US BIS Extends “Temporary” Denial on Orion Air

On May 7, 2009 an Order Temporarily Denying Export Privileges for Orion Air, S.L. and Syrian Pearl Airlines was signed for 180 days and then was renewed on November 2, 2009 and has once again been renewed for an additional 180 days.

BIS signed the initial order after they had warned Orion Air that reexporting a BAE 146-600 aircraft to Syria to the Syrian Pearl Airlines would require a license. Orion assured the US Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) that they would put the reexport on hold based on the US Government’s concerns. Despite telling BIS that the transaction was on hold Orion Air continued with the export of the BAE aircraft to Syrian Pearl Airlines in Syria—not necessarily a good idea. When BIS uncovered the illegal reexport the initial denial order was signed based on the fact that BIS argued that future violations are likely to happen based on the fact that Orion Air lied about reexporting the aircraft to Syria and they are likely to continue to do so about other reexports.

If any lesson can be learned from this denial order it’s that lying to the government is never a good idea…the denial order could be continuously renewed as long as the US government deems it fit , it’s a death penalty for any company.

Equally importantly, we see that “temporary” denial orders may be renewed an almost unlimited number of times, which gives BIS a powerful sanction.

Federal Register: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-27351.htm

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