|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
BUREAU OF INDUSTRY AND SECURITY
| Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Office of Public Affairs
Texas Freight Forwarder Settles Charges
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced today that Elite International Transportation, Inc, a Houston-based logistics provider and freight forwarder, has agreed to pay $156,000 in civil penalties to settle allegations that it violated the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) in connection with certain exports of Triethanolamine, a chemical precursor, to Mexico.
“Freight forwarders are important in ensuring the security of the global supply chain,” said Darryl W. Jackson, assistant secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement. “This case also underscores that exporters need to continue to monitor the status of their exports and come forward when they find possible violations.”
“I also commend the Office of Export Enforcement’s Dallas Field Office, Houston Regional Office, and the Office of Chief Counsel for their work on this investigation,” he said.
On 13 occasions between February 2000 and June 2002, Elite prepared export documents on behalf of Equistar Chemicals LP that falsely stated that shipments of Triethanolamine to Mexico did not require a license under the EAR. Triethanolamine is listed on the Commerce Control List and a license is required from BIS for export to Mexico. With respect to 42 other shipments for Equistar between March 2003 and June 2004, Elite failed to properly cite licenses that had been obtained from BIS for exports of Triethanolamine to Mexico.
The investigation in this matter was based in part on information contained in a voluntary self disclosure filed by Equistar in 2004. In August 2006, Equistar agreed to settle related allegations for a civil penalty of $39,650.
BIS administers and enforces export controls for national security, anti-terrorism, foreign policy, nonproliferation, and short supply reasons. Criminal penalties and administrative sanctions can be imposed for violations of the EAR. For more details regarding this case, please visit our website, www.bis.doc.gov.