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2024 Trade Priorities: Export Control Enforcement

01/12/24 5 minute read

Much has been said recently about the critical importance of export controls and enforcement. In its 2023 recap of export enforcement, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) stated that at “no point in history has export controls been more central to our collective security than right now.”

When reflecting back on the past year, it’s very apparent that export regulations are a major priority for the U.S. government. In 2023, governing bodies broke barriers to remove silos and ensure different agencies could work collectively towards our nation’s shared goals. 

Here are some of the collective actions taken by the U.S. government that prove that export control enforcement is here to stay in 2024.

The Disruptive Technology Strike Force

In February of 2023, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Department of Commerce announced they were forming a joint Disruptive Technology Strike Force, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and 14 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in 12 major cities across the country.

Only a few months after the Disruptive Technology Strike Force formed, the DOJ announced the group’s first enforcement actions, including criminal charges in five cases and four arrests from five different U.S. Attorney’s Offices. These charges included export violations, smuggling, and theft of trade secrets. Since then, the work of the Strike Force has resulted in numerous indictments, temporary denial orders, and banned entity listings. 

In 2024, we can expect the Strike Force to continue to work to ensure that persons and entities in adversary countries who break existing laws and sanctions are held accountable.

>> Learn strategies for staying ahead of the Strike Force’s regulatory actions <<

A First-of-its-Kind Tri-Seal Compliance Note

Shortly after the inception of the Strike Force, the Department of Commerce, Department of the Treasury, and Department of Justice issued a joint notice to alert the international community, the private sector, and the public of attempts to evade sanctions and export controls in support of Russia’s military-industrial complex and war against Ukraine.

This tri-seal compliance note warned companies of how Russia uses third-party intermediaries and transshipment points to circumvent restrictions and obscure the true identities of Russian end users. It additionally listed common red flags that indicate that a third-party intermediary may be engaged in efforts to evade sanctions or export controls. These red flags will continue to be relevant this year as sanctions evasion attempts persist. 

>> Learn about Russia’s reliance on dual-use technology and how to mitigate diversion risk <<

The FinCEN BIS Joint Alert

Several months later, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and BIS issued a joint alert on the importance of continued vigilance for potential Russian export control evasion attempts. This supplemental joint alert provides financial institutions additional information regarding new BIS export control restrictions related to Russia, as well as reinforces ongoing U.S. Government initiatives designed to further constrain and prevent the Russian military from accessing critical technologies and goods.

>> Discover how Russia can evade sanctions through cash-for-gold schemes << 

The alert further details evasion typologies and identifies nine additional transactional and behavioral red flags to look out for when identifying suspicious transactions relating to possible export control evasion. Some of these red flags to watch out for involve monitoring company incorporation date, smaller-volume payments from foreign bank accounts, significant overpayments over market prices, and more

To learn more about how to use networked public records to mitigate these ongoing regulatory risks, read our ebook on the latest export control priorities.

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