On 09.01.2020 the OLG Hamburg sentenced an entrepreneur from Baden-Württemberg to a total of 7 years imprisonment.
Between 2014 and 2018, the entrepreneur had illegally exported rocket technology, special presses for the production of rocket parts and chemicals for the production of rocket fuel to Russia on a commercial basis.
EU export control – embargo measures on Russia
However, in 2014 the EU had imposed a strict embargo on Russia because of the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula Crimea, including an arms embargo and trade restrictions on dual-use goods, which the Russian entrepreneur had violated.
This is because the embargo also covers the ban on the supply and import of chemicals such as Decaboran, which are to be imported into Russia for military purposes or military end-users.
Chemicals and special presses delivered to Russia
The delivery involved a total of 4.5 kilograms of the chemical Decaboran, which is used in the manufacture of rocket propellants and explosives and can be lethal if it comes into contact with the skin or is inhaled.
According to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, the businessman had agreed to the delivery of the chemical with a Russian armaments company in Moscow and had transported parts of the delivery in airplane luggage. He thus endangered customs officers and travellers to a considerable extent.
Further deliveries included two Belgian special presses with which rocket parts can be manufactured.
Under certain conditions, hot isostatic presses are also listed in the EC Dual-Use Regulation and must be approved in advance for export from the European Union regardless of the existence of an embargo.
Overall, according to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, the deliveries constitute a deliberate deception of customs by making false statements.
For the entrepreneur, this means far-reaching entrepreneurial and financial consequences and a 7-year prison sentence.
Companies wishing to export goods to Russia, but also to Ukraine and Crimea, which are covered by the Russia embargo must therefore apply for prior authorisation.
Entrepreneurs who violate the embargo and other trade restrictions in the regulation are liable to prosecution and risk heavy prison sentences.