The U.S. Department of State recently published updated guidance pertaining to Section 232 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA”). The revised guidelines subject energy export pipelines originating from Russia, particularly the Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream pipelines, to secondary Section 232 sanctions (not to be confused with Section 232 of the Trade

The U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) has recently issued two new General Licenses to extend pre-existing authorizations for transactions with GAZ Group that would otherwise be prohibited under OFAC’s Ukraine- and Russia-related sanctions. General License 15H (“GL 15H”) authorizes certain activities necessary to maintenance or wind down of operations or existing contracts

Court of International Trade

Summary of Decisions

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On July 1, 2019, in the ongoing antidumping and countervailing duty orders on aluminum extrusions from the People’s Republic of China, the Court concluded that jurisdiction over this action exists because Plaintiff Perfectus’s complaint seeking review of the scope ruling was filed within thirty days of the mailing by post of that ruling as required by statute and was therefore timely and the Court sustains Commerce’s finding that the pallet products fall within the plain language of the scope of the Orders.

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On July 2, 2019, in the classification case of stringed light sets, the Court granted Plaintiff Target’s motion for summary judgment and denied the Defendant’s cross-motion. The CIT concluded that the subject merchandise based on the principal of use and commercial fungibility with other products was incorrectly classified by Customs. In the Opinion, the CIT stated, “there can be no genuine issue of material fact that the lighting sets at issue are not principally used as Christmas tree lights and are not fungible with Christmas tree lights.”


Continue Reading July Trade Law Update: Court Decisions

On Sunday, January 27, 2019, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) announced the lifting of sanctions imposed on En+ Group plc (“En+”), UC Rusal plc (“Rusal”) and JSC EuroSibEnergo (“ESE”).  As previously reported here, this announcement follows the Administration’s notification submitted to Congress on December 19, 2018.
Continue Reading OFAC Lifts Sanctions on EN+, Rusal and EuroSibEnergo

On December 19, 2018, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) and the U.S. State Department took multiple sanctions actions related to Russia:

Proposed Delisting of En+ Group, UC Rusal and ESE

OFAC notified Congress of its intent to remove En+ Group plc (“En+ Group”), UC Rusal plc (“UC Rusal”) and JSC EuroSibEnergo (“ESE”) from its Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (the “SDN List”) within thirty (30) days from December 19, 2018.  OFAC first added these companies to the SDN List in April 2018 when it imposed sanctions on Oleg Deripaska due to his status as a senior Russian government official.  OFAC added these three companies to the SDN List because Deripaska was the majority owner of En+ Group (which, in turn, was the majority owner of both UC Rusal and ESE).  Under OFAC’s 50% ownership rule, these sanctions also extended to any subsidiaries in which En+ Group, UC Rusal or ESE held an ownership interest of 50% or greater. 
Continue Reading OFAC Announces Multiple Changes to Russia Related Sanctions

On December 7, 2018, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) further extended the expiration date of certain Ukraine-related general licenses related to EN+ Group plc (EN+), United Company RUSAL PLC (RUSAL), and GAZ Group (GAZ) as the entities continue discussions with OFAC to potentially effect “significant changes in control of these sanctioned entities.”   The new  General Licenses 13H (Authorizing Certain Transactions Necessary to Divest or Transfer Debt, Equity, or Other Holdings in Certain Blocked Persons), 14D (Authorizing Certain Activities Necessary to Maintenance or Wind Down of Operations or Existing Contracts with United Company RUSAL PLC), 15C (Authorizing Certain Activities Necessary to Maintenance or Wind Down of Operations or Existing Contracts with GAZ Group), and 16D (Authorizing Certain Activities Necessary to Maintenance or Wind Down of Operations or Existing Contracts with EN+ Group PLC or JSC EuroSibEnergo) supersede their previous versions by extending the expiration date from from January 7, 2019, to January 21, 2019.
Continue Reading OFAC Extends Expiration Date of Certain Ukraine-Related General Licenses by Two Weeks

On November 9, 2018, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) extended the expiration date for certain Ukraine-related general licenses related to EN+ Group plc (EN+), United Company RUSAL PLC (RUSAL), and GAZ Group (GAZ).  The expiration date of General Licenses 13G (Authorizing Certain Transactions Necessary to Divest or Transfer Debt, Equity, or Other Holdings in Certain Blocked Persons), 14C (Authorizing Certain Activities Necessary to Maintenance or Wind Down of Operations or Existing Contracts with United Company RUSAL PLC), 15B (Authorizing Certain Activities Necessary to Maintenance or Wind Down of Operations or Existing Contracts with GAZ Group), and 16C (Authorizing Certain Activities Necessary to Maintenance or Wind Down of Operations or Existing Contracts with EN+ Group PLC or JSC EuroSibEnergo) was extended from December 12, 2018 to January 7, 2019.  U.S. persons participating in transactions or activities authorized by these general licenses should provide a detailed report to OFAC within 10 business days of January 7, 2019 (by January 21, 2019).

Continue Reading OFAC Extends Expiration Date for EN+, RUSAL, and GAZ Ukraine-related General Licenses

As previously covered here, on April 6, 2018, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) invoked authority provided under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA”) in order to place several Russian oligarchs, political officials and businesses under their control on its Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (“SDN List”).  These designations generally prohibited U.S. persons from engaging in transactions  with the sanctioned individuals  and entities, however OFAC also issued several General Licenses simultaneously which were intended to provide limited windows for maintaining or winding down preexisting transactions with those sanctioned individuals or entities.  OFAC has now partially extended those authorized wind down periods by issuing the following General Licenses last week on September 21, 2018:

Continue Reading OFAC Extends Authorization Period for Licensed Transactions with Certain Russian SDNs

On September 20, 2018, President Trump released a 16-page Executive Order which delegated various Presidential powers established under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA”) to both the U.S. Secretary of Treasury and the U.S. Secretary of State.  As a result of this delegation, the U.S. Treasury Department‘s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) and the U.S. State Department are now empowered to take actions which include (but are not limited to) designating parties to be sanctioned under various CAATSA provisions, selecting the specific menu-based sanctions to be imposed upon those parties and implementing those menu-based sanctions (we previously covered the CAATSA statute here, here and here).  OFAC also updated its website to provide an additional FAQ response explaining the new Executive Order and indicating that it anticipates promulgating regulations to implement these sanctions.

Continue Reading Trump Administration Issues New CAATSA Executive Order, Adds 33 Persons to LSP List and Sanctions Chinese Defense Buyer