Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Michael J. Garcia today announced that the Department of Commerce has imposed a $30,000 civil penalty on Hans Wrage & Co. GmbH (Wrage) of Hamburg, Germany to settle allegations that Wrage violated U.S. export control laws by reexporting U.S.-origin shotguns from Germany to Poland without the required authorization from the U.S. Government.
The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) alleged that on three occasions between October 1996 and September 1998, Wrage shipped a total of 1,550 shotguns valued at more than $470,000 from Germany to Poland, without obtaining the required authorization from BIS. Wrage originally acquired the shotguns from a U.S. manufacturer. At the time Wrage made the shipments to Poland, the U.S. Export Administration Regulations required a license for exports and reexports to Poland of shotguns with a barrel length of 18 inches but less than 24 inches. The purpose of the control was to promote the observance of human rights. (This control no longer applies to shipments to Poland because Poland has since joined NATO, but the control continues on shipments to all countries except Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the member countries of NATO.)
"The United States controls the exports of shotguns because of their potential to be used in connection with violations of human rights. The Office of Export Enforcement pursues cases involving noncompliance with these controls vigorously," Assistant Secretary Garcia said.
"In this case, the shipping documents carried a clear warning that U.S. authorization was required for the shipments that Wrage made. The penalty was mitigated by the fact that Wrage fully cooperated with the investigation," he added.
Assistant Secretary Garcia commended Special Agent Jody Bankins of the Office of Export Enforcement’s Washington, D.C. field office for his investigation of the case.
BIS administers and enforces export and reexport controls for reasons of national security, foreign policy, nonproliferation, antiterrorism, and short supply. Criminal penalties and administrative sanctions can be imposed for violations of the Export Administration Regulations.