Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Michael J. Garcia today imposed a $210,000 civil penalty on Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation of Houston, Texas. Kaiser agreed to the penalty to settle charges that it illegally exported sensitive items without Department of Commerce authorization.
The agreement settled allegations that, between February 1996 and March 1999, Kaiser made12 shipments of potassium fluoride to Jamaica and 10 shipments of high-strength aluminum rod to Israel and Taiwan without the required Department of Commerce export licenses. Potassium fluoride is a precursor for the production of toxic chemical agents. High-strength aluminum rod can be used to manufacture equipment for the enrichment of uranium. The Department of Commerce controls the export of these items to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Pursuant to the settlement, Kaiser will pay $165,000 within thirty days. Payment of the remaining $45,000 is suspended for one year, and will be waived provided that the company commits no violations during that one-year period. Kaiser cooperated fully in the investigation.
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 through the Export Administration Regulations. Criminal penalties and administrative sanctions can be imposed for violations of those regulations.
Assistant Secretary Garcia commended Special Agent Troy Shaffer, from the Department's export enforcement office in Dallas, who investigated this case.
In April of 2002 the Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) changed its name to the Bureau of Industry and Security(BIS). For historical purposes we have not changed the references to BXA in the legacy documents found in the Archived Press and Public Information.