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In the two decades since 9/11, the U.S. Government has significantly increased investigations, prosecutions, and enforcement actions related to imports and exports across U.S. borders, focusing on such issues as Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) proliferation, Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s), terrorist finance, high-tech espionage and illegal technology transfers of intellectual property,  and customs frauds.

Agencies including the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are involved in these efforts. The Justice Department has initiated a new National Counter-Proliferation Initiative to further increase and coordinate the Federal Government’s export enforcement and prosecution efforts; and recent legislation significantly increases potential penalties for criminal and civil export violations.

Investigations can be far-reaching in reviews of business and financial operations, international transactions and compliance with U.S. import and export laws and regulations. Importers/exporters can be subjected to enforcement actions ranging from simple outreach visits to their company to interviews of corporate officials and employees, receipt of grand jury and administrative subpoenas, execution of search warrants at their business premises and even arrest of company officials. Violations can result in the detention and seizure of goods crossing the borders, criminal prosecution, imprisonment, multi-million dollar civil fines, significant business disruptions and adverse publicity for involved companies.

The Trade Compliance Group offers a solution for companies that are notified of an impending visit/investigation or want their import compliance & export compliance activities reviewed to help prevent violations. Our Import/Export Enforcement assessments evaluate alleged violations, importer/exporter’s use of reasonable care, exposure to criminal prosecution and civil penalties and potential strategies including defenses, voluntary disclosures and settlements/offers in compromise. Findings and conclusions are conveyed to the client’s senior management and counsel. These assessments help clients identify and resolve gaps to address and mitigate the impact of a Government investigation or enforcement action, saving client’s money and avoiding disruption of business and negative publicity.

Our assessments are backed by our well-established practice in export compliance consulting and long-standing expertise in helping clients establish and evaluate internal compliance programs and procedures and provide customized training in export control requirements. Our consultants have decades of experience in managing and evaluating compliance programs with major manufacturers and exporters in defense and high technology companies, who will bring their expertise to bear on identifying and recommending solutions to resolve underlying root causes of non-compliance to help avoid violations and facing the Government’s stepped-up enforcement efforts.

Contact us to learn more about import and export enforcement assessments.