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Boycott Violator Penalized

A Swiss subsidiary of a large American corporation has been ordered to pay $20,000 to the U.S. Treasury as a “civil penalty” for two alleged violations of the U.S. laws aimed at the Arab boycott of Israel.

The Commerce Department announced that in accordance with a “consent agreement” it has ordered Finagrain Compagnie Comerciale Agricole et Financiere S.A. (Finagrain), a Swiss subsidiary of Continental Grain Company, to pay $20,000, the “maximum civil penalty allowable under the law for two violations,” a Department statement said.

The penalty order, signed by Stanley Marcuss, Senior Deputy Assistant Secretary for Industry and Trade, also requires Finagrain to take “internal corrective measures to ensure its future compliance with the anti-boycott law and to report to the Commerce Department within six months on its actions.”

The two alleged violations involved a shipment to Iraq in which Finagrain certified that it was not affiliated with any firm blacklisted by Iraq as part of its boycott of Israel and that the shipment was not of Israeli origin. The anti-boycott law prohibits Americans from furnishing information about business relationships with boycotted or blacklisted persons related to intent to support an unsanctioned foreign boycott.

According to the penalty agreement entered into by the Swiss firm, one of its corrective measures is to have prompt reporting to its appropriate management all boycott-related requests. This includes “all Finagrain transactions involving customers in the countries identified on the U.S. Treasury Department list of countries deemed to be cooperating with the Arab boycott of Israel.”

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