For Immediate Release: October 28, 2004
Contact - BIS Public Affairs 202-482-2721
The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced that OSPECA Logistics Management (OSPECA), of Brownsville, Texas, agreed to pay a $60,000 civil penalty to settle charges that it exported certain chemicals that can be used as chemical weapons precursors to Mexico in violation of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) will suspend $15,000 of the penalty for a period of one year and thereafter waive that amount contingent on OSPECA not committing further violations during the settlement period. The settlement also requires that OSPECA complete an internal export compliance audit and submit the results of that audit to BIS for review.
BIS charged that, between November 30, 2001 and February 11, 2002, OSPECA exported 12 shipments of hydrogen fluoride to Mexico without the required Department of Commerce licenses in violation of the EAR. BIS also charged OSPECA with making false statements on Automated Export System records for the same 12 exports. Hydrogen fluoride is controlled under the EAR for chemical weapons reasons.
Honeywell International Incorporated, of Louisiana, had previously entered into a separate settlement agreement with the Department of Commerce for its role in these unlicensed exports.
Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement Julie L. Myers commended Special Agent Troy Shaffer of BIS’s Dallas Field Office for his efforts in this investigation.