I suppose it was inevitable. The Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) today announced a proposed rule that would require that a final voluntary disclosure be filed within 180 days after the filing of the initial notification. Currently there is no time limit imposed during which the final disclosure must be filed after the initial notification.

The proposed rule would allow an extension to be granted upon a showing that “more than 180 days is reasonably needed to complete the narrative account.” Examples given of circumstances that might justify an extension include mass layoffs (gee, thanks!), bankruptcy (dead companies don’t talk) and delays in obtaining BIS classification decisions necessary to the final disclosure (imagine that!).

To be fair, it does seem that 180 days should in most cases be enough time to conduct the necessary internal investigation and file the final voluntary disclosure. Currently, the Department of State imposes a much shorter deadline — 60 days — between the filing of the initial notification and the final voluntary disclosure. Even so, I can’t resist pointing out that this is another example of an agency that imposes deadlines on the people it regulates but imposes no such deadlines upon itself. After the final voluntary disclosure is filed, BIS can take as much time as it wants to provide a decision.

Comments on the proposed rule are requested by January 7, 2013.