Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Michael J. Garcia announced today that Mercator, Inc. of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey has agreed to pay $30,000 in civil penalties to settle allegations that the company violated U.S. export control and antiboycott laws in connection with a shipment of chemicals to Iran through the United Arab Emirates.
The Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) alleged that Mercator exported 4,080 bags of ethylene vinyl acetate valued at $126,896 to Dubai, United Arab Emirates with knowledge that the chemicals would then be shipped to Iran without obtaining prior authorization from the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, as required by the Export Administration Regulations. BIS also alleged that Mercator violated the antiboycott provisions of the Export Administration Regulations by certifying that the goods being shipped did not originate in Israel, a boycotted country. Finally, BIS alleged that Mercator failed to report to BIS its receipt of a request to engage in a boycott.
"The Bureau of Industry and Security is deeply concerned by the use of strategically located commercial hubs to transship U.S.-origin goods to countries of concern such as Iran," noted Assistant Secretary Garcia. "We will vigorously prosecute cases, such as this, where evidence of such diversion is uncovered."
The Department of Commerce, through BIS, administers and enforces export controls for reasons of national security, foreign policy, nonproliferation, and short supply. The antiboycott provisions of the Export Administration Regulations prohibit U.S. persons from complying with certain aspects of unsanctioned foreign boycotts imposed or fostered by foreign governments, including furnishing information about business relations with Israel or with companies or individuals on boycott lists maintained by foreign governments. The antiboycott provisions also require U.S. persons to report their receipt of certain boycott requests to BIS's Office of Antiboycott Compliance, which investigates alleged violations, provides support in administrative or criminal litigation of cases, and prepares cases for settlement. Criminal penalties and administrative sanctions can be imposed for violations of the Export Administration Regulations.
Assistant Secretary Garcia commended the efforts of Special Agent Charles Sheridan and Compliance Officer Ned Weant, who investigated this case.