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Firm Hit with Heavy Fine for Violating Anti-boycott Provisions

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The U.S. Department of Commerce announced today an order imposing the largest civil fine to date under the anti-boycott provisions of the Export Administration Act that bars compliance by American firms with the Arab boycott of Israel.

Cameron Iron Works Inc. of Houston, Texas, was ordered to pay a civil penalty of $65,000 and “undertake a number of internal corrective measures” to insure its future compliance with the anti-boycott law. The company accepted the penalty under a consent agreement, although it neither “admits nor denies the truth of the allegations but wishes to settle” the matter. In addition, the company is required to file a report on its corrective measures with the Commerce Department within six months.

The Commerce Department charged that Cameron had “repeatedly furnished information” from its offices in Houston and Leeds, England, to its customers in Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Qatar, Iraq and Libya “to the effect that Cameron’s products were not of Israeli origin.” Cameron had “repeatedly engaged in the sale and shipment of manufactured oil equipment” to the countries named, the Department said.

“The U.S. anti-boycott law prohibits United States persons from furnishing information about business relationships with boycotted countries when such information is furnished with intent to comply with, further or support an unsanctioned foreign boycott,” the Department said.

Two weeks ago, the Department charged the Library Bureau Inc. of Herkimer, N.Y. of having shipped furniture and library equipment to the Libyan National Library in Benghazi while agreeing to refuse to do business with Israel. This case is in litigation. Earlier, Finagran, a Swiss subsidiary of Continental Grain Co., an American firm, was fined a maximum of $10,000 on each of two violations for shipments of grains to Iraq.

Stanley J. Marcuss, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Trade, announced the consent agreement with Gameron. The Department’s action was recommended by Vincent Rocque, Acting Deputy Director of the Department’s Bureau of Trade Relations.

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