ITAR Penalties can be severe in both economic sanctions and even criminal liability for willful or reckless violations. It is best to avoid these economic and criminal risks by consulting with an experienced ITAR lawyer or ITAR attorney prior to entering into a business transaction that may give rise to s conduct which is sanctionable.Indeed, civil and criminal penalties have grown since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001,
but that is due less to the volatile conflicts around the world and more to the fact that the U.S. Government has hired more enforcement personnel and passed numerous new regulations which necessitate a close observance to ITAR compliance. Moreover, since 9/11, the creation of Homeland Security has enabled better coordinated enforcement between agencies. The U.S. Department of Justice has recently made export enforcement a priority.
This is only going to become more heightened today as commercial companies, finding their own markets shrinking, try to break into the defense business. The defense industry is one of the few bright spots in this economy and already designers of commercial technology are looking for ways to attract military system integrators to their products.
In 2007 the Department of Justice formed a taskforce focused on educating federal prosecutors and agents on making cases in this area. Prior to this enactment, not many prosecutors and very few agents throughout the ninety-three U.S. Attorney’s offices paid much attention to ITAR prosecution. In addition, penalties for violations in this area have been significantly increased to as much as $250,000 per violation. Per violation does not mean per transaction, which means that numerous violations can be found in each transaction which cumulative can amount to millions of dollars. This degree of economic affliction pain can be unbearable for many small and large companies alike. Companies are also required self-report violations or their problem is compounded. In addition to the economic penalties, ITAR violations may incur significant criminal liability including criminal prosecution at the Federal felony level with crimes punishable from one year in prison to live in prison for acts which can be construed as treasonous or against national security.
As with most areas of the law, prevention and compliance is key. It is best to advice yourself with competent and experienced legal consult to navigate legally and correctly through ITAR regulations and proper licensing.
Maurice Arcadier, Esq. is an experienced ITAR attorney who has established numerous ITAR compliance programs, including licensing experience with DDTC and exemptions. Maurice Arcadier, from AV rated firm Arcadier, Biggie & Wood, PLLC, is here to help you with all your ITAR questions.