John Bean Technologies has agreed to pay approximately $400,000 in fines for violating US sanctions against Iran. The Chicago-based company designs, manufactures, and services airport equipment and food processing systems. According to the US Department of the Treasury, the company sold goods to a Chinese company in April of 2009. Details about the case were contained in a penalty notice from the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets: the products were said to have been shipped via the Iranian state shipping line on a blocked vessel traveling from Spain to China; accompanying trade paperwork related to the shipment was sent to a US bank for payment based on a letter of credit. Allegedly, the Iranian shipping line (IRISL) has links to that nation’s military and many of its ships have been blocked despite the practice of changing flags often to avoid detection.
The OFAC notice indicated that John Bean Technologies has been cooperative and its company spokesperson said that action was taken as soon as the matter arose. In fact, the spokesperson explained that the company informed OFAC about the alleged violations.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “the penalty notice said John Bean, after the U.S. bank declined to advise the letter of credit, presented documents related to the shipment to a Spanish bank in May 2009 to receive payment. And, it said, John Bean reimbursed a Spanish unit for charges paid to its freight forwarder for the shipping services rendered by the Iranian shipping line and to the Spanish bank for fees associated with negotiating the letter of credit.”
Suzanne DeCuir, Global Trade Expertise July 2, 2015