The Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) recently released settlement documents under which the agency imposed a $23,000 fine on Capintec, Inc., for an unlicensed export of an EAR99 nuclear dose calibrator worth $5,120 dollars to Pakistan. The export required a license because it allegedly was sent to the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission, which is listed on BIS’s Entity List.
The charging documents make a big deal about an “outreach” visit paid to Capintec in which BIS agents supposedly
discussed with Capintec the need to screen all parties to an export transaction against, inter alia, BIS’s Entity List to determine whether an export license was required.
Although this was not used to add a charge against Capintec for exporting “with knowledge,” it does illustrate that there are good reasons why companies might want to schedule these meetings with their lawyers present since the content of the meetings is often used by BIS in subsequent penalty proceedings.
Another thing bears comment here. The item involved is used in nuclear medicine to calibrate doses used, for example, to provide radiation treatment to cancer patients. The PAEC is in charge of all nuclear medicine in Pakistan and runs 14 hospitals in 12 cities providing treatment to cancer patients. It would surprise me if the purchaser of these medical devices was the PAEC and not one of its hospitals instead. None of these hospitals are mentioned or referenced on the Entity List, and this might well have been the reason that the item was shipped by Capintec without a license even if it checked the list. Of course, there’s not enough information in the charging documents to determine the exact addressee of the export, so it’s impossible to tell whether this was the case or not.
The safest course for exporters is to exercise caution in exporting anything relating to nuclear medicine to Pakistan and to apply for a license in all cases. There is a presumption of approval for export licenses for EAR99 items to PAEC, so a license request will likely be granted easily and promptly.