The Bureau of Industry and Security’s review of its export enforcement efforts in 2023 highlights the agency’s work to protect advanced technologies from falling into the wrong hands.

BIS took a number of enforcement actions against national security threats, including its highest-ever number of convictions, temporary denial orders, and post-conviction denial orders. Examples include the largest standalone administrative penalty in BIS history ($300 million) for continued shipments to a restricted party, a $2.77 million penalty for sending export-controlled blueprints for aerospace and military electronics to China, and a $3.3 million penalty for alleged and apparent violations of U.S. export controls and sanctions laws, including with respect to Russia, Cuba, Iran, and Syria.

BIS also (1) joined with the Department of Justice to launch the Disruptive Technology Strike Force to protect U.S. advanced technologies from illegal acquisition and use by adversaries like Russia, China, and Iran, which has already produced numerous indictments, TDOs, and entity listings, (2) completed more than 1,500 end-use checks, an all-time high, (3) and imposed more than $425,000 in penalties for alleged violations of the antiboycott regulations.

BIS further strengthened its enforcement policies as well. In April it issued a memo revising its voluntary self-disclosure policy to provide for (1) higher penalties when companies decide to not disclose a significant potential violation and (2) lower penalties for future violative conduct for companies that inform BIS of potential violations by others. In August BIS issued a final rule allowing it to renew TDOs for up to a year (rather than just 180 days) when a party has engaged in a pattern of repeated, ongoing, and/or continuous apparent violations.

Other actions BIS took in 2023 included the following.

  • issued a joint alert with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network regarding Russian evasion of U.S. export controls that, among other things, introduced nine new high-priority Harmonized System codes to inform U.S. financial institutions’ customer due diligence
  • established export enforcement coordination mechanisms with partners in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom and G-7 counterparts
  • implemented a new data sharing arrangement with the European Anti-Fraud Office to allow closer coordination on export enforcement
  • issued a “Know Your Cargo” joint compliance note with the departments of Justice, Homeland Security, State, and the Treasury focused on maritime and other transportation industries

For more information on how to ensure your company is in compliance with export rules, please contact attorney Kristine Pirnia at (202) 730-4964 or via email.

Copyright © 2024 Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.; WorldTrade Interactive, Inc. All rights reserved.


Kristine Pirnia
Partner, Advisory Committee; Export Controls & Sanctions Practice Leader

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