The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) today announced the settlement of an enforcement case involving illegal exports.
In the first case, OSPECA Logistics Management, a Brownsville, Texas-based freight-forwarder and customs brokerage, agreed to pay a $60,000 civil penalty to settle charges that it exported certain chemicals that can be used as chemical weapons precursors to Mexico in violation of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). BIS charged that, between November 30, 2001 and February 11, 2002, OSPECA exported 12 shipments of hydrogen fluoride to Mexico without the required Department of Commerce licenses in violation of the EAR. BIS also charged OSPECA with making false statements on Automated Export System (AES) records for the same 12 exports. Hydrogen fluoride is controlled under the EAR for chemical weapons reasons. As part of the settlement agreement, BIS agreed to suspend $15,000 of the penalty for a period of one year and waive that amount as long as OSPECA does not commit any further violations during the settlement period. BIS will also requires OSPECA to conduct an internal export compliance audit and submit the results of that audit to BIS for review. Honeywell International Incorporated, of Louisiana, had previously entered into a separate settlement agreement with BIS for its role in these unlicensed exports.