The Bureau of Industry and Security has released a long awaited revised (July 2014) edition of the “Don’t Let This Happen To You” report which provides case synopses of companies and individuals who have been subjects of civil and criminal actions for export control violations. While there is nothing “new” in the report it does provide a good overview of what constitutes good export compliance procedures and it outlines factors that BIS takes into consideration when determining an appropriate administrative penalty for violations of the export administration regulations. Exporters should note the following variables which BIS uses to assess fines and penalties:

General Factors for consideration include:

  • Destination of the export
  • Degree of willfulness involved in violations
  • Number of violations
  • Criminal Charges

Mitigating factors include:

  • Voluntary self-disclosure of violations (“great weight”)
  • Effective export compliance program (“great weight”)
  • Cooperation with BIS investigation
  • Assistance to other BIS investigations
  • No previous record of violations

Aggravating factors include:

  • Deliberate effort to hide or conceal violations (“Great weight”)
  • Serious disregard for export compliance responsibilities (“Great weight”)
  • Item is significant due to its sensitivity or reason for control (“Great weight”)
  • History of violations
  • High quantity or value of exports


For more details, analysis of the report or assistance with voluntary disclosures and other enforcement matters please contact TSI Global Consulting.

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