In a press release issued August 20, 2020, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced a final order imposing a fine of over $31 million against Singapore based Nordic Maritime Pte. Ltd. (“Nordic”) and its Chairman, Morten Innhaug (“Innhaug”).
Nordic was found to have violated the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) by using U.S. origin subsea survey equipment, installed on a vessel chartered by Nordic, in Iranian territorial waters. A previous vessel operator had installed the equipment on the vessel pursuant to a BIS reexport license. After Nordic chartered the vessel, the previous operator sent Nordic a cease and desist letter informing them of the terms of the BIS reexport license and warned against use of the equipment in Iranian waters.
BIS determined that Nordic and Innhaug ignored the letter and instead used the controlled equipment to perform a 3D offshore seismic survey for an Iranian power plant management company in Iranian territorial waters without previous authorization from either BIS or Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Nordic was found to have committed three violations when it illegally reexported the equipment to Iran, including acting with knowledge of the violations, and making false and misleading statements to BIS during the investigation. Innhaug was found to have aided and abetted Nordic in violating the regulations. BIS previously issued a 15-year denial order against both Nordic and Innhaug.