WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Commerce Department's Bureau of Export Administration (BXA) today imposed a $708,000 civil penalty on CN Biosciences, Inc. of San Diego, California, and its subsidiary Calbiochem-Novabiochem (UK) Ltd., of the United Kingdom, for alleged illegal shipments of U.S.-origin biological toxins without the required export licenses, F. Amanda DeBusk, Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement, announced.
The Department alleged that, on 171 separate occasions between July 1992 and January 1994, CN Biosciences, Inc. exported U.S.-origin biological toxins from the United States to various destinations without the required export licenses; and that, on six separate occasions between November 1992 and January 1994, Calbiochem-Novabiochem (UK) Ltd. reexported a U.S.-origin biological toxin from the United Kingdom to the Republic of Ireland without the required reexport authorization from BXA.
Although the companies neither admitted nor denied the charges, CN Biosciences and its subsidiary agreed to pay the penalty to settle the allegations. Half of the penalty, $354,000, is suspended for a one year provided the companies commit no violations of the Export Administration Regulations during that time. DeBusk commended the company for voluntarily disclosing the violations and cooperating with the investigation.
Export controls on biological agents are part of U.S. obligations to the 30-nation Australia Group, whose members are committed to curbing proliferation of chemical and biological weapons. All member countries require licenses to export biological agents with both legitimate civilian uses and possible uses in biological weapons. Biotoxins are considered among the most dangerous items controlled by Australia Group members because some nonmember countries have produced or acquired them for biological weapons purposes.
The Bureau of Export Administration controls and licenses exports and reexports of dual-use commodities, technology and software for reasons of national security, foreign policy, nonproliferation 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.