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.
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