Boeing hit with $51M settlement over unauthorized exports of defense articles  

Boeing F-22 Raptor
Everett Collection /

Boeing and the US Department of State have concluded a $51 million administrative settlement over the unauthorized export of defense articles by the planemaker.  

According to Reuters, Boeing said in a statement on February 29, 2024, that the violations included Chinese employees based in China improperly downloading documents related to US Defense programs.  

In the four years leading up to 2017, the employees accessed data relating to F-18, F-15 and F-22 fighter jet programs, plus the E-3 Sentry and AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. 

In addition, between 2013 and 2018 there were unauthorized technical downloads at Boeing and partner bases in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Morocco, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Taiwan, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. 

“The administrative settlement between the Department of State and Boeing […] addresses Boeing’s unauthorized exports and retransfers of technical data to foreign-person employees and contractors; unauthorized exports of defense articles,” the State Department said.  

All of the alleged violations were voluntarily disclosed by Boeing and a considerable majority predate 2020. Furthermore, the US does not allege that the documents contained classified material.  

In all, the settlement resolves 199 violations of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). 

The State Department added that Boeing had “incorporated numerous improvements to its compliance program since the conduct at issue”. 

Under the terms of a 36-month Consent Agreement, Boeing will pay a civil penalty of $51 million. However, the State Department agreed to suspend $24 million if it is used to strengthen the company’s compliance program. 

“The settlement demonstrates the Department’s role in furthering the national security and foreign policy of the United States by controlling the export of defense articles. The settlement also highlights the importance of exporting defense articles only pursuant to appropriate authorization from the Department,” the statement said.  

According to Reuters, Boeing has declared that it is committed to improving its trade controls compliance program and “committed to our trade controls obligations, and we look forward to working with the state department under the agreement”. 

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