Anna Fermanova, A Latvian-American was sentenced recently for attempting to smuggle ITAR controlled night vision devices, to include 3 D-7 series generation 3 night vision weapon scopes as well as some other controlled devices, to Russia for resale to wealthy hunters; customers of her husbands Moscow based hunting business.
Though her defense was an ignorance of the law surrounding these devices, any company selling night vision in the United States is fully aware of the law associated with these products and take the appropriate steps to inform their customers. Online retailer’s websites are littered with ITAR/Export regulatory information so to over-look something that is so “in-your-face” is what we consider a weak argument. Fermanova must serve 4 months in Federal Prison, 3 years of probation, and 4 months of House Arrest as well as a $1000 fine.
Night Optics USA goes to great lengths to educate our customers and website visitors on the rules as they relate to the products that we sell. Every product page has our Export Restrictions whether they are ITAR controlled or not. There is also a dedicated Export Restrictions page with Links and Phone numbers to the US State Department and the Commerce Dept., the 2 entities charged with export of controlled items. If you are unsure as to whether or not you can leave the country with something, you should always call and ask in order to avoid prison, fines and electronic ankle jewelry.
For our protection and yours, prior to completing your online transaction all customers must agree that they understand the export restrictions associated with our products before being allowed to finalize their order.
We have also turned off Retail ordering capability for visitors outside of the United States. In the early summer we introduced a form that foreign visitors to our website could fill in with the item(s) they would like to order. We are then able to determine internally whether the item(s) can or cannot be shipped to the customer and whether or not it will require a license. It doesn’t pay trying to game the system and it isn’t worth risking your freedom over anything.
To learn more about the Anna Fermanova case: