For Immediate Release: Oct 18, 2004
Contact - BIS Public Affairs 202-482-2721
The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced that GE Ultrasound and Primary Care Diagnostics, LLC (GE Ultrasound), of Waukeasha, WI, agreed to pay a $32,000 civil fine to settle charges that Lunar Europe N.V. (Lunar Europe), a company acquired by GE Ultrasound, exported bone densitometer equipment to Iran in violation of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).
The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) charged that between May 20, 1998, and March 22, 2000, Lunar Europe exported bone densitometer equipment without prior authorization from the Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), U.S. Department of the Treasury, as required by the EAR. All of the unlicensed exports were committed by Lunar Europe prior to its acquisition by GE Ultrasound in 2000. Under the principles of successor liability, corporations may be held liable for violations of export control laws committed by businesses that they acquire.
The United States maintains a comprehensive embargo on trade with Iran because of Iran’s support for international terrorism. Under the terms of the embargo, most exports to Iran are prohibited unless they are authorized in advance by OFAC. The export of items to Iran without OFAC approval is a violation of the EAR and is subject to criminal penalties and administrative sanctions.
Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement Julie L. Myers commended Special Agent Dave Nardella of BIS’s Chicago Field Office, for his efforts in the investigation of this case.