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IEEPA - Civil and Criminal Penalties

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OFAC today published a final rule in the Federal Register amending civil penalty provisions in 17 parts of the regulations OFAC administers, specifically those for which the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) provides civil penalty authority. The amendments modify the regulatory language regarding the civil penalties for violations of the sanctions to indicate that the applicable penalties may be found at 50 U.S.C. 1705. A note to the amended regulation in each part indicates that the current maximum civil penalty is the greater of $250,000 or twice the amount of the transaction that is the basis of the violation with respect to which the penalty is imposed.

These amendments represent technical changes to the regulations in light of the substantial increase in civil penalty authority resulting from the International Emergency Economic Powers Enhancement Act of 2007 (the Act), Pub. L. 110-96, signed into law in October 2007. Following the passage of the Act, OFAC indicated that it would publish substantive revisions to the enforcement guidelines it currently uses to administer its enforcement and civil penalty programs. Those revisions remain in progress, and OFAC hopes to publish them in the near future.