PanAmerican Seed Company (“PanAm Seed”), a division of Ball Horticultural Company (“Ball Horticultural”), has agreed to pay USD 4.3 million to settle its civil liability for violating US sanctions by allegedly exporting seeds, primarily of flowers, to two Iranian distributors on 48 occasions between May 2009 and March 2012. OFAC determined that personnel (including several mid-level managers) from various business units within PanAm Seed and/or Ball Horticultural were aware of U.S. economic sanctions programs involving Iran and the need to apply for and obtain a specific license from OFAC in order to export the seeds in question. Despite this knowledge, PanAm Seed engaged in the transactions nonetheless. OFAC determined that PanAm Seed did not voluntarily self-disclose the alleged violations to OFAC, and that the alleged violations constitute an egregious case.
In mitigation, OFAC noted, amongst others, that this was PanAm Seed’s “first offense” and PanAm Seed took remedial steps to ensure future compliance with OFAC sanctions, including stopping all exports to Iran, implementing a compliance program, and training at least some of its employees on OFAC sanctions.
OFAC’s penalty notice can be found here.
Iran’s market is open, but compliance measures are required
Despite the new opportunities and while more and more companies are considering to enter or re-enter the Iranian market, that decision does require companies to take compliance measures. These measures include, among others, product controls, customer controls and payment controls. B&A Law has extensive experience in advising its clients with regard to Iran sanctions compliance and transactions in Iran.
Contact B&A Law for advice
Are you interested in doing business in Iran, but would you like to have more knowledge of the possibilities and risks related to doing business in Iran? Call us. We can provide you with all relevant services.