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COMPANY FINED £100,000 FOR ILLEGAL EXPORTS and UNUSUAL UK PROSECUTION CASE

In April 2018 Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) issued a compound penalty of £109,312.50 to a UK exporter. This related to unlicensed exports of military goods controlled by The Export Control Order 2008.

Export control legislation is enforced by HMRC, working with the Crown Prosecution Service. Where appropriate, HMRC can use their powers to offer a compound penalty in lieu of prosecution.

Also in April 2018, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) recently prosecuted Carbosynth Limited for unlicensed exports of controlled chemicals.

Unusually, this was pursuant to section 68(1) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 in relation to The Export Control Order 2008 and the EU Dual Use Controls (Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009).

Section 68(1) concerns strict liability and is rarely the basis of a prosecution, action usually reserved for the more serious Section 68(2) intentional offence.
Carbosynth made unlicensed exports of ‘dual use’ chemicals:

  • R-(-)-3-Quinuclidinol
  • 2-(diethylamino)ethanethiol
  • benzilic acid

They also exported military list chemicals 1,2,4-butanetriol and decaborane.
The chemicals were exported variously to Japan, India, South Korea, Israel, USA, Germany and Canada.
On 18 April 2018, at City of London Magistrates’ Court, the company entered a guilty plea against the 6 counts and was ordered to pay £4,269.96.

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