Export Controls & Economic Sanctions

The merging of Hong Kong with China with respect to Hong Kong’s treatment under the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) is now reflected in the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security’s Hong Kong recordkeeping guidance.  On February 19, 2021, BIS updated its Hong Kong recordkeeping FAQs to make that guidance consistent with the final rule BIS issued on December 23, 2020 implementing Executive Order 13936 (the “E.O.”).  The E.O. was signed in the wake of U.S. objections to Chinese government national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong in 2020, which outlaws any act of “secession,” “terrorism,” or “collusion” with a foreign power.
Continue Reading BIS Updates Hong Kong Recordkeeping FAQs Consistent with Removal of Hong Kong from EAR Country Chart

On February 1, 2021, the military of Burma (Myanmar) in an unanticipated coup d’état installed General Min Aung Hlaing as leader and detained the country’s top elected leaders, including the
Continue Reading U.S. Imposes Targeted Sanctions and Export Restrictions on Burma in Response to Military Coup

The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) published regulations in the Federal Register on January 15, 2021 to implement Executive Order 13936 (“E.O. 13936”), titled “The
Continue Reading OFAC Implements Hong Kong-Related Sanctions Regulations Pursuant to E.O. 13936

On January 19, 2021, the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) published a long-awaited interim final rule to address the use of goods or services sourced from “foreign adversaries” in the U.S. supply chain for information communications technology and services (ICTS) transactions. When the interim final rule (ICTS Rules) take effect on March 20, 2021, they will enable the U.S. Secretary of Commerce (the Secretary) to block any ICTS transaction involving goods or services designed, developed, manufactured or supplied from “foreign adversaries” or companies organized in a “foreign adversary” country, conducting operations in a “foreign adversary” country or otherwise subject to the direction or control of a “foreign adversary.” These rules will have especially broad application, but Commerce has also indicated that it will continue to accept comments on the rules for the next 60 days. Commerce will also publish procedures for a “safe harbor” licensing program within the next 60 days and will then implement that licensing program within the next 120 days. Therefore, concerned parties still have an opportunity to submit feedback on the ICTS Rules and also have some remaining time to evaluate whether their transactions or activities might require licensing from Commerce.
Continue Reading Commerce Publishes Interim Final Rule Addressing “Foreign Adversaries” in ICTS Supply Chain

On January 14, 2021, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) announced that it has amended the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) to formally implement the rescission
Continue Reading BIS Amends EAR to Implement Rescission of Sudan’s State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation

The U.S. Department of State (“State Department”) announced the imposition of sanctions on Turkey’s Presidency of Defense Industries (“SSB”) pursuant to Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA”). The U.S. is sanctioning SSB over its procurement of the S-400 surface-to-air missile system from Russia’s Rosoboronexport (“ROE”). SSB is Turkey’s primary defense procurement entity and ROE is Russia’s main exporter of arms. As a result of Turkey’s actions, the U.S. is imposing full blocking sanctions on four SSB officials along with certain non-blocking CAATSA sanctions on the SSB entity.
Continue Reading U.S. Sanctions Turkey’s Defense Procurement Entity Over Its Purchase of Russian Missile System

The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued General License 8G (“GL 8G”), which authorizes five (5) U.S. oil and gas companies to engage in transactions “ordinarily incident and necessary to the limited maintenance of essential operations, contracts or other agreements”, as well as transactions necessary to the wind down of operations in Venezuela involving Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (“PdVSA”) or any entity which PdVSA owns a 50% or greater interest and that were in effect prior to July 26, 2019.  Effective November 17, 2020, GL 8G replaces and supersedes GL 8F which was set to expire on December 1, 2020, effectively extending its deadline through 12:01 eastern daylight time on June 3, 2021.  GL 8G applies specifically to the following entities and their subsidiaries: Chevron Corporation, Halliburton, Schlumberger Ltd., Baker Hughes (a GE company), and Weatherford International, PLC.
Continue Reading OFAC Issues Venezuela General License 8G Extending Authorization of Certain Transactions for U.S. Oil & Gas Companies

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) recently issued a final rule, effective November 18, 2020, which revises certain provisions of the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) to implement enforcement provisions pursuant to the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (“ECRA”), which expanded the export control authorities available to the Secretary of Commerce.  BIS also amended the EAR with respect to the issuance of licenses and denial orders and the payment of civil penalties, not directly related to implementation of ECRA.
Continue Reading BIS Amends EAR to Implement Export Enforcement Provisions of Export Control Reform Act