The latest on Russia sanctions from the International Trade and Supply Chain Team
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On June 28, 2022, the Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) issued a Joint Alert urging financial institutions to be vigilant against efforts by individuals or entities to evade BIS export controls implemented in connection with the Russian Federation’s further invasion of Ukraine.  After providing an overview of recent BIS actions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Joint Alert identifies commodities that present “special concern because of their potential diversion to and end use by Russia and Belarus to further their military and defense capabilities,” all of which require a BIS license prior to export or reexport to Russia and Belarus.
Continue Reading U.S. Departments of Treasury and State Expand Sanctions To Restrict Russia’s Access to Services and Economics and Combat Evasion and Backfill Activities

On June 13th, Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) released its Operational Guidance For Importers to prepare companies for the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (“UFLPA”). UFLPA enforcement is set to take effect June 21st and will apply a rebuttable presumption standard to imports tied in whole or in part to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region or entities identified by the U.S. government on the soon to be published UFLPA Entity List.

Continue Reading CBP Releases Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) Guidance for Importers

On June 2, 2022, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) added new Russian vessels and aircraft used by Russian elites, new top Russian government officials, and their companies and operations to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List for aiding in the continued war effort by Russia against Ukraine.  Notably, these designations include more Russian government officials and oligarchs, and two of the largest mining companies in Russia, Severstal PJSC (Severstal) and Nord Gold PLC (Nord Gold).  This means that U.S. persons cannot engage in any transactions with Severstal or Nord Gold unless authorized by a license.
Continue Reading OFAC and State Department Designate Severstal, Nord Gold and Additional Russians as SDNs

On June 2, 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) updated the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) to: (i) add 71 entities to the Entity List “for acquiring or attempting to acquire U.S.-origin items in support of Russia’s military”; (ii) issue minor revisions, corrections, and clarifications to its Russia and Belarus export controls; and (iii) increase its administrative disclosure authorities to allow the publication of charging letters prior to a resolution of an administrative case.  The changes went into effect immediately on June 2, 2022 and were published in the Federal Register on June 6, 2022 via two Final Rules available (here) and (here).
Continue Reading BIS Adds 71 Entities to Entity List; Issues Russia/Belarus Corrections and Clarifications; and Updates EAR to Allow Immediate Publication of Charging Letters

On June 6, 2022, President Biden declared a national emergency (the “Declaration”) in relation to energy resources and temporarily extended the time of duty-free importation of solar panels and parts
Continue Reading President Puts Hold on Tariffs and Duties On Solar Panels and Parts of Solar Panels From Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Thailand

Matthew Axelrod, the Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”), told a conference held by the Society for International Affairs on May 16, 2022, that his agency is considering major policy changes to its administrative enforcement authorities.  Axelrod said the policy changes, expected to be rolled out in the next few months, are intended to incentivize export compliance by corporations under the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”). 
Continue Reading BIS Considers More Public and Expensive Consequences for Companies Violating the EAR

On May 8, 2022 the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s (“Treasury”) Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) further escalated U.S. sanctions against the Russian Federation (“Russia”) by issuing two Determinations,
Continue Reading OFAC Issues New Sanctions Prohibiting Certain Accounting, Auditing, Corporate Formation and Management Services to Persons in Russia Effective June 7, 2022; And Additional Bank Designations and General Licenses