WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) has temporarily denied all U.S. export privileges to Thane-Coat, Inc., Stafford, Texas; its president, Jerry Vernon Ford; its vice-president, Preston John Engebretson; and two affiliates, Export Materials Inc., Stafford, Texas, and TIC, Ltd., Freeport, The Bahamas, Acting Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement Frank W. Deliberti announced today. The Export Administration Regulations allow for a temporary denial order when the order is necessary in the public interest to prevent an imminent violation.
BXA has reason to believe that, between 1994 and 1996, Thane-Coat, Inc., through Ford and Engebretson, and using Export Materials, Inc. and TIC, Ltd., made approximately 100 shipments of U.S.-origin pipe coating materials, machines, and parts valued at $35 million to Libya via the United Kingdom and Italy, without the required authorizations.
"BXA's denial order is an extraordinary preventive and protective step. Today's action was taken under provisions of our Regulations that authorize denials for limited periods to prevent imminent violations pending further investigation," Deliberti said.
The United States Government maintains a comprehensive economic sanctions program against the Government of Libya, which prohibits virtually all commercial transactions involving U.S.-origin goods or U.S. persons, or both, with the Government of Libya, unless specifically authorized.
The Department became aware of the shipments as a result of a joint investigation conducted by the BXA's Dallas Field Office, the U.S. Customs Service, and the U.S. Attorney's Office, Houston, Texas. The U.S.-origin commodities that were shipped to Libya were for coating the internal surface of prestressed concrete cylinder pipe for use in phase two of the Government of Libya's Great Man-Made River Project. This is a multiphase, multibillion dollar engineering endeavor designed to bring fresh water from wells drilled in southeast and southwest Libya to its coastal cities.
Today's order remains in effect for 180 days, but may be appealed by any of the denied persons. After the expiration of the 180-day period, BXA may seek renewal of the order.
BXA administers and enforces export controls established for reasons of national security, foreign policy, non-proliferation and short supply.
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.