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e-CFR data is current as of November 25, 2020

Title 15Subtitle BChapter IPart 30Subpart H → §30.74

Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade
Subpart H—Penalties

§30.74   Voluntary self-disclosure.

(a) General policy. The Census Bureau strongly encourages disclosure of any violation or suspected violation of the FTR. Voluntary self-disclosure is a mitigating factor in determining what administrative sanctions, if any, will be sought. The Secretary of Commerce has delegated all enforcement authority under 13 U.S.C. Chapter 9, to the BIS and the DHS.

(b) Limitations. (1) The provisions of this section apply only when information is provided to the Census Bureau for its review in determining whether to seek administrative action for violations of the FTR.

(2) The provisions of this section apply only when information is received by the Census Bureau for review prior to the time that the Census Bureau, or any other agency of the United States Government, has learned the same or substantially similar information from another source and has commenced an investigation or inquiry in connection with that information.

(3) While voluntary self-disclosure is a mitigating factor in determining what corrective actions will be required by the Census Bureau and/or whether the violation will be referred to the BIS to determine what administrative sanctions, if any, will be sought, it is a factor that is considered together with all other factors in a case. The weight given to voluntary self-disclosure is within the discretion of the Census Bureau and the BIS, and the mitigating effect of voluntary self-disclosure may be outweighed by aggravating factors. Voluntary self-disclosure does not prevent transactions from being referred to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for criminal prosecution. In such a case, the BIS or the DHS would notify the DOJ of the voluntary self-disclosure, but the consideration of that factor is within the discretion of the DOJ.

(4) Any person, including USPPIs, authorized agents, or carriers, will not be deemed to have made a voluntary self-disclosure under this section unless the individual making the disclosure did so with the full knowledge and authorization of senior management.

(5) The provisions of this section do not, nor should they be relied on to, create, confer, or grant any rights, benefits, privileges, or protection enforceable at law or in equity by any person, business, or entity in any civil, criminal, administrative, or other matter.

(c) Information to be provided—(1) General. Any person disclosing information that constitutes a voluntary self-disclosure should, in the manner outlined below, if a violation is suspected or a violation is discovered, conduct a thorough review of all export transactions for the past five years where violations of the FTR are suspected and notify the Census Bureau as soon as possible.

(2) Initial notification. (i) The initial notification must be in writing and be sent to the address in paragraph (c)(5) of this section. The notification must include the name of the person making the disclosure and a brief description of the suspected violations. The notification should describe the general nature, circumstances, and extent of the violations. If the person making the disclosure subsequently completes the narrative account required by paragraph (c)(3) of this section, the disclosure will be deemed to have been made on the date of the initial notification for purposes of paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(ii) Disclosure of suspected violations that involve export of items controlled, licensed, or otherwise subject to the jurisdiction by a department or agency of the federal government should be made to the appropriate federal department or agency.

(3) Narrative account. After the initial notification, a thorough review should be conducted of all export transactions where possible violations of the FTR are suspected. The Census Bureau recommends that the review cover a period of five years prior to the date of the initial notification. If the review goes back less than five years, there is a risk that violations may not be discovered that later could become the subject of an investigation. Any violations not voluntarily disclosed do not receive consideration under this section. However, the failure to make such disclosures will not be treated as a separate violation unless some other section of the FTR or other provision of law requires disclosure. Upon completion of the review, the Census Bureau should be furnished with a narrative account that sufficiently describes the suspected violations so that their nature and gravity can be assessed. The narrative account should also describe the nature of the review conducted and measures that may have been taken to minimize the likelihood that violations will occur in the future. The narrative account should include:

(i) The kind of violation involved, for example, failure to file EEI, failure to correct fatal errors, failure to file timely corrections;

(ii) Describe all data required to be reported under the FTR that was either not reported or reported incorrectly;

(iii) An explanation of when and how the violations occurred;

(iv) The complete identities and addresses of all individuals and organizations, whether foreign or domestic, involved in the activities giving rise to the violations;

(v) A description of any mitigating circumstances;

(vi) Corrective measures taken; and

(vii) ITNs of the missed and/or corrected shipments.

(4) Electronic export information. Report all data required under the FTR that was not reported. Report corrections for all data reported incorrectly. All reporting of unreported data or corrections to previously reported data shall be made through the AES.

(5) Where to make voluntary self-disclosures. With the exception of voluntary disclosures of manifest violations under paragraph (c) of this section, the information constituting a Voluntary Self-Disclosure or any other correspondence pertaining to a Voluntary Self-Disclosure may be submitted to: Chief, International Trade Management Division, U.S. Census Bureau, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233. Additional instructions are found at www.census.gov/trade.

(d) Action by the Census Bureau. After the Census Bureau has been provided with the required narrative, it will promptly notify CBP, ICE, and the OEE of the voluntary disclosure, acknowledge the disclosure by letter, provide the person making the disclosure with a point of contact, and take whatever additional action, including further investigation, it deems appropriate. As quickly as the facts and circumstances of a given case permit, the Census Bureau may take any of the following actions:

(1) Inform the person or company making the voluntary self-disclosure of the action to be taken.

(2) Issue a warning letter or letter setting forth corrective measures required.

(3) Refer the matter, if necessary, to the OEE for the appropriate action.

[73 FR 31555, June 2, 2008, as amended at 78 FR 16382, Mar. 14, 2013; 82 FR 18392, Apr. 19, 2017]

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