Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Michael J. Garcia announced that the Department of Commerce has imposed a $508,000 civil penalty against EOTT Energy Operating Limited Partnership, of Houston, Texas, to settle allegations that the company exported crude petroleum to Canada in excess of the authorized quantities. The Commerce Department controls the export of crude petroleum to any foreign destination to protect the domestic supply.
The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) alleged that, on 14 occasions between January 1997 and February 1999, EOTT exported crude petroleum from the United States to Canada in amounts exceeding the quantities authorized by BIS export licenses. BIS further alleged that EOTT caused to be filed 46 Shipper's Export Declarations (SEDs) that stated that the crude petroleum qualified for export under the export license numbers indicated on the SEDs. BIS alleged that these representations were false since EOTT had already exported the authorized amounts of crude petroleum under the export license numbers represented on the SEDs.
Assistant Secretary Garcia stated that while EOTT received credit for voluntarily self-disclosing some of the violations, there were a number of aggravating factors in this case. He noted that this is the second administrative action against EOTT for exporting oil without proper authorization, and that such continued noncompliance with US export control laws, coupled with the substantial volume of oil exported without the required licenses and the duration of the violations, warranted a significant penalty. Assistant Secretary Garcia further commended Special Agent Tracy Martin, of Export Enforcement's Dallas Field Office for his investigation of the case.
BIS 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.