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Commerce levies $3.5m fine for illegal armored vehicle exports

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security imposed a $3.5 million penalty on Streit USA of South Carolina, its UAE-based affiliates, and two corporate officers.

   The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security on Wednesday imposed a $3.5 million penalty on Streit USA of South Carolina; Streit Group and Streit Middle East, both based in the United Arab Emirates; and two corporate officers to settle charges that they sold U.S.‐origin vehicles retrofitted with ballistic steel and bulletproof glass to various end‐users across multiple countries without the required licenses.
   “The scope of today’s settlements highlights the fact that both exporters and foreign re-exporters face consequences if they do not comply with U.S. export control regulations,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement David W. Mills in a statement. “These penalties should also serve as a reminder to corporate officers of their responsibility to ensure the export of national security controlled items are properly licensed, and of the importance of providing full and accurate information to BIS.”
   BIS is the principal agency involved in the implementation and enforcement of U.S. export controls for commercial technologies.
   The agency also noted that Guerman Goutorov, chairman and chief executive officer of Streit Group and Streit Middle East, was individually charged for his role in causing, aiding, and abetting unlicensed transfers and reexports. In addition, Eric Carlson, president of Streit USA, was charged with causing, aiding and abetting a false statement to the U.S. government for his role in relation to a pending export license application.
   From March 2008 to November 2009, the Streit companies completed at least nine unlicensed sales and transfers of armored vehicles classified to the UAE, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Singapore without the required Commerce Department licenses, according to BIS. “The vehicles were transferred, sold, and/or re-exported in violation of the terms and conditions of the underlying export licenses, and without the authorization of a re-export license,” the Commerce agency said.
   The vehicles are controlled under the Export Administration Regulations for national security reasons.
   As part of the settlement, the parties in the BIS investigation are subject to a three‐year suspended Denial Order and the corporate entities must complete audits covering the next three years. Also as part of the settlement, $1.5 million of the penalty was suspended, BIS said.

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Chris Gillis

Located in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris Gillis primarily reports on regulatory and legislative topics that impact cross-border trade. He joined American Shipper in 1994, shortly after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., with a degree in international business and economics.