Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Michael J. Garcia today announced that the Department of Commerce has imposed a $186,000 civil penalty against Waters Instruments, Inc. of Minneapolis, Minnesota to resolve allegations that the company violated the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) on 31 occasions.
The Department charged that, on 19 occasions between August 1996 and July 2000, North Central Plastics, Inc. – a company that subsequently merged with Waters Instruments, Inc. – exported electric cattle prods to Argentina, Honduras, Switzerland, Taiwan, Columbia, Ecuador, Ireland, and Mexico without the required export licenses. The shipment of electric cattle prods to most destinations is subject to export licensing requirements for foreign policy reasons in order to promote the observance of human rights throughout the world. The Department also alleged that North Central Plastics committed 12 additional EAR violations by knowingly continuing transactions without an export license.
Based upon the cooperation of Waters Instruments, Inc. with the investigation, BXA agreed to suspend $26,000 of the penalty. The suspended portion of the penalty will be waived after two years, provided that Waters Instruments, Inc. does not commit any violations of the EAR during the suspension period.
The Department of Commerce, through its Bureau of Export Administration, administers and enforces export controls for reasons of national security, foreign policy, nonproliferation, anti-terrorism, and short supply. Criminal penalties and administrative sanctions can be imposed for violations of the Export Administration Regulations.
Assistant Secretary Garcia commended Special Agent Joel Christy from BXA's Chicago Field Office, who investigated the case.