The U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) recently issued administrative settlement documents against a company called Fulfill Your Packages ("FYP"). Under the settlement agreement, FYP agreed to pay a $250,000 fine, of which $190,000 was suspended on the condition that the company has no export violations over the next two years.
According to the documents filed by BIS, FYP allows Chinese companies to use its U.S. address for the purchase and delivery of items from U.S. companies. FYP receives shipments from U.S. suppliers and manufacturers, then repackages the shipment, relabels the shipment, and exports the shipment to its Chinses customers.
The Proposed Charging Letter alleges that a FYP customer purchased a FLIR Thermal Imaging camera (valued at $2,617) from a Florida distributor and had the package sent to FYP. The distributor’s invoice indicated that the camera was controlled for export under ECCN 6A003(b)(4)(b), and that a license was required for its export. In addition, there was a label affixed to the camera by the distributor stating the item was “subject to the U.S. Department of Commerce Export Control Regulations and must not be exported from the U.S. or Canada without a U.S. export license.”
After receipt of the camera from the distributor, FYP repacked the shipment and prepared a U.S. Postal Service label and a Customs Declaration which stated that the package contained “metal parts” valued at $255. Apparently, FYP did not apply for an export license. In these actions, BIS also alleges that FYP evaded its obligation to file the appropriate Electronic Export Information (EEI).
The package was intercepted by BIS Office of Export Enforcement Special Agents before the export could occur.
This is another hard lesson to learn for companies who are engaged in package forwarding, U.S. mail address and other related services for their foreign customers.
Jim McShane is a Sr. Consultant, Trade Compliance for Export Solutions -- a full-service consulting firm specializing in ITAR and EAR regulations.