“Export controls are critical to achieving our national security and foreign policy goals. To enhance our enforcement efforts and minimize enforcement conflicts, executive departments and agencies must coordinate their efforts to detect, prevent, disrupt, investigate, and prosecute violations of U.S. export control laws, and must share intelligence and law enforcement information related to these efforts to the maximum extent possible, consistent with national security and applicable law.” – Executive Order 13558 —Export Enforcement Coordination Center, November 9, 2010
In the current export control system, a multitude of agencies are authorized to conduct investigations into export control violations, the primary agencies being the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Department of Commerce, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. ICE and the FBI currently investigate cases involving the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), the Export Administrations Regulations (EAR), the International Emergency Economic Powers Acts (IEEPA), as well as sanctions violations. The Department of Commerce has investigatory authority involving EAR and IEEPA violations. The primary licensing agencies also have in-house compliance operations to address administrative violations.
Improvements have been made in recent years as a result of the creation of the National Export Enforcement Coordination Network (NEECN), which currently acts as a voluntary coordination center to incorporate the resources and expertise of homeland security, law enforcement, intelligence, and foreign officials in countering the illegal export of munitions and critical technology, more comprehensive reforms are needed.
Harmonizing Export Violation Penalties: On July 1, 2010, the President signed into law the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-195) that made significant improvements for the nation’s export enforcement authorities. Working in collaboration with the Congress, Public Law 111-195 harmonizes the different maximum export control criminal penalties under four different statutes. It also permanently restores the Department of Commerce’s export enforcement authorities, in lapse with the expiration of the Export Administration Act and kept in place under Executive Order and emergency authorities. These were key steps to “higher walls” to U.S. export controls.
Export Enforcement Coordination Center (E2C2): On November 9, 2010, the President signed Executive Order 13558, establishing an Export Enforcement Coordination Center (E2C2) among the Departments of State, the Treasury, Defense, Justice, Commerce, Energy, and Homeland Security as well as the Intelligence Community. The Department of Homeland Security administers the E2C2 and provides its Director. There are two Deputy Directors, one from the Department of Commerce and one from the Department of Justice. On March 7, 2012, the E2C2 officially opened with the following mission:
Latest Steps Implementing President’s ECR Initiative
March 7, 2012