Suspected Violations & Penalties
Reporting Suspected Violations
If you have information about a potential violation of export or sanctions rules, please contact the University’s Export Controls Officer, J. Patrick Briscoe (firstname.lastname@example.org), or file an anonymous report through the UReport system. UReport provides a confidential way for University community members to report suspected violations of rules, regulations, and policies. Detailed steps for filing a report can be found here: Compliance Concerns.
Examples of violations can include—
- the export of a controlled item without a required government license;
- unauthorized transactions with sanctioned persons or organizations; or
- exporting goods, services, or money to embargoed countries without the necessary federal approval.
Federal authorities understand that these regulations are complicated, and that even smart, well-intentioned people can be involved in violations. Accordingly, the voluntary self-disclosure of likely violations is a common and significant mitigating factor the agencies weigh when investigating non-compliance and considering potential penalties. Other mitigating factors include whether—
- It is a first-time offense;
- The organization had compliance procedures;
- There were steps taken to improve compliance after discovery of violations; and
- The incident was due to inadvertence, mistake of fact, or good faith misapplication of the laws.
When possible violations are discovered or reported, the Export Compliance Office will conduct a preliminary assessment, investigate the matter if a violation appears likely to have occurred (in consultation with the Office of General Counsel and other units as appropriate), and advise University leadership when a voluntary disclosure is warranted.
Potential Penalties for Non-Compliance
Minor, isolated infractions generally result in government warning letters and increased compliance oversight requirements, but for serious or systemic violations, severe fines and imprisonment for up to 20 years can be imposed, depending on the specific regulations and facts. In addition, violators may lose export privileges, which would prevent them from conducting export activities in the future. In extreme cases, violations could result in the loss of certain federal contracts or grants.
Penalties for Violating the EAR
Fines for violations of the EAR (including the anti-boycott provisions) can exceed $1,000,000 per count in criminal cases, and reach $300,000 per violation in civil cases. In addition, criminal misconduct can result in prison time of up to 20 years.
Penalties for Violating OFAC’s Sanctions Regulations
The maximum potential civil fines can vary from about $100,000 to over $1 million per violation, depending on the specific OFAC sanctions program. Willful violations may result in criminal charges punishable by fines up to $1 million per violation, as well as imprisonment for up to 20 years.
Penalties for Violating the ITAR
Willful (criminal) violations of the ITAR can result in significant fines or imprisonment, or a combination of both. Civil penalties can exceed $1 million per violation. Any defense articles exported or imported in connection with a violation may be subject to seizure and forfeiture.