On this lovely valentine day, I happen to find export control violation case in online news site, it is export of rifle scope without METI export license to China and Germany. The company name is VIXEN CO.,Ltd, located in Saitama prefecture, Greater Tokyo area in Japan. They are optical equipment manufacturer, with a focus on astronomical telescopes, binoculars, and microscopes. The details of violation case is not announced in newspaper, it is only mentioned as "export of rifle scope without export license." My assessment is the rifle scope is classified as military items, Category 1 (i) of Export Trade Control Order. The description of this category is "Firearms, ammunition, or accessories or parts ". Japan have tough stance in export of military items and there is substantially no license exception for Category 1. For example, low value exception is not applicable to items of Category 1.
This company immediately posted the announcement on their web site and explain what happened.
The article in their web site shows they admit the export of rifle scope without export license. But they explain the export transaction was "not for ordinary sales operation, but sample shipments before mass production". In addition, "For normal sales export transaction, the company have applied and hold export license by METI in due course." It looks they emphasize this export violation case is unexpected isolated error in sample goods give away.
As most of export control professional know, there is no license exception for sample goods export. As long as the goods falling into the technical criteria of control items list of Export Trade Control Order, export license is required regardless of sales goods or samples. The company have to take measures to prevent further violation, investigated by police, and the company name is negatively reported by media.
The careless sample goods export can be costly.