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BIS Takes Enforcement Action Against Russian Cargo Airline Operating in Violation of U.S. Export Controls


Today, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement Matthew S. Axelrod issued an order temporarily denying all export privileges for the Russian cargo aircraft carrier Aviastar due to ongoing violations of the comprehensive export controls imposed on Russia by the Commerce Department.  Headquartered in Moscow, Aviastar provides a variety of cargo services to Russia. 

“BIS’s Export Enforcement is laser focused on depriving Russia the items and technologies it needs to sustain its war machine, and today’s action is another critical step in cutting Vladimir Putin off from the global economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “The Commerce Department will continue using every tool at its disposal to demonstrate the power and reach of U.S. law and disrupt Russia’s ability to wage war.”

“Actions like the issuance of today’s latest Temporary Denial Order are a clear message to any country, firm, or person considering whether to provide material support to Russia’s military that they need to think again,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. “BIS has done critically important work enforcing new restrictions on Russia’s and Belarus’s aerospace sectors and today’s action cuts another critical link for Russia to the global economy.”

“Airlift capacity is essential for military success and economic prosperity, and that is why we targeted Russia’s aerospace sector in response to its brutal invasion of Ukraine.” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security Alan Estevez. “Actions like today’s Temporary Denial Order demonstrate that BIS’s Export Enforcement is working hard to ensure that our new controls have their intended effect: To severely degrade and diminish Russia’s capacity to quickly move people, cargo, and weapons against Ukraine.”  

 “Today’s action reflects the Commerce Department’s commitment to enforce our laws vigorously against those who violate them.” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement Matthew S. Axelrod. “Importantly, this order will hinder Aviastar’s ability to deliver military cargo and dangerous goods to Russia at a time when Russia is waging an unprovoked war of aggression against the people of Ukraine.”

The Temporary Denial Order (TDO) issued today bans Aviastar from participating in any transactions subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), including exports from the United States and reexports of items subject to the EAR from abroad.  Today’s TDO further cuts off Russia’s access to the goods and technologies needed to wage war and may be renewed after 180 days.  BIS has led the Department of Commerce’s efforts in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by taking a number of powerful regulatory and enforcement actions, including issuing public notice to the public on potential violations of the EAR in the aerospace sector and issuing TDOs on major Russian airlines Aeroflot, Utair, and Azur Air. 

Additional information on these and other actions taken in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is available on BIS’s website at: https://bis.doc.gov/index.php/policy-guidance/country-guidance/russia-belarus.

The issuance of a TDO is one of the most significant civil sanctions under the EAR and is issued by the Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement to deny the export privileges of a company or individual to prevent an imminent or on-going export control violation.  This BIS TDO was issued under the authority of the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 and the EAR.

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