation, documentation, and certification.
After receipt of the appropriate narrative and supporting documentation, OAC will give the disclosing party written notification of receipt of the disclosure. Following thorough review and any necessary investigation by OAC, BIS will inform the party making the disclosure of any action it intends to take. The criteria BIS uses in determining whether to pursue an enforcement action and what sanctions it will recommend are described in Supplement 2 of part 766. As indicated in Supplement 2, BIS encourages VSDs by giving the disclosing party “great weight” in the assessment of penalties. This may provide significant reduction in administrative penalties.
Voluntary self-disclosures of antiboycott violations shall be submitted to:
Office of Antiboycott Compliance
1401 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20230
Tel: (202) 482-2381