The voluntary disclosure program is available through the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). VSD is a beneficial option for companies that have violated OFAC law or BIS import and export regulations. A Denver company considering VSD should work with an experienced VSD attorney.Schedule FREE Consultation
Voluntary-self disclosure through the DOJ is a way for individuals or organizations to report known or suspected OFAC violations or violations of BIS import and export trade regulations.
An OFAC or BIS voluntary self-disclosure proactively addresses a potential violation. VSD mitigates the potential damage, bringing benefits that include:
The Bureau of Census and the DDTC strongly advise VSD when a violation of the Federal Trade Regulations (FTR) is known or suspected to have occurred.
OFAC violations are accompanied by serious penalties determined according to the OFAC enforcement guidelines.
A confirmed violation of OFAC sanctions can lead to:
The best step an individual or organization can take toward penalty mitigation is the completion of a VSD. This will not automatically result in penalties – an investigation may find no violation or simply issue a warning letter.
If a VSD is finalized and submitted before the violation is discovered and reported by another entity, it’s possible for the maximum penalty to be reduced by 50 percent. Since the full benefit of VSD depends on prompt submission, it’s advisable to contact a lawyer and begin the process as soon as a violation is suspected.
Legal counsel should oversee the completion of a VSD. An attorney will help confirm whether a violation actually occurred. If it did, the attorney will file an OFAC initial voluntary self-disclosure.
The steps of the VSD process typically involve:
Third-party reporting does not constitute a VSD and eliminates the chance of penalty mitigation.
If you or your company suspect an OFAC violation has occurred, you should immediately contact our Denver VSD law firm. Failure to do so puts you at serious risk of significant fines and penalties.
Time is limited to avoid the serious penalties accompanying an OFAC or BIS violation. Contact a Denver VSD attorney at Sequoia Legal today.
An OFAC VSD consists of the initial disclosure and follow-up reporting. Initial reporting occurs after legal counsel has reviewed statutory authorities and general licenses for regulation exemptions.
What should you include in a VSD? A report must include:
Once the initial report is filed, the follow-up report for a VSD involves:
Review and application of the international trade regulations that dictate import and export practices in the context of a violation require extensive effort by a VSD attorney.
Violation of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) should be reported to the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). BIS regards voluntary self-disclosure as a sign of good faith, and submission of a VSD before discovery or reporting by another party can significantly help with penalty mitigation.
An individual or business submitting a voluntary self-disclosure to BIS should:
Violations of export compliance regulations, even non-criminal administrative violations, bring steep penalties. Fines for administrative cases can reach $25,000 or twice the transaction value and may also lead to a loss of export privileges.
It should be clear that administrative errors are no less serious than criminal violations, as they can result in the loss of business and livelihood.
Criminal violations of the EAR can result in fines of up to $1,000,000 per violation and a sentence of up to 20 years.
Sequoia Legal works with individuals and organizations involved in various industries. Our Denver VSD attorneys work with clients in shipping fields that include:
We also work with all types of commercial production companies, including:
Sequoia Legal offers direct representation and support to organizational internal counsel.
Customs and import matters are complex. There are countless ways for an organization to unintentionally violate the regulations that dictate import and export practices.
VSD disclosures offer a form of penalty mitigation, but a VSD must be submitted promptly and correctly to reap the benefit.
An experienced VSD lawyer can help by:
The best way of protecting yourself or your company from sanctions, fines, and prison time are to immediately begin working with a top VSD law firm.
I have had an outstanding experience working with Hunter Boone at Sequoia Legal. He quickly responded to any and all requests for legal advice. His work was thorough, complete and timely. I will definitely be returning in the future.
I have used Sequoia Legal for the last 4 years. No matter what my needs are they are quick to respond, follow up and resolve my issues. I wouldn't use anyone else for my legal needs.
Andrew and Hunter have been an invaluable partner for our business. They are extremely responsive and have been advising us on a variety of issues. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for corporate counsel assistance
Don’t risk fines and jail time by handling trade violations alone – contact Sequoia Legal and speak with one of our Denver VSD attorneys today. Call (303) 476-2851 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
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Red flags of an OFAC violation include:
Smaller organizations are generally more at risk of violations, but even organizations with well-established oversight can fall victim.
An OFAC response to voluntary self-disclosure can range widely. Possible responses from OFAC include:
The response can depend on factors like the severity and type of violation, mitigating circumstances, and the thoroughness of the initial VSD.
A VSD is extremely time-sensitive. There’s no formal deadline for voluntary self-disclosure to BIS and DDTC. However, if an investigation or another reporting entity, such as a financial institution, discovers the violation before a VSD is submitted, you risk losing out on penalty mitigation.