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June 15, 2007 

Senator Dodd Introduces International Emergency Economic Powers Act

This week Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT) introduced the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (S. 1612) (IEEPA Act), legislation that would increase the civil penalty amounts associated with violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. The bill would increase the maximum civil penalties for violations of sanctions and dual-use export control laws (EAR violations are currently subject to IEEPA penalty provisions) from $50,000 to $250,000, or twice the amount of the transaction that is the basis of the violation with respect to which the penalty is imposed. The IEEPA Act would increase criminal penalties to $1,000,000 with a maximum jail sentence of 20 years.

One major cause of concern with this proposed legislation is that, in its current form, the bill would apply the increased penalties to any "enforcement action [that] is pending or commenced on or after the date of the enactment of this Act." This retroactive effect is a significant change from previous laws that have increased maximum civil and criminal penalties for violations of sanctions and export control laws.

This proposed legislation, which has the support of the Treasury Department, has been previously been approved by the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. The bill has been placed on the Senate calendar for consideration in the near future.

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