us-sanctions 14 May 2020

BIOMIN America fined by OFAC for Cuba sanctions violations

BIOMIN America, the US division of a global developer of animal feed, has been fined nearly $260,000 for conducting sales to a Cuban company without proper authorization by the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (‘OFAC’).

‘BIOMIN America could potentially have availed itself of such authorization but failed to take the steps necessary to do so,’ the Treasury Department said in a 6 May press release. ‘Instead, BIOMIN America developed a transaction structure that it incorrectly determined would be consistent with U.S. sanctions requirements, which resulted in a total of 44 apparent violations,’ it said.

BIOMIN America, which is based in Overland Park, Kansas and is a division of Austria-based Erber Group, processed orders worth about $17.4 million from Cuban company Alfarma S.A. between 2012 and 2017, the Treasury Department said.

It said the company processed purchase orders from Alfarma on behalf of BIOMIN America’s foreign affiliates that would then fulfill the orders for Alfarma. ‘BIOMIN America coordinated, and received commissions on these sales to Alfarma, as executed by its foreign affiliates. As a result, BIOMIN America and its owned or controlled foreign entities dealt in blocked property in apparent violation of the CACR,’ (the Cuban Assets Control Regulations).

‘BIOMIN America subsequently implemented remedial measures intended to prevent future unauthorized sales,’ the Treasury Department said.