Archives: Export Controls & Sanctions

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European Commission Considers a CFIUS-like Framework for Screening Foreign Investments

On September 13, 2017, the European Commission published the draft of the EU regulation establishing a common European framework for the review of incoming foreign direct investment (FDI), akin to the process in the US administered by Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS).… Continue Reading

OFAC Announces Settlement Agreements With American Honda Finance Corporation and American International Group, Inc.

On 8 June 2017, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced a settlement agreement with American Honda Finance Corporation (AHFC), a California company, under which AHFC agreed to pay US$87,255 to settle apparent violations of Cuba sanctions. Separately, on 26 June 2017, OFAC announced a settlement agreement with American International Group, Inc. (AIG), a Delaware company headquartered in New York, … Continue Reading

UN Adopts New Sanctions Against North Korean Offcials and Entities

On 2 June 2017, the UN Security Council adopted new sanctions targeting 18 North Korean officials and entities as a result of North Korea’s recent ballistic missile tests. Under these sanctions, entities and people are subject to an asset freeze and travel ban in all UN countries. The EU’s implementing measures are Commission Regulation 2017/970, which amends Council Regulation 329/2007 … Continue Reading

US Treasury Department Proposes Financial Sanctions Against Chinese Bank to Address North Korea Concerns

On 29 June 2017, the US Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced a proposed rule that would designate China’s Bank of Dandong to be a foreign financial institution of primary money laundering concern under Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act. The measure responds to findings that the bank used the US financial system to facilitate millions of dollars … Continue Reading

US Commerce and Treasury Departments Add to Lists of Sanctioned Entities Under Russia-/Ukraine-Related Programmes

In June 2017, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) imposed coordinated sanctions against two entities from the Crimea Region of Ukraine and eight entities from Russia. OFAC added each entity to the OFAC List of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN List) and Block Persons under the executive orders implemented … Continue Reading

Trump Administration Announces New Policy on Cuban Embargo

In a National Security Presidential Memorandum issued 16 June 2017, the Trump Administration outlined modest changes to US Cuba policy and forthcoming revisions to economic sanctions regulations implementing the Cuba embargo. According to the memorandum, the shift is intended to “promote a stable, prosperous, and free country for the Cuban People,” by, among other things, redirecting US funds to private … Continue Reading

Queen’s Speech Signals the Arrival International Sanctions Bill

On 21 June 2017, the Queen’s Speech included the International Sanctions Bill as part of the new Brexit-related draft legislation, which is designed to “support our role as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a leading player on the world stage, by establishing a new sovereign UK framework to implement international sanctions on a multilateral … Continue Reading

HMRC Publishes Advisory Notice on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Controls in Overseas Jurisdictions

On 23 June 2017, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published information identifying jurisdictions with deficiencies in their antimoney laundering and counter-terrorist financing regimes. In response to this published information by the FATF, in its advisory notice, HM Treasury advises firms to consider North Korea and Iran as high-risk jurisdictions for the purposes of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, and … Continue Reading

High Court Rules That UK Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia Are Lawful

On 10 July 2017, the High Court ruled that the export of UK arms and weapons to Saudi Arabia is lawful. The claimant, Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), had challenged the government’s continued granting of licences for UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia, claiming that the UK was in breach of international humanitarian law. The court held that … Continue Reading

Entry Into Force of Additional Requirements for Licenced Trade With Iran

Additional requirements with regard to the provision of information about end-use and end-use locations that must be complied with in order to receive authorisation for the supply, sale, transfer or use of certain nuclear-related goods to, from or in Iran have been introduced by the EU. Council Regulation (EU) 2017/964 amends Council Regulation (EU) 267/2012 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/974 … Continue Reading

EU Council Agrees to Develop Sanctions Framework to Address Cyber Attacks

Following a Council press release from 19 June 2017, it has been revealed that the Council has agreed to develop a framework for a joint EU diplomatic response to malicious cyber activities, referred to as the “cyber diplomacy toolbox”. Of note, the press release states that “the EU is concerned by the increased ability and willingness of state and … Continue Reading

EU Renews Its Sanctions Against Crimea and Sevastopol

On 19 June 2017, the Council extended its territorial sanctions against Crimea and Sevastopol until 23 June 2018. Under these sanctions, EU members are prohibited to import into the EU goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol, with the exception of goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol that have been granted a certificate of origin by the Government of Ukraine. In … Continue Reading

EU Renews Its Sanctions Against Guinea-Bissau

The EU has announced that it has reviewed the list of persons and entities designated on its sanctions against Guinea-Bissau and decided that the restrictive measures should continue to apply to them. The sanctions target people seeking to prevent the restoration of the constitutional order or taking action that undermines stability in the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, and in particular those … Continue Reading

EU Updates Listings of Individuals and Entities on Its Sanctions Against Iran

On 23 June 2017, the Council updated the listing information for 14 entities and 23 individuals who are listed on the EU’s anti-nuclear proliferation sanctions against Iran. Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1124 implements Council Regulation 267/2012 and Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2017/1127 implements Council Decision 2010/413/CFSP.… Continue Reading

EU Extends Economic Sanctions Against Russia by Six Months

On 28 June 2017, the European Council extended the economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy until 31 January 2018. These sanctions were originally introduced on 31 July 2014 in response to Russia’s actions destablising the situation in Ukraine and to target the financial, energy and defence sectors, as well as dual-use goods. The EU has expressed that … Continue Reading

BIS Updates Encryption Controls Guidance

The US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has posted long-awaited updates to parts of its website dedicated to guidance on the Export Administration Regulations’ (EAR) encryption controls. The updates implement changes to encryption controls adopted in September 2016, under the Wassenaar Arrangement. Among other things, the new web pages include updated flow … Continue Reading

US Congress Proposes New Iran Sanctions Legislation

On 25 May, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 18-3 to pass S. 722, the Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017 (CIDA Act). If enacted, the CIDA Act would create new sanctions against Iran with respect to ballistic missiles and the sale of prohibited arms. The sanctions measures in the CIDA Act are ostensibly … Continue Reading

US Court of Appeals Reverses OFAC Sanctions Penalty for Iran Transactions

In May, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a rare ruling reversing in part monetary penalties issued by the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) against California-based automotive electronics supplier Epsilon Electronics Inc. (Epsilon). OFAC issued a Penalty Notice to Epsilon in July 2014 assessing total monetary … Continue Reading

US Sanctions Persons Connected to Iran’s Ballistic Missile Programme

On 17 May 2017, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated for sanctions seven persons connected to Iran’s ballistic missile programme. Among those targeted by the sanctions are two senior Iranian defense officials, including the Deputy Director for Commerce of Iran’s Defense Industries Organization, Morteza Farasatpour. Farasatpour was responsible for coordinating … Continue Reading

UK Joint Money Laundering Steering Group Consults on Revisions to Its Sanctions Guidance

The UK Joint Money Laundering Steering Group (JMLSG) has published proposed revisions to its guidance on the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorism for the UK financial services industry. The revisions reflect a number of factors, including the provisions of the proposed new Money Laundering Regulations published by HM Treasury on 15 … Continue Reading

EU General Court Rejects Syria Annulment Application

On 18 May, the General Court of the EU dismissed Rami Makhlouf’s annulment application for his listing on the EU’s restrictive measures targeting Syria. The General Court did so on the basis that he is a member of the Makhlouf family, has close ties to and supports the Assad regime, and is an influential businessman … Continue Reading
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