Washington, D.C. -- The Commerce Department today imposed a $23,000 civil penalty on the New York branch of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HongkongBank) for alleged violations of the antiboycott provisions of the Export Administration Act and Regulations, Frank Deliberti, acting assistant secretary for Export Enforcement, announced.
The Department alleged that HongkongBank violated the antiboycott provisions when it confirmed a letter of credit from the United Arab Emirates that contained a request for a certification that shipped goods were not of Israeli origin. The Department also alleged that, in connection with confirming three other letters of credit from Qatar, HongkongBank agreed to refuse to do business with banks on the Arab boycott list or agreed to require other persons to refuse to do business with companies on the Arab boycott list. Lastly, the Department alleged that, on nine separate occasions, HongkongBank failed to report, or failed to report in a timely manner, boycott-related requests it received from Jordan, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
HongkongBank voluntarily disclosed the alleged violations to the Commerce Department's Office of Antiboycott Compliance. While neither admitting nor denying the alleged antiboycott violations, HongkongBank agreed to pay the civil penalty to settle the case.
The antiboycott provisions of the Export Administration Act and Regulations apply to foreign boycotts fostered or imposed against a country which is friendly to the United States and which is not itself the object of any form of boycott pursuant to United States law or regulation.
The antiboycott provisions prohibit U.S. banks from confirming, paying, or otherwise implementing letters of credit containing boycott-related requests. In addition, the provisions prohibit United States individuals and companies from refusing, agreeing to refuse, or requiring another person to refuse to do business with or in a boycotted country or with any other person pursuant to an agreement with, a requirement of, or a request from or on behalf of a boycotting country.
U.S. companies and individuals are required to report to the Department, in a timely manner, each boycott-related request they receive.
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.