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Kerry B. Contini

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On January 1, 2021, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (the “NDAA 2021”) was enacted into law after the US Congress voted to override the President’s veto of the bill. The defense budget legislation authorizes $740.5 billion for national defense spending and sets policies on military compensation, procurement of equipment, operations, and training. In addition, similar to most National Defense Authorization Acts in recent years, the NDAA 2021 includes provisions regarding sanctions and export…

On October 26, 2020, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated additional Iranian individuals, entities and vessels to the Specifically Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (the “SDN” List) pursuant to Executive Order 13224 (as amended) (EO 13224), a counter-terrorism authority, for their support to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), an entity designated under EO 13224. Among the designated entities are the Iranian Ministry of Petroleum, the National Iranian Oil…

On September 21, 2020, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) pushed back the submission deadline for comments related to the letter of attestation process for exports of certain personal protection equipment (PPE). FEMA published the request for comments in July 2020 but reportedly did not receive any. The export restrictions and letter of attestation process was created earlier this year in response to potential shortages of certain kinds of PPE as a result of the…

On July 31, 2020, the Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) amended the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to suspend the availability of all License Exceptions for Hong Kong that provide differential treatment relative to mainland China. Our blog post on prior steps taken to revoke preferential treatment for Hong Kong, including the initial announcement of these suspensions, is available here. The following partial or full License Exceptions are no longer available for exports…

On August 10, 2020, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a temporary final rule extending and modifying FEMA’s previously imposed restrictions on the export from the United States of certain personal protective equipment (PPE Products) used in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic (“Extension Rule”). The original restrictions on exports of PPE Products imposed by FEMA were published on April 10, 2020. The Extension Rule became effective August 10, 2020, and will be in…

On 15 July 2020, the U.S. and Gulf Cooperation Council (“GCC”)-led Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (“TFTC”) designated six targets affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (“ISIS”), including an entity allegedly posing as a charity (and its director) based in Afghanistan that allegedly provided support to ISIS’ branch in that country, ISIS-Khorasan (“ISIS-K”). The entities that were designated are: Al Haram ExchangeTawasul CompanyAl-Khalidi ExchangeNejaat Social Welfare Organization Five of these targets (which includes…

On July 14, 2020, President Trump issued Executive Order 13936 on Hong Kong Normalization (the “Hong Kong Normalization EO”), which directs the suspension or elimination of special and preferential treatment for Hong Kong under a wide range of US laws, setting the stage for Hong Kong to be treated the same as mainland China. It also authorizes sanctions against persons involved in developing, adopting, or implementing China’s Law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong…

On July 17, 2020, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published a request for comments on the letter of attestation process in connection with the export restrictions on certain personal protection equipment (“PPE“). These restrictions were imposed earlier this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our previous blog posts on the FEMA restrictions and their exemptions can be found here and here. FEMA requires that exporters submit a letter of attestation via a document management system overseen by US…

On June 15, 2020, the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published an interim final rule (“Interim Final Rule”) effective on June 18, 2020 to authorize the limited release of certain items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to Huawei and its affiliates listed on the BIS Entity List (“Huawei Listed Entities”) in the context of international efforts to develop technical standards for 5G and other new technologies. In a statement, the Commerce…

We are pleased to announce the launch of Baker McKenzie’s COVID-19 Product Import/Export Review (“COVID-19 PIER”) tool. This tool is a multijurisdictional tracker that provides information on import and export measures imposed around the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. New jurisdictions will be added as we continuously update the information in the tool. The past few months have seen an exponential increase in the demand for personal protective equipment (“PPE”), medical supplies, and other…