Archive for the ‘Export License’ Category

Annotating an Export Shipment: Filing Citations, Exemption and Exclusion Legends

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

(Source: Global Reach Blog)

The U.S. Census Bureau often receives questions on how to annotate commercial documents for export shipments to minimize potential delays at the port of export. In a previous blog on Filing Citations and Exemption Legends, we provided an overview of filing citations and exemption legends. In this blog, I would like to expand upon the information previously provided. We will discuss the use of exclusion legends and give a snap shot of the different types of citations and legends that must be clearly stated on the commercial loading documents.

Exclusion legends are used for shipments that fall outside the scope of the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR). The types of shipments that are excluded from filing requirements are identified in Section 30.2(d) of the FTR.  It is important to remember that whether you are required to file the Electronic Export Information (EEI) or not, the correct annotation must be displayed on the commercial loading document or in a prominent location on the shipment package. Below is a snapshot describing the citations and legends that must be provided prior to exportation.

Citations / Legends Description Annotation
Proof of Filing Citation Parties to the transaction file the EEI and receive their Internal Transaction Number (ITN) before the exportation of the shipment. Automated Export System (AES) ITN. Example: AES X20160523777777
Postdeparture Citation Postdeparture approved U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI) have the privilege of filing  EEI within five days after exportation rather than obtaining the ITN in advance. USPPI Filed: AESPOST followed by the USPPI ID and followed by the DATE OF EXPORT. Example: AESPOST   123456789 05/23/2016 Agent Filed:   AESPOST followed by the USPPI ID FILER ID and followed by the DATE OF EXPORT. Example:   AESPOST  123456789  – 987654321   05/23/2016
AES Downtime Filing Citation When the AES experiences a major failure, the AES Downtime Filing Citation is used in place of a proof of filing citation.  The downtime filing citation is not to be used when the filer’s system is down, experiencing delays or for shipments subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. AESDOWN followed by the FILER ID and followed by DATE OF EXPORT. Example:   AESDOWN 123456789 05/23/2016
Exemption Legends These transactions are within the scope of the FTR, but certain details make them exempt from filing EEI in the AES. The exemptions are located in 30.36 – 30.40. Below are two of the most commonly used exemptions: Ø 30.36 Exemption for shipments destined to Canada. Ø 30.37(a) Exemption for shipments that are valued $2,500 or less per Schedule B. NO EEI followed by the corresponding   FTR Exemption. Example: NO EEI 30.37(a)
Exclusion Legends These transactions are outside the scope of the FTR and shall be excluded from filing EEI in the AES. Exclusions: Ø 30.2(d)(1) Good transiting the U.S. under U.S. Customs and Border Protection bond from one foreign country to another. NO EEI followed by the corresponding FTR Exclusion. Example: NO EEI 30.2(d)(1)
  Ø 30.2(d)(2) – Except Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, goods shipped from the U.S. territories and goods shipped between the U.S. and these territories do not require EEI filing. Ø 30.2(d)(3) Electronic transmissions and intangible transfers. Ø 30.2(d)(4) – Goods shipped to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base from the U.S., Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands and from Guantanamo Bay Naval Base to the U.S., Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Ø 30.2(d)(5) – Goods licensed by a federal agency where the country of ultimate destination is the U.S. or goods destined to international waters where the entity assuming control of the goods is a U.S. entity.  

Lebanon Company Fined $450,000 for Reexporting Items to Syria

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

By: Danielle McClellan

Tecnoline SAL (Tecnoline )of Sin El Fil, Beirut, Lebanon pled guilty to 7 charges of Causing, Aiding, or Abetting a Violation of the Regulations and will pay a civil penalty of $450,000. Tecnoline reexported US-origin mass spectrometers, gas chromatographs and consumables, liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometer systems, and liquid chromatograph modules (ECCN 3A999), controlled for anti-terrorism reasons, to Syria. There is a long standing US Embargo against Syria which makes a BIS license required for all exports/reexports subject to the EAR with the only exception being food and certain medicines).

The items were manufactured by Agilent Technologies (Agilent), a US company, and Technoline was an authorized distributor and reseller of Agilent’s products. In 2004, Technoline signed an agreement with Agilent that acknowledged their awareness of US export control laws and regulations and agreed to comply with them as a reseller and distributor of controlled products. Between August 2009 and October 2010, Technoline negotiated price discounts on the items with Agilent and eventually ordered the items for the Syrian Government ministries or entities. Technoline falsely identified the ultimate destination of the items as being Iraq or Lebanon (BIS license not required) and on one or more occasions they failed to disclose the ultimate destination of the items. Agilent shipped the items to TEchnoline in Beirut, Lebanon via Agilent’s German subsidiary. Once Technoline received the items they transferred them to Syria, there they were installed at Syrian Government ministries within a month or so. There were never any authorizations from BIS to export the items from the US to Syria, or to reexport them from Germany to Syria.

View Order: https://efoia.bis.doc.gov/index.php/documents/export-violations/export-violations-2015/1080-e2474/file

State/DDTC No Longer Accepts CJ Submission through EFS

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

(Source: State/DDTC)

Effective Wednesday, November 16th at 5PM EST, The Department of State will no longer use the Electronic Form Submission (EFS) application to accept Commodity Jurisdiction (CJ) (DS-4076) applications. Beginning Monday, November 21st at 8AM EST users will submit CJ applications via the Defense Export Control and Compliance (DECCS) CJ application.

DDTC Posts Schedule for Uploading Licensing Submissions and Posting Licenses

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

(Source: State/DDTC)

Effective September 6, 2016, The Department of State will only be uploading licensing submissions (i.e., DSP -5, -6, -61, -62, -73, -74, and Batch Scheams) and posting licenses (Approved, Approved with Provisos, RWA’ed, and Denied) at 06:30 AM and again at 5:30 PM.

DDTC Posts Revision 4.4a of the Agreement Guidelines

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

(Source: State/DDTC)

Revision 4.4a of the Agreement Guidelines has been posted and replaces Revision 4.4.

Revision 4.4a corrects an inadvertent omission on page 152. Both Revision 4.4a and a preamble with a summary of changes can be found here. Revision 4.4a is effective September 1, 2016.

Pakistani National Extradited and Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison for Conspiracy to Export Gyroscopes to Pakistan

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

By: Danielle McClellan

Syed Vaqar Ashraf (71) of Lahore, Pakistan (also known as Vaqar A. Jaffrey) was sentenced to 33 months in prison after being extradited from Belgium on July 31, 2015. According to court documents, in June 2012 Ashraf began asking a Tucson-based company, who shall remain nameless, for price quotes for unmanned aerial vehicles (drones). The company specializes in the design, development, and manufacturing of drones for the US military. The company immediately tipped off Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) agents about Ashraf’s requests.  HSI quickly assigned special agents to work undercover as employees of the Tucson-based company and they began dialoging with Ashraf directly.

From June 2012 to August 2014, Ashraf negotiated with special agents. He represented himself as the head of I&E International, based in Lahore, Pakistan.  Most of the correspondence was done via email where he agreed to purchase 18 gyroscopes that were intended to help medium-sized drones fly longer distances as well as 10 optical receiver modules and laser diodes intended to be installed in the aircraft for approximately $440,000.

In September 2013, HSI agents met with Ashraf in Vienna, Austria to work out details regarding the sale. Ashraf explained during the meeting that Pakistan’s nuclear program had been developed using technology exported from the west without a license. This led the agents to believe that Ashraf was working for Pakistan’s Advanced Engineering Research Organization and the intended use for the electronics was for the Pakistani military UAV program.

From January to March 2014 Ashraf asked agents for suggestions to get around the US export controls after agents requested a license from the Commerce Department and were told that the items would require a special license because the optical receive modules could be used in “activities related to nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons or missile delivery systems.” Ashraf asked if there were any alternative descriptions that would appear to cover the items on documents, but would clear arms control hurdles from State and Commerce departments.  Secret agents offered Ashraf with a few different descriptions and asked him if the customer was aware that transaction was “being done without a license.” Ashraf told the agents that they (customer) were “absolutely aware of everything.” Later in an email, Ashraf wrote, “He (customer) is well aware that he cannot get these gyros in a normal way; he’s well aware of that.” The ultimate plan was to transship all of the items; they would be shipped to Pakistan through Belgium.

HIS agents met with Ashraf three more times in face-to-face meetings, including one in the US where they agreed on a series of wire transfers, including one for $67,000. On August 26, 2014 agents set up a final meeting with Ashraf in Belgium to deliver some of the technology. Before the meeting began Belgian police showed up and arrested Ashraf. A little less than a year later Ashraf was extradited to the US to face trial on charges of conspiracy to export defense controlled items without a license which he later pled guilty to.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/pakistani-national-extradited-and-sentenced-attempting-export-sensitive-technology-pakistani

Company Fined $4 Million for Exporting Seeds to Iran

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

By: Danielle McClellan

PanAmerican Seed Company (PanAm) of West Chicago, Illinois, a division of Ball Horticultural Company has agreed to pay $4,320,000 to settle potential civil liability for alleged violations of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (31 C.F.R. part 560 ITSR). Its alleged that the company exported seeds, primarily of flowers, to two Iranian distributors on 48 different occasions between May 2009 and March 2012.

PanAm and Ball Horticultural employees (including several mid-level managers) were aware of the US economic sanctions involving Iran and the requirement to apply for licenses to export the seeds to Iran. PanAm concealed the shipments by shipping the seeds to consignees based in two third countries located in Europe or the Middle East, and then the Iranian customers arranged for the re-exportation of the seeds to Iran.

The maximum penalty for the violations would be $12 million, OFAC considered the following when applying the $4 million penalty:

OFAC considered the following to be aggravating factors:

  1. PanAm Seed willfully violated U.S. sanctions on Iran by engaging in, and systematically obfuscating, conduct it knew to be prohibited;
  2. PanAm Seed demonstrated recklessness with respect to U.S. sanctions requirements by ignoring its OFAC compliance responsibilities, despite substantial international sales and warnings that OFAC sanctions could be implicated;
  3. Multiple PanAm Seed and Ball Horticultural employees, including mid-level managers, had contemporaneous knowledge of the transactions giving rise to the Alleged Violations. They were aware that the seeds were intended for reexportation to Iran, and PanAm Seed continued sales to its Iranian distributors for nearly eight months after its Director of Finance learned of OFAC’s investigation;
  4. PanAm Seed engaged in this pattern of conduct over a period of years, providing over $770,000 in economic benefit to Iran;
  5. PanAm Seed did not initially cooperate with OFAC’s investigation, providing some information that was inaccurate, misleading, or incomplete; and
  6. PanAm Seed is a division of Ball Horticultural, a commercially sophisticated, international corporation.

OFAC considered the following to be mitigating factors:

  1. PanAm Seed has not received a Penalty Notice or Finding of Violation from OFAC in the five years preceding the earliest date of the transactions giving rise to the Alleged Violations, making it eligible for “first offense” mitigation of up to 25 percent;
  2. The exports at issue were likely eligible for an OFAC license under the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000;
  3. PanAm Seed took remedial steps to ensure future compliance with OFAC sanctions, including stopping all exports to Iran, implementing a compliance program, and training gat least some of its employees on OFAC sanctions; and
  4. PanAm Seed cooperated with OFAC by agreeing to toll the statute of limitations for a total of 882 days.

OFAC Information: https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/CivPen/Documents/20160913_panam.pdf

Middle Man in Illegal Exports Debarred for 8 Years

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

By: Danielle McClellan

Walter Anders and his company Terand, Inc. (he was the sole employee) of Huntersville, NC has been debarred for 8 years for his connection in exporting carbon fiber to Singapore. Anders and his company were used as a middle man to send illegal exports from a company in Middlewtown, NY to a company in Singapore in exchange for multiple $1,400 kick backs.

In 2012, Performance Engineered Nonwovens, of Middletown, NY, was contacted by BIS and told that their license to export T300 carbon fiber (ECCN 1C210.a) to Singapore was revoked due to the concerns surrounding the recipient. Performance Engineered Nonwovens then sought out to find a way to conceal the shipments to Singapore, cue Walter Anders and Terand.  Within a few weeks Anders and the president of Performance Engineered Nonwovens, Peter Gromacki, agreed to have Terand falsely act as the US exporter of record for exports of the items to Singapore in return for a $1,400 commission for each successful export.

Terand created and issued commercial invoices on letterhead that falsely named Terand as the exporter and falsely stated that, “This commodity technology exported from the United States is in accordance with the Export administration Regulations.” The company also acted as the intermediary between Performance Engineered Nonwovens and the freight forwarder, providing instructions to the forwarder, signing any and all required shipping documents, and receiving status reports on the progress of exports to Singapore. Terand also appeared as the US Principal Party in Interest (USPPI) on all of the Shipper’s Export Declarations (SED) that were filed.

Over the course of 2012 Terand made 8 exports of T300 carbon fiber to Singapore (approximately 6,557kg). Gromacki (Performance Engineered Nonwovens president) ensured that this process would continue and told Walter Anders that, “You continue to play a crucial role. I cannot export without your help and hence the commission checks will continue to flow in your direction.”

Walter Anders and his company, Terand, have been charged with 8 counts of Causing, Aiding, and/or Abetting Unlicensed Exports. The 8 illegal exports were valued at $288,736, Anders received $11,200 in commissions and 8 years of debarment.

Federal Register: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/08/19/2016-19819/in-the-matter-of-walter-anders-10701-huntersville-commons-drive-suite-c-huntersville-nc-28078-terand

DDTC Agreements Guidelines Updated

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

On August 11, 2016, the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) announced its newest revision to the Guidelines for Preparing Agreements, which will become effective September 1, 2016. The changes will bring the Agreement Guidelines in line with certain revisions to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) that will also take effect on September 1, 2016.
Highlights of the changes:

  • Various sections of the Agreement Guidelines have been updated to reflect the new definitions for the terms “export,” “reexport” and “retransfer” that will go into effect on September 1.
  • Revision of Section 3.5: Dual/Third Country National (DN/TCN) to remove § 124.16 from Option 2, add references to § 126.18(d) in Option 1, redact the term “retransfer” from the guidance and required statements, remove country of birth as a consideration when vetting DN/TCNs via Option 2, update the required agreement statements for DN/TCN requests pursuant to § 124.8(5), and remove the optional agreement statement for § 126.1 non-(a) TCN requests.
  • The required statements throughout the Agreement Guidelines are updated, including the statement on sublicensing to U.S. Persons, the required statements for DN/TCN requests pursuant to § 124.8(5), and the § 124.8(5) verbatim clause.
  • Templates in Appendix A are updated to remove the § 124.12(a)(10) statement from the transmittal letter, remove the § 124.16 statement from the agreement, and update the required statements mentioned above.

Note:  Applicants are not required to submit an amendment for the sole purpose of updating these statements or removing the § 124.16 statement.  However, the statements must be updated at the next major amendment.  All agreement/amendment applications submitted after September 1, 2016, must include the new required statements, if applicable.  If an old statement is used, a proviso will be added instructing the applicant to change it prior to execution.  Applicants may begin using the new statements prior to September 1.

The templates in Appendix A have been updated to: – Remove the § 124.12(a)(10) statement from the transmittal letter – Remove the § 124.16 statement from the agreement – Update the mandatory statements listed above.

Revised Guidelines: https://www.pmddtc.state.gov/licensing/documents/agreement_guidelinesv4.4.pdf

Summary of Changes: https://www.pmddtc.state.gov/licensing/documents/agreement_guidelines_preamblev4.4.pdf

BIS Extends Temporary General License for ZTE Entities

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

On March 24, 2016, a final rule was published that created a temporary general license that allowed, for a short time period, two entities (ZTE Corporation and ZTE Kangxun) that had been added to the Entity List on March 8, 2016, to be able to take part in exports, reexports, and transfers (in- country).

BIS has decided to extend the temporary general license until November 28, 2016. Due to this extension, the final rule will remove the date of August 30, 2016 and substitute the newest expiration date of November 28, 2016. No other changes have been made to the license.

Federal Register Notice: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-08-19/pdf/2016-19828.pdf