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Beware: Export Violations Yield High Penalties

Export Violations

It Can Happen to You 

The idea that your business' reputation and profitability could be forever tarnished by an export violation may seem like a far-off hypothetical, but in reality, export violations can carry heavy penalties and severe consequences.

A company that has been found in violation, along with its leaders, comes under scrutiny as the offense becomes public knowledge. In just a matter of months, a business can lose its otherwise stellar reputation and miss out on future prospects.

In the oil and gas industry, export compliance is often overlooked. Companies are under the misguided notion that non-U.S. citizens are exempt from compliance requirements. This couldn't be further from the truth. 

Case Study: Nordic Maritime Pte. Ltd and Morten Innhuag 

​Take it from Singapore-based Nordic Maritime Pte. Ltd and the company's chairman, Morten Innhaug.

On March 11th, the head of the Commerce Department Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) revoked Nordic Maritime's export license for a total of 15 years. The company and its chairman were also issued a fine more than $30 million by an administrative law judge. The BIS's acting undersecretary has recently argued that the fine is too high, however, and a judge is currently reviewing this decision.

In its investigation, BIS says Nordic Maritime and Innhaug performed seismic surveillance work with a company that contracts with the state-owned National Iranian Offshore Oil Company.

BIS alleges that the company continued this work even after they knew the tools being used fell under U.S. sanctions against Iran. In doing so, BIS found sufficient evidence that Nordic Maritime and Innhaug violated the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). 

Don't be Caught Off-Gaurd

This is just one example of how important it is to have a compliance program in place.

BIS has a unique range and combination of administrative enforcement authorities in their arsenal including the imposition of civil penalties, denial of export privileges, and placement of individuals and entities on lists that restrict or prohibit their involvement in export and re-export transactions.

If you need help making sure your company is compliant, Gulf Marine Contractors has a team of industry-experienced compliance specialists ready to assist and protect your company. For more information, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Monday, 06 February 2023