Voluntary Disclosures For Your Business
The National Security Division (NSD) of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has created a formal program that companies can follow if violations occurred knowingly or unintentionally in the past. Voluntary Disclosures can:
- Serve as a mitigating factor to reduce potential fines and penalties.
- Show the government that your organization is serious about improving.
- Put your company on a solid foundation of compliance in the future.
What Is A Voluntary Disclosure?
Different types of Voluntary Disclosures are filed through the DDTC, BIS, OFAC, and the Bureau of Census. Each agency encourages companies to disclose by incentivizing Voluntary Disclosures whenever a violation is discovered.
If a company provides full cooperation and takes appropriate steps to rectify the situation, the DOJ offers several potential incentives like:
- Significantly reduced penalties for each violation.
- The possibility for non-prosecution agreements.
- A reduced period of required supervised compliance.
- Reduced fines and other monetary penalties.
- Lack of requirement for a Special Compliance Official.
The Voluntary Disclosure Program is an excellent way for companies to avoid harsh penalties in the future for past mistakes.
It’s important to do everything you can to streamline the process.
- Do not inundate the government with separate disclosures every time you encounter a problem. Instead, conduct a thorough investigation of past violations and then coordinate comprehensive disclosure(s) to the appropriate agencies.
- Do not stall and delay. Time is of the essence.
- Do not ignore government requests for more information or clarity.
- Do not lie! Honesty is always the best policy.
How To Spot “Red Flags” Before A Violation
Even the best compliance systems encounter problems. Rather than hiding your mistakes, the U.S. Government encourages companies to submit voluntary disclosures. This can be an essential step to clear up past issues and get your organization on the right track towards improved trade compliance.
Reporting a violation is the first step to improve the situation and your company’s future success. Trade compliance requires ongoing training to ensure your employees know how to identify “Red Flags” to prevent future violations. BIS has developed a list of “Red Flags” to keep an eye out for.
Talk With Our Team Today!
As you can see, there are a host of ways your company could unintentionally fall into trade compliance violations.
Proactively working to prevent trade violations is the best approach. Our compliance training programs are a great way to ensure your company is doing everything possible to avoid future violations.
We can help with your disclosure by:
- Conducting a thorough examination to identify all of your problems
- Identifying mitigating factors to help reduce penalties
- Working with you to develop and implement corrective actions
- Acting as a liaison with government officials to resolve and close out your case
When handled correctly, a Voluntary Disclosure can help your company clear up its compliance issues and create a “clean slate” to move forward. However, when handled poorly, a disclosure can lead to more problems, including potential fines, penalties, and other remedial compliance measures.
Let us work with you to ensure the best possible outcome.