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U.S. 外国投资监督机构开始龇牙咧嘴:前所未有的100万美元罚款可能标志着新时代的到来

By: Olga Torres, Managing Member & Maria Alonso, Associate
Date: 07/17/2019

For most of its 45-year history,[1] 美国外国投资委员会(CFIUS)被限制只审查可能导致美国企业“控制”的投资.S. business by a foreign entity.[2] What’s more, CFIUS filings were generally voluntary, 限制了该委员会识别和纠正风险交易的能力(尽管CFIUS一直有权发起正式审查).

这一切都随着2018年外国投资风险审查现代化法案(FIRRMA)而改变[3] (see What Corporate Lawyers Need to Know About Changes in U.S. Foreign Investment Laws.). firma通过扩大受审查外国投资的范围,扩大了CFIUS的管辖权和权力.[4] 大多数CFIUS专家预计,CFIUS将在未来的审查中变得越来越积极主动.

As part of this trend, in April 2019, CFIUS published a notice on its website 2018年,该公司曾因违反2016年的CFIUS缓解协议而开出100万美元的罚单. The foreign investment watchdog imposed the hefty, 一家未具名实体因“未能制定必要的证券政策,并未能向CFIUS提供充分的报告”而受到史无前例的民事处罚.“尽管CFIUS一直有权对违反缓解协议的行为处以罚款, 这是美国外国投资委员会首次宣布它行使了这样的权力.

这笔罚款向所有接受CFIUS审查的各方发出了一个明确的信号, 特别是那些涉及缓解协议的:成功, 他们必须积极监督并保持与CFIUS及其机构的持续沟通,以确保他们符合协议条款.

What’s in a Mitigation Agreement?

在对外国投资进行初步审查后,出于国家安全考虑, 美国外国投资委员会可能启动为期45天的正式调查,以更密切地关注这笔交易.[5] 如果该机构随后确定该交易确实对美国构成威胁.S. national security interests, CFIUS有权“采取与该交易有关的任何必要行动”,以保护国家安全.[6]

CFIUS’s mitigation conditions, which depend on the nature and severity of concerns, are rolled up into a mitigation agreement. 协议在长度和范围上有很大的不同:它们可以简单到要求双方同意采取步骤解决安全问题的保函.[7] On the other hand, 美国外国投资委员会可能要求达成一项协议,该协议不仅规定了操作限制,还可能要求重组交易.[8] Common types of mitigation measures include:[9]

  • Divesture of assets: CFIUS可能要求某些投资者放弃资产和撤资.
  • Imposing controls on access: CFIUS可能要求采取措施控制和限制访问, 包括只允许授权人员使用某些技术, products, and sensitive information, and improved security measures.
  • Protocols and procedures updates: As part of the mitigation plan, CFIUS可能要求公司更新操作规程和程序. Additionally, 美国外国投资委员会可能要求对员工进行额外的合规培训,例如关于敏感信息的正确使用和处理.
  • Establishing audit and reporting requirements: Generally, 缓解协议可能需要第三方审计,并将始终包括一个确定过程, respond to, and report discovered or suspected violations.

Once a mitigation agreement is established, 事务的各方必须实现所有指定的步骤,以便继续进行事务. Additionally, CFIUS可能要求它们指定一个第三方监督者来监督和报告缓解计划的实施进展[10] 同时,促进计划的实施.

Monitoring

Mitigation monitoring is on the rise. FIRRMA requires more reporting to Congress on compliance and remediation than in the past; this will likely increase CFIUS’s attention on these matters.

此外,有缓解协定的案件可以定期审计. In fact, 美国外国投资委员会有权“单方面启动审查”此前已得到缓解的交易,[11] 并且现在有能力在当事人没有遵守或严重违反缓解协议的情况下重申其管辖权.

Potential Penalties

As the recent $1 million fine demonstrates, 对于交易中的各方来说,不遵守缓解协议的条款可能会付出高昂的代价. In addition to monetary fines, CFIUS may impose a “civil penalty not to exceed $250,000 per violation or the value of the transaction, 当存在违反协议的行为时.[12]

In addition to imposing fines, CFIUS可能会要求违规方制定新的行动计划,以“弥补违规的不足;”[13] 新协议可能包括因违反先前协议而造成的违约金或实际赔偿金.[14]

When penalties are imposed, 双方有15天的窗口时间来申请复议, justifies, or explains their previous conduct,[15] CFIUS将在收到申请后15天内进行审查并作出最终决定.[16]*          *          *

欲了解更多关于CFIUS缓解计划和合规的信息,请随时亚虎娱乐注册平台.

 

[1] Exec. Order No. 11,858, 40 Fed. Reg. 20,263 (May 7, 1975).

[2] The term “control” is defined as “the power, direct or indirect, whether exercised or not exercised, … to determine, direct, or decide important matters affecting an entity….” 31 C.F.R. § 800.204 (2019).

[3] 2018年外国投资风险审查现代化法案(FIRRMA), Pub. L. 115-232, Div. A, Title XVII, §§ 1701-1793, 132 Stat. 2173 (2019).

[4] FIRRMA § 1703(a)(4)(B) (2019).

[5] 31 C.F.R. § 800.502 (2019).

[6] 50 U.S.C. § 4565(b)(2)(A) (2019).

[7] U.S. Dep’t of the Treasury, 美国外国投资委员会向国会提交的年度报告(9月15日). 2017), at 21, http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/international/foreign-investment/Documents/Unclassified%20CFIUS%20Annual%20Report%20-%20(report%20period%20CY%202015).pdf (last visited July 3, 2019).

[8]  Id. at 21-22.

[9]  Id.

[10] Id. at 22.

[11] FIRRMA § 1708(7)(D) (2019). 50 U.S.C. § 4565(l)(6)(D) (2019).

[12] 31 C.F.R. § 800.801(b) (2019).

[13] 31 C.F.R. § 800.802(a) (2019).

[14] 31 C.F.R. § 800.801(c) (2019).

[15] 31 C.F.R. § 800.801(e) (2019).

[16] Id.

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