US – President continues national emergency with respect to Colombian drug traffickers

On October 20, 2016, the Federal Register published Presidential Notice of October 18, 2016 – Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to Significant Narcotics Traffickers Centered in Colombia, which continues for an additional year the national emergency first declared on October 21, 1995 by Executive Order 12978.  The national emergency is being continued because the actions of significant narcotics traffickers centered in Colombia continue to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States and to cause an extreme level of violence, corruption, and harm in the United States and abroad.

US – CBP establishes Electronic Visa Update System

On October 20, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register a final rule [USCBP-2016-0046; CBP Dec. No. 16-17] that amends the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) regulations to establish the Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS). This system will allow for the collection of biographic and other information from nonimmigrant aliens who hold a passport issued by an identified country containing a U.S. nonimmigrant visa of a designated category. Read more…

US – CBP EVUS requirements: designation of PRC and B1, B2 visas

On October 20, 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register a notice [CBP Dec. No. 16-18] identifying the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as an EVUS country and designating B-1, B-2, and B-1/B-2 visas issued without restriction for the maximum validity period, which is generally 10 years, as designated visa categories when the visas are contained in a passport issued by the PRC.

Ukraine expands sanctions against Russia

On 17 October 2016 the President of Ukraine enacted Presidential Decree No. 467/2016 approving the Decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine dated 17 October 2016 (the “Decree”)  imposing new personal sanctions against 335 individuals and 167 entities, and extending the sanctions imposed in September 2015 against 388 individuals and 105 entities for one more year.Read more…

US – FinCEN grants conditional exception to BSA Regulations relating to the Burma section 311 final rule

On October 19, 2016, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Treasury, published in the Federal Register a grant of conditional exception [FinCEN Issuance 2016-1] pursuant to authority under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), which would permit certain U.S. financial institutions to maintain correspondent accounts for Burmese banks under certain conditions, that is, provided that such covered financial institution subjects the account to the due diligence obligations set forth under Section 312 of the USA PATRIOT Act and its implementing regulation 31 C.F.R. 1010.610.Read more…

US – Commerce and Treasury Departments further expand authorizations for Cuba activities

On October 14, 2016, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced final rules amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), 15 C.F.R. Part 730 et seq., and the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR), 31 C.F.R. Part 515, respectively, to authorize additional activities relating to Cuba.  The final rules became effective on October 17, 2016, upon publication in the Federal Register. Read more…

China ends discriminatory tax exemptions for domestic civil aircraft

On October 18, 2016, United States Trade Representative Michael Froman announced that the United States has confirmed that China has ended discriminatory tax exemptions that had benefited certain types of aircraft produced in China.  The United States challenged these tax exemptions at the WTO.  China’s policy exempted certain aircraft produced in China – generally those under 25 metric tons by weight, including general aviation, business jets, and regional aircraft –from a 17 percent value-added tax.  But it imposed those taxes on imported aircraft, including products manufactured in the United States. This impacted producers of American-made aircraft as well as American parts producers who provide components to foreign-made aircraft.

ECO establishes new blog website and home page

The Export Control Organisation (ECO) in the new Department for International Trade has established a new blog website called “Import and export licensing” as well as a new home page on the Gov.UK website where you can find news, statistics, and links for ECO Notices to Exporters, applying for export licences on SPIRE, determining if an export licence is required, seeing whether there is an OGEL available for your exports, finding training opportunities and guidance.