An Alberta business ships equipment worth $15.00 and receives $90,000.00 fine.
Over recent years there has been an increase in the enforcement of legislation aimed at businesses exporting their goods or services overseas. Recently, an Alberta company was fined $90,000.00 for mistakenly shipping $15.00 worth of prohibited equipment to Iran in contravention of the federal Special Economic Measures Act (the “SEMA”). The following is a general overview of that case.
The Honourable Judge Allan Fradsham of the Alberta Provincial Court considered the following factors when assessing Lee Specialties’ breach of the SEMA: The potential harm that could have come about due to Lee Specialties breach of the SEMA;
Notwithstanding these factors, which one would think support the imposition of a small fine, the Court imposed a fine of $90,000.00 on Lee Specialties for breaching the SEMA.
The Lee Specialties case emphasizes that non-compliance with Canadian export requirements will not be tolerated, regardless of whether the breach was intentional or not. The hefty fine imposed demonstrates the vigour with which export laws will be enforced. Judge Fradsham’s decision highlights the need for Canadian exporters to seek appropriate counsel and fully understand the nature and destination of the product being exported. The export landscape is complex and evolving constantly – Canadian exporters risk significant penalties if they fail to ensure all export requirements are met.
Josh McElman coxandpalmer.com 506.633.2708 Adam King firstname.lastname@example.org 506.453.9606
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