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September 03, 2004 

Financial Times Describes U.S. Penalties Imposed by U.S. on European Companies

Today's Financial Times contains an article discussing the monetary penalties imposed by the Office of Foreign Assets Controls (OFAC) on several European companies, including Alitalia, the Italian airline, for violations of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR). The article notes that the "fines, news of which emerged yesterday, follow the penalty imposed on Iberia, the Spanish airline, after it was accused of shipping Cuban goods through the U.S." The article further states that the "sanctions may force the European Commission, which has strongly criticised the extra-territorial application of the Cuban embargo laws, to protest to Washington."

The timing of this article is puzzling, given that these penalties were imposed and publicly announced by OFAC earlier this year. For example, the civil penalty against Alitalia, which amounted to only $500, was posted on OFAC's Web site on April 2, 2004. The civil penalty against Iberia was posted on OFAC's Web site on June 4, 2004. While the article describes the EU's concerns with the extra-territorial application of U.S. law, it does not mention that the penalties imposed on Alitalia and Iberia involved the transportation and importation of Cuban-origin goods into the U.S., a clear violation and non extra-territorial application of U.S. law.

The article can be viewed at the following link:



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