BIS Publishes Comments of Export Enforcement Assistant Secretary

On September 1, 2010, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published the remarks of David Mills, Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement made at BIS' Annual Update Conference. 

Assistant Secretary Mills summarized BIS' export enforcement activities over the past year. Specifically, he stated that: 

    ·    BIS has agents based around the United States as well as in critical hubs such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates. 
    ·    The Office of Enforcement Analysis (OEA) evaluates export transactions, visas, press reporting, and intelligence information to help Special Agents identify and investigate bad actors. The OEA also conducts end use checks abroad.
    ·    The Office of Antiboycott Compliance (OAC) negotiated settlements in 11 cases last year, resulting in fines of more than $350,000.
    ·    The U.S. Government's change in focus on export licensing will necessitate BIS' export enforcement efforts as well. While BIS will continue to encourage Voluntary Self-Disclosures and provide mitigation of possible penalties for companies that had good internal compliance programs prior to a violation. But, BIS will be taking a harder line in other circumstances involving willful misconduct. Mills stated that although BIS typically sought penalties more against companies than individuals, BIS will now consider seeking penalties against an individual when a violation is a deliberate action of an individual, including seeking the denial of export privileges, fines, and imprisonment. This will also hold true for a supervisor who is complicit in these deliberate violations by a subordinate.
    ·    BIS will focus on disrupting major illicit procurement networks as in the past decade, countries like Iran and North Korea have turned to foreign middlemen and front companies to acquire U.S.-origin goods. During the last two years, BIS has added 185 foreign entities to the Entity List.

    ·    In February 2010, Balli Aviation agreed to pay $15 million, the largest civil penalty in the history of BIS. In addition, a federal judge imposed a $2 million criminal fine and a five year probation against a Balli subsidiary.