State Department Concludes Settlement of Alleged Export Violations by Bright Lights USA, Inc.
The State Department has concluded an administrative settlement with Bright Lights USA, Inc. (“BLU”) of Barrington, New Jersey, to resolve alleged violations of the Arms Export Controls Act (AECA), 22 U.S.C. § 2751 et seq., and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130. The agreement was reached pursuant to ITAR § 128.11 and addresses alleged unauthorized exports of ITAR-controlled defense articles to foreign persons in a number of countries. BLU’s alleged unauthorized exports included the transfer of ITAR-controlled technical data to foreign persons in the People’s Republic of China, a country to which the United States restricts exports of defense articles and defense services.
The settlement was reached following an extensive compliance review by the Department’s Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance (DTCC) in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, and highlights the Department’s responsibility to protect U.S. defense articles, including technical data, from unauthorized export. The settlement also highlights the risks of modifying ITAR-controlled technical data to remove export control labels or warnings.
Under the terms of the Consent Agreement, BLU will pay a civil penalty of $400,000 in complete settlement of the alleged violations. The company voluntarily disclosed the alleged AECA and ITAR violations resolved under this settlement to the Department, acknowledged the serious nature of the alleged violations, and cooperated with the Department’s review. Importantly, BLU also implemented remedial measures that significantly reduce the likelihood of recurrence, including conducting multiple compliance audits, expanding ITAR training, creating a fully-documented compliance program, and increasing staff resources devoted to day-to-day compliance. For these reasons, the Department determined that an administrative debarment would not be appropriate and that additional remediation with outside monitoring was unnecessary.
The Consent Agreement and related documents will be available for public inspection in the Public Reading Room of the Department of State and on the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls’ website at http://www.pmddtc.state.gov/compliance/poa.html. For additional information, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs’ Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at PM-CPA@state.gov.