U.S. export laws apply to any controlled technology released for export, meaning that the technology is made available
to foreign nationals; this means that any technology that is moved beyond the borders of the United States can qualify as
an export. In circumstances where technology is "hand-carried" outside the United States, even if it never leaves the
sight or the possession of the individual transporting it, it will qualify as an export, and must be regulated, licensed,
and treated the same as if it were being shipped to a customer overseas.
Information on controlled technology that may be stored on a laptop accompanying an employee outside the country,
on a smartphone—including emails that may have been saved on the computer or the phone—must be taken into account
to make sure they comply with the applicable regulations. Even verbal transmission of technology to a foreign national
qualifies as an export, so that a seemingly casual conversation about business with a foreign national during the trip could be
The penalties for violating U.S. export regulations, including the rules for Hand-Carried Exports, are severe. Companies found to
be in violation of Export laws face all the same penalties as they would for physically delivering, or allowing to be delivered,
controlled goods to any denied, restricted, or debarred party—penalties which can include millions of dollars in monetary fines,
restrictions on business activities such as the temporary or even permanent revocation of export licenses, and—for violations
deemed to have been willful—criminal prosecution, potentially including imprisonment.
That's not to mention the certain and irreparable damage to the reputation of any company found to be aiding America's enemies, even if only through negligence.
In FY 2011 combined U.S. Government Export Compliance Enforcement resulted in penalties of $732.8 MILLION and criminal prosecutions of 50 individuals and businesses.
DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!
In FY 2011, settlements with 11 businesses were reached for a total of $623,000,000 in penalties as compared to 21 settlements in FY 2010 for a total of $91,000,000.
Since FY 2008, OFAC investigations resulted in settlements with 339 businesses for a total of $2,670,000,000. ( that's $2.6 BILLION )
BIS investigations in FY 2011 resulted in the criminal conviction of 39 individuals and businesses for export violations, as compared to 31 convictions in FY 2010.
The penalties for these convictions came to $20,214,000 in criminal fines, more than $2,100,000 in forfeitures, and more than 572 months of imprisonment;
compared to $12,298,900 in criminal fines, more than $2,000,000 in forfeitures, and more than 522 months of imprisonment in FY 2010.
In FY 2011, BIS investigations resulted in the completion of 47 administrative cases against individuals and businesses and $ 8,508,300 in administrative penalties, as compared to 53 cases and more than $ 25,400,000 in administrative penalties in FY 2010.
In FY 2011 DOS entered into 1 consent agreement for a total of $79,000,000 in fines, as compared to 3 consent agreements in FY 2010 for $43,000,000.
The Department also pursued in FY 2011 a total of 11 criminal prosecutions, as compared to 51 criminal prosecutions in FY 2010.