U.S. officials have brought yet another case against a freight forwarder for export violations. An executive of a foreign freight forwarding firm, Ulrich Davis, was recently sentenced to six months in prison for export control violations. Davis was Sales and Business Development Manager for a Netherlands-based freight forwarder, which also has a freight forwarder affiliate in the United States. Davis was alleged to have picked up and arranged transportation for US origin items on behalf of a company that was the subject of a BIS Temporary Denial Order. According to the Justice Department release, the goods were shipped to the Netherlands, transshipped, and eventually shipped to Iran. Davis was prosecuted by US officials for conspiracy to export goods in contravention of the Temporary Denial Order. Davis eventually pled guilty and was sentenced on May 15, 2012.
This is yet another case where U.S. prosecutors have brought charges against a party who facilitated a transaction by providing logistics services. This is on the heels of other recent export enforcement cases against forwarders, including FedEx Express for its freight forwarding activities (see: http://www.bis.doc.gov/news/2012/bis_press01042012.htm), DHL (see: http://www.bis.doc.gov/news/2009/bis_press08062009.html) and a number of smaller forwarders. In the FedEx case, BIS officials alleged that FedEx, in its capacity as a freight forwarder, aided and abetted shipments by its client to parties in Dubai and other locations that were listed on a number of prohibited party lists. The charging letter stated: “Specifically FedEx caused, aided or abetted this unlawful attempted export to Mayrow by, inter alia, preparing, processing, and/or filing with the U.S. government the Automated Export System records associated with this transaction…” U.S. officials continue to emphasize the importance of export compliance at all points in the supply chain, and by all parties involved in a transaction.
Justice Department releases for this case can be found at: http://www.bis.doc.gov/news/2011/doj08092011.htm, http://www.bis.doc.gov/news/2012/doj02062012.htm and http://www.bis.doc.gov/news/2012/doj05152012.htm, and the Criminal Information can be found at: http://www.bis.doc.gov/news/2012/final_davis_information.pdf.