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August 27, 2008 

BIS Imposes $90,000 Civil Penalty on Taiwan Trading Company for Involvement in Unlicensed Exports of U.S. Computer Chips to China

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has imposed a $90,000 civil penalty ($10,000 per violation) on Taiwan's Johnson Trading & Engineering Company, Ltd. for knowingly causing the unlicensed exports of computer chips to China. BIS also charged that Johnson Trading took action to evade the EAR and acted with knowledge of a violation.

According to BIS, on seven occasions between February 2003 and December 2003, Johnson Trading took actions to evade the EAR and knowingly caused the unlicensed exports of SRAM modules, an EE Mixed module and an EEPROM module (all classified as ECCN 3A001.a.2.c) from the U.S., via Taiwan and Hong Kong, to China. Johnson Trading allegedly ordered the computer chips from a U.S. exporter and falsely represented to that exporter that the country of ultimate destination was Taiwan. Following the shipment of the computer chips to Taiwan, Johnson Trading arranged and facilitated for the items’ subsequent shipment to China via Hong Kong. The computer chips in question were subject to the EAR and controlled for national security and anti-terrorism reasons.

Johnson Trading also agreed to a suspended five-year denial of export privileges and to an audit of the company’s export compliance program. Under the settlement agreement Johnson Trading must provide a copy of their export compliance program to BIS's Office of Export Enforcement within seven months. If Johnson Trading complies with the terms of the settlement agreement, BIS will suspend $30,000 of the $90,000 penalty.

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