The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), the US State Department (“State”), and the US Commerce Department (“Commerce”) issued rules adjusting maximum civil monetary penalties (“CMPs”) under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (“FCA”).

  • OFAC CMP Adjustments

Under OFAC’s final rule published on June 14, 2019, the adjusted penalties apply to CMPs that are assessed after June 14, 2019, regardless of whether the underlying violation predates the increase, as long as the violation occurred after November 2, 2015 (i.e., the date of the enactment of the FCA). In other words, violations that occur after November 2, 2015 will be assessed at the newest CMPs. For violations that occurred before this date, the original CMPs will be used. The specific OFAC penalty adjustments for each relevant statute (as well as the 2016-2018 adjustments for reference) are as follows:

Statute Original Maximum CMP (per violation) 2016 Adjusted Maximum CMP (per violation) 2017 Adjusted Maximum CMP (per violation) 2018 Adjusted Maximum CMP (per violation) 2019 Adjusted Maximum CMP (per violation)
Trading with the Enemy Act $65,000 $83,864 $85,236 $86,976 $89,170
International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”) The greater of $250,000 or twice the amount of the underlying transaction The greater of $284,582 or twice the amount of the underlying transaction The greater of $289,238 or twice the amount of the underlying transaction The greater of $295,141 or twice the amount of the underlying transaction The greater of $302,584 or twice the amount of the underlying transaction
Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act $1,075,000 $1,414,020 $1,437,153 $1,466,485 $1,503,470
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 The greater of $55,000 or twice the amount of which a financial institution was required to retain possession or control The greater of $75,122 or twice the amount of which a financial institution was required to retain possession or control The greater of $76,351 or twice the amount of which a financial institute was required to retain possession or control The greater of $77,909 or twice the amount of which a financial institute was required to retain possession or control The greater of $79,874 or twice the amount of which a financial institute was required to retain possession or control
Clean Diamond Trade Act $10,000 $12,856 $13,066 $13,333 $13,669

In addition to updating these maximum CMP amounts, OFAC also updated the IEEPA one-half maximum CMP for non-egregious cases where a party files a voluntary self-disclosure from $147,571 to $151,292.

  • State CMP Adjustments

State published the CMP adjustments in a final rule on March 19, 2019, which included the CMP adjustments for the Arms Export Control Act (“AECA”), the statute under which the International Traffic in Arms Regulations are enforced. State will apply the increased CMPs to all penalties assessed on or after the date of the final rule, March 19, 2019, regardless of when the underlying violation occurred.

The penalties assessed by State for violations of specific sections within the AECA (as well as the 2016-2018 adjustments for reference) are as follows:

AECA Section Original Maximum CMP 2016 Adjusted Maximum CMP (per violation) 2017 Adjusted Maximum CMP (per violation) 2018 Adjusted Maximum CMP (per violation) 2019 Adjusted Maximum CMP (per violation)
22 USC. § 2778(e) (control of exports and imports) $500,000 $1,094,010 $1,111,908 $1,134,602 $1,163,217
22 USC. § 2779a(c) (prohibition on incentive payments) $500,000 $795,445 $808,458 $824,959 The greater of $845,764 or five times the amount of the prohibited payment
22 USC. § 2780(k) (transactions with countries supporting acts of international terrorism) $500,000 $946,805 $962,295 $981,935 $1,066,699
  • Commerce CMP Adjustments

Finally, Commerce also adjusted a number of CMPs in a final rule issued on February 7, 2019, which went into effect on March 1, 2019. However, for the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (“ECRA”), the statute under which the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) are enforced, Commerce did not adjust the CMPs; the maximum CMPs for EAR violations remain $300,000 per violation or twice the value of the transaction.