A veritable grab bag of international trade developments to parse this week. Recent developments include increasing FCPA enforcement, a record OFAC economic sanctions penalty, and a large customs penalty for willful failure to correct known customs errors. Because nothing gets companies to pay more attention to compliance than the prospect of big fines and enforcement actions.
FCPA enforcement is up strongly over the last two years, including recent examples of a Colombian financial services institution paying over $80 million to resolve parallel bribery investigations in the United States and Colombia. Total annual FCPA penalties have risen from $360 million to $1.5 billion. Does your organization have a robust anticorruption program in place, including effective controls for gifts, meals, entertainment, and travel and audit procedures designed to test the efficacy of its internal controls?
Economic Sanctions Compliance
OFAC announced a $508 million settlement — the largest-ever economic sanctions against a non-financial institution — based upon alleged sales of cigarettes to North Korea and to proliferators of weapons of mass destruction. The alleged violations include what OFAC described as a seven-year conspiracy to use U.S. financial institutions to transfer profits from a North Korean joint venture. Does your organization maintain comprehensive oversight of how its non-U.S. subsidiaries handle financial transactions to ensure that they are handling them in accordance with all OFAC and AML requirements?