Russia
April 25, 2019

Lack of Sanctions Compliance Program Trips Software Firm Dealing With Russian Energy Giant

By Samuel Rubenfeld

 

A New Jersey company agreed to settle a case with the U.S. Treasury Department that was triggered, in part, by its lack of a sanctions-compliance program.

Haverly Systems Inc., which provides software and software-support services to energy companies, violated U.S. sanctions regulations concerning debt of greater than 90-days maturity with Rosneft when it collected payments on invoices many months after they were issued, the Treasury said. The company didn’t disclose the violations, the Treasury said; it agreed to pay $75,375 to settle the case, which the Treasury determined wasn’t egregious.

Although its assets aren’t blocked, Rosneft is subject to debt restrictions that cover the Russian energy sector. Its chief executive, Igor Sechin, was sanctioned in April 2014. Rosneft is Russia’s largest petroleum company and third-largest gas producer.

According to the Treasury, Haverly didn’t have a U.S. sanctions compliance program at the time of the violations. The company has since created a sanctions compliance officer position and implemented a risk-based compliance program with screening tools, the Treasury said.

“This enforcement action highlights the risks associated with engaging in transactions involving sectors of the Russian economy subject to U.S. economic and trade sanctions,” the Treasury said.

Haverly issued two separate invoices in August 2015 to Rosneft related to the licensing of software and the purchase of support services, according to an enforcement notice posted by the Treasury. Though the invoices from Haverly had due dates between 30 and 70 days from when they were issued, the company didn’t collect for monthsbecause of issues Rosneft had with making the payments, the notice said.

Rosneft told Haverly about 70 days after the invoices were issued that it needed corrected tax documentation to make the payments; it took Haverly several months to get the documents, according to the Treasury notice. Haverly received the Rosneft payment on the first invoice on May 31, 2016, nine months after it was issued, the notice said.

Between May and October 2016, Rosneft made four attempts to pay the second invoice, but financial institutions blocked the transactions citing the 90 day debt-payment restrictions for institutions such as Rosneft subject to Russian sectoral sanctions regulations, according to the Treasury. Haverly received information from Rosneft about the rejected transactions showing “that the underlying activity may have a nexus to sectoral sanctions,” the Treasury said.  

To complete the payment, Haverly re-issued and re-dated the invoice at Rosneft’s suggestion, according to the Treasury. Haverly received payment on the second invoice on Jan. 11, 2017, the Treasury said.

 

Kharon research

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