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In December 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a revised policy regarding voluntary disclosure of export control and sanctions violations by business organizations (“VSD Policy”).  The VSD Policy encourages business organizations – which now include financial institutions – to self-disclose “all potentially willful violations of the statutes implementing the U.S. government’s primary export control and sanctions regime.”

For companies that identify such willful violations and (1) voluntarily self-disclose, (2) fully cooperate, and (3) timely and appropriately remediate, consistent with the requirements discussed in detail in the Client Advisory, there is a presumption that the company will receive a non-prosecution agreement and will not pay a fine, absent aggravating factors.

The VSD Policy was designed to more closely align the NSD guidance with recent guidance issued throughout DOJ, thereby providing increasing clarity of the factors that a company should consider in determining whether to voluntarily self-disclose.  The VSD Policy supersedes DOJ’s 2016 policy entitled “Guidance Regarding Voluntary Self-Disclosures, Cooperation, and Remediation in Export Control and Sanctions Investigations Involving Business Organizations.”

For a full summary of the VSD Policy and a discussion of the factors companies should consider, including in regard to self-disclosures to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) and Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”), please read the Client Advisory.