Archive for the ‘Venezuela’ Category

It Never Pays to Lie…Actually it Could Cost You $50K

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

By: Danielle McClellan
On September 14, 2012 GLS Solutions, Inc. of Aventura, Florida exported a $28,335 FLIR 440 High Performance Infrared Camera to Venezuela. The camera is classified under ECCN 6A003.b.4 and is controlled for National Security and Regional Stability reasons. GLS knew that a license was required to export the camera but continued to export it without obtaining a license. GLS has been assessed a penalty of $50,000 for one violation of “Acting with Knowledge of a Violation.” $32,500 of the penalty will be suspended for one year and eventually waived if GLS does not commit and further violations within the one year probationary period.

Gregorio L. Salazar, owner and president of GLS Solutions, was aware of the violation; however, in his initial disclosure letter to BIS regarding the illegal export of the camera he stated he was, “not aware that this camera required approval from United States Government in order to be shipped to Venezuela.” Nearly 6 months later, during a follow-up interview with a BIS Special Agent, Salazar admitted that he knew the licensing requirement for the FLIR camera prior to exporting it to Venezuela and explained that a FLIR Systems, Inc. representative informed him prior to the export that a license was required.  In addition to the penalty on the company, Salazar will pay $50,000 for one charge of providing, “False or Misleading Statement(s) in a Disclosure to BIS.” BIS did not suspend any of Salazar’s fine.

GLS Solutions Charging Letter
Gregorio L. Salazar Charging Letter

Just Say No to Listed Venezuelans—New Regs Target Prohibited Parties

Friday, September 11th, 2015 by Danielle McClellan

By: Danielle McClellan

On July 10, 2015 the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued regulations (part 591) to implement a previous Executive Order.

Compliance Summary:  The regulations prohibit US persons (not including foreign subsidiaries of US companies) from participating in activities with listed Venezuelan parties.  For the most part, US persons will be able to comply with this rule if they screen against the prohibited parties list.

At this time the regulations are being published in an abbreviated format in order to provide immediate guidance to the public. OFAC will provide part 591 with a comprehensive set of regulations which will include more guidance related to definitions and general licensing information.  Part 591 is being issued after Executive Order 13692 (Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela) was released on March 8, 2015. The goal of the Executive Order is to target sanctions on certain persons responsible for significant acts of violence or serious human rights abuses against anti-government protesters and any other persons being prosecuted for exercising their freedom of expression or assembly in Venezuela.

Federal Register Notice: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-10/pdf/2015-16782.pdf

Obama Blocks Property and Suspends Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela

Monday, March 30th, 2015 by Brooke Driver

By: Brooke Driver

In response to the situation in Venezuela, specifically the government’s “erosion of human rights guarantees, persecution of political opponents, curtailment of press freedoms, use of violence and human rights violations and abuses in response to antigovernment protestors,” President Obama has declared a national emergency and blocked the U.S. property of any person the State determines as “complicit in, or responsible for ordering, controlling” or otherwise contributing to the turmoil in Venezuela. The president also included an annex listing specific Venezuelan nationals to be included in this order:

  1. Antonio José Benavides Torres [Commander of the Central Integral Strategic Defense Region of the National Armed Forces, former Director of Operations for the National Guard; born June 13, 1961]
  2. Gustavo Enrique González López [Director General of the National Intelligence Service and President of the Strategic Center of Security and Protection of the Homeland; born November 2, 1960]
  3. Justo José Noguera Pietri [President of the Venezuelan Corporation of Guayana, former General Commander of the National Guard; born March 15, 1961]
  4. Katherine Nayarith Haringhton Padron [National Level Prosecutor of the 20th District Office of the Public Ministry; born December 5, 1971]
  5. Manuel Eduardo Pérez Urdaneta [Director of the National Police; born May 26, 1962]
  6. Manuel Gregorio Bernal Mart[iacute]nez [Chief of the 31st Armored Brigade of Caracas, former Director General of the National Intelligence Service; born July 12, 1965]
  7. Miguel Alcides Vivas Landino [Inspector General of the National Armed Forces, former Commander of the Andes Integral Strategic Defense Region of the National Armed Forces; born July 8, 1961]

Venezuela Joins Russia and China in the EAR Military End Use (User) Controls Club

Monday, November 24th, 2014 by Brooke Driver

By: John Black

The US Bureau of Industry and Security has added Venezuela to the list of countries subject to special military end-use (user) controls.  EAR 744.21 imposes controls on exports/reexports of certain ECCNs to “military end-uses” in the PRC.  744.21 imposes control on exports/reexports of certain ECCNs to “military end-uses” and “military end-users” in Russia.  Venezuela is now subject to the same rules that were already applicable to Russia, and which are broader than the rules applicable to the PRC, because the PRC rule does not prohibit delivery to “military end-users.”

An often overlooked critical aspect of the PRC, Russia and Venezuela rules are that they apply only uses that fall within the EAR definition of “military end-use” and only to users (for Russia and Venezuela only) military end-users” as defined in the EAR.  Many exporters make the mistake of assuming the rules use a common sense definition of military end-use and military end-user, but that is not the case.  For example, military end-use rules may apply in cases where you deliver to a manufacturer in China and the military end-user rule may apply in cases where you deliver items to the national police in Russia.  The other common mistake is that some people assume the rules are applicable to all EAR items, when, in fact, the rules apply only to those items identified in Supp. 2 to 744 of the EAR, which, for example, does not include EAR99 items.

“Military end use,” as defined in 744.21, includes delivery to activities involving the production of military items (on the USML, the Wassenaar Munitions List or in xx018 of 600 series ECCNs in the CCL), but does not include a complete ban on delivery to military entities, as it focuses on the nature of the end use, not on the end user.

The military end user rule for Russia and Venezuela is a complete ban on delivery of the items in Supp. 4 to “military end users,” which is defined to include national armed services (army, navy, marine, air force or coast guard), as well as the national guard and national police, government intelligence or reconnaissance organizations or any person or entity whose actions or functions are intended to support “military end uses” as defined in 744.21.

If you already have procedures in place to comply the long standing rules for China and the new rules for Russia, just update your procedures to apply to Venezuela the same procedures you use for Russia.  If you don’t have procedures for China or Russia, this Venezuela rule will spurn you to get something in place ASAP.

For more information go to: http://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/regulations/federal-register-notices#79fr66288

North Carolina Man Jailed and Debarred for Violating ITAR Brokering Rules

Thursday, January 30th, 2014 by Brooke Driver

By: Brooke Driver

For Donald Bernardo of Matthews, North Carolina, the hits keep on coming. In November of 2011, Bernardo was tried and convicted in a Florida court for his violation of Section 38 of the Arms Export Control Act. Without first registering with the State Department, Bernardo engaged in brokering activities involving Venezuela. Specifically, in return for a fee and commission, he negotiated and arranged contracts, purchases, sales and transfers of regulated C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft. He was sentenced to 12 months of imprisonment and two years of probation at the time of his conviction in November 2011. Upon his release, BIS gave Bernardo a welcome back gift—five years on the denied persons list. For his sake, we hope his commission was worth it.

Marsh Aviation Gets Indictment

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 by Danielle McClellan

Marsh Aviation of Arizona and owners Floyd Stilwell have been charged in an indictment after federal agents executed a search warrant in February 2008 unveiling military aircraft engines destined for the Venezuelan Air Force. The company exported the T-76 engines along with testing, repair, maintenance, modification, operation, and the training manuals and information.

The T-76 engine is designated on the US Munitions List, however Marsh Aviation falsely claimed that the engines were parts for civilian aircraft…it has not been cited what tipped off the ICE agents to the company’s illegal exports but I’m guessing they must have had hard evidence to secure a search warrant.

More information available at: http://www.ice.gov/news/releases/1011/101101phoenix.htm

Updated List of Countries Not Cooperating Fully with US Antiterrorism Efforts

Monday, May 18th, 2009 by Danielle McClellan

The Department of State has recently published the countries that are not cooperating fully with the US antiterrorism efforts. These countries are Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Syria, and Venezuela.

Whatever you do, please do not confuse this list of “countries not cooperating fully with US antiterrorism efforts” with the list of terrorism supporting countries.

More information:

US Announces List of Countries Supporting Terrorism

Saturday, July 5th, 2008 by Danielle McClellan

The Department of State has issued to Congress that Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela are not fully cooperating with the United States antiterrorism efforts. John D. Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of State has issued the decision to retain the certification of North Korea pursuant to Section 40A of the Arms Export Control Act.

There will be an ongoing review of the designation of North Korea and the outcome of the review may warrant a new assessment and possible change in certification.

More information:

Venezuela Officially Added to ITAR 126.1 Prohibited Countries List

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007 by Jill Kincaid

In the February 7, 2007’s Federal Register, the State Department amended section 126.1 of the ITAR to include Venezuela in the list of countries not cooperating fully with anti-terrorism efforts. This just makes the policy announced last year officially a part of ITAR 126.1.

The Secretary of State determined that Venezuela, along with Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria, would be placed on the list beginning October 1, 2006. The AECA prohibits the sale or licensing of defense articles and services to those countries on the list for the term of one fiscal year beginning October 1, 2006. Additionally, the State Department issued a policy of denial of the export or transfer of defense articles to and revocation of existing authorizations for Venezuela on August 17, 2006.

Federal Register notice

ITAR Continues to Cause Problems for Some Canadians with ITAR 126.1 Dual Citizenship

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007 by John Black

Canadian Citizens May Seek Relief via Canadian Legal System

According to media reports, the fallout continues from conflict between tight United States ITAR requirements and Canadian defense manufacturers. US regulations prohibit Canadian citizens who have dual citizenship in a country listed in ITAR 126.1 from working on US defense projects. There are currently 19 countries whose citizens are banned from this type of work including China, Cuba, Lebanon, Syria, North Korea, Belarus, Afghanistan and Rwanda. Recently Venezuela was added to this list, which may have contributed to the termination of an employee at Montreal’s Bell Helicopter facility.

Bell Helicopter is currently working on an $849 million contract for the US Military and has had to reassign 24 employees to stay in compliance with the US regulations on who can work on their defense projects.

Jaime Vargas, a Canadian citizen with dual citizenship in Venezuela, had only worked at Bell Helicopter for several weeks when he was unexpectedly terminated. There are conflicting stories from Mr. Vargas and Bell representatives on the quality of work performed by the employee. Though Bell claims that he had performed poorly, Mr. Vargas states that he had had nothing but positive reviews and had recently been congratulated by his supervisor on the high quality of his work.

The Canadian Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations says that it will be filing a civil suit on Mr. Vargas’ behalf stating that they believe he was terminated solely based on his connection with Venezuela. They will ask for $110,000 in compensation for Mr. Vargas. The suit will be based on allegations that the termination violated Canadian Human Rights laws.

John Black’s Note: I hope Mr. Vargas wins the suit. I seriously doubt that DDTC will want to revise the ITAR if that happens, but I love it when DDTC digs in its heels and refuses to bend its policies to take into account issues outside of its own control. I look forward to the eloquent statement of the DDTC position, “We don’t care if you win a law suit, we don’t care if the ITAR causes good Canadian companies to violate Canadian laws, we aren’t changing the ITAR.”

Source: “Canoe Network Money” February 6, 2007

Full story on Canoe Network