On December 13, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released a revised policy for companies regarding voluntary self-disclosures of export control and sanctions violations. The revised policy was effective on the date of its release and will be formally incorporated into the Justice Manual. In releasing the revised Voluntary Self-Disclosure Policy (VSD Policy), Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers stated, “Protecting our nation’s sensitive technologies and preventing transactions with sanctioned entities are DOJ priorities, but we cannot succeed alone … We need the private sector to come forward and work with DOJ. The revised VSD Policy should reassure companies that, when they do report violations directly to DOJ, the benefits of their cooperation will be concrete and significant.”

Key Notes:

  • The revised Voluntary Self-Disclosure Policy builds on the guidance DOJ’s National Security Division (NSD) issued in October 2016.
  • This revised policy signals DOJ’s continued emphasis on corporate voluntary self-disclosure, rewarding cooperating companies with a presumption in favor of a non-prosecution agreement and significant reductions in penalties.
  • The policy was effective on December 13, 2019, and applies only to export control and sanctions matters brought by the NSD’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.

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