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Meghan Hamilton

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On March 29, 2021, the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a final rule (“Final Rule”) implementing changes to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) that were agreed to at the December 2019 Wassenaar Arrangement Plenary meeting. Specifically, the Final Rule modified the reporting and self-classification requirements for exports of most mass-market encryption items and the email notification requirement for exports of publicly available encryption source code and beta test software. The…

In the past several days, the US Government has issued a slew of sanctions measures targeting Russia. These represent the first major escalation of sanctions against Russia under the Biden Administration and, according to a White House Fact Sheet, are stated to be in response to Russia’s “harmful foreign activities,” including efforts to undermine free and fair democratic elections and institutions, malicious cyber activities (including the recent SolarWinds incident), transnational corruption, targeting of dissidents and journalists,…

The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the US State Department (State), and the US Commerce Department (Commerce) issued rules adjusting maximum civil monetary penalties (CMPs) under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (FCA), as outlined below. (For additional years of CMPs, see our previous blog post available here.) OFAC CMP Adjustments Under OFAC’s final rule published on March 17, 2021, the adjusted penalties apply to CMPs that are assessed…

On January 15, 2021, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published an interim final rule (“Rule”) amending various provisions of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to implement certain provisions of the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (ECRA).  Among other things further outlined below, the Rule imposes new restrictions on specific activities of US persons. By way of brief background, the EAR generally controls transactions involving US origin items (i.e., goods, software, technology) regardless of whether…

On January 27, 2021, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued General License 1A, “Authorizing Transactions Involving Securities of Certain Communist Chinese Military Companies,” (“GL 1A”) in relation to OFAC’s Communist Chinese Military Companies (“CCMCs”) sanctions program as implemented pursuant to Executive Order 13959 (“EO 13959”) and amended by Executive Order 13974. OFAC concurrently published frequently asked questions (FAQs) 878 and 879, which clarify OFAC’s previous guidance on subsidiary entities with names that “closely match”…

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 December 28, 2020, the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) issued a final rule amending the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) to revise the Country Group designations for Ukraine, Mexico, and Cyprus. BIS has placed these countries’ into more permissive Country Groups due to these countries’ membership in multilateral export control regimes, as well as national security interests and policies compatible with those of the United States. The impact of these changes is…

On December 14, 2020, the US Government announced Sudan’s removal from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism (the “SST List”).  This rescission of Sudan as an SST follows an agreement in October for Sudan to be removed from the list and the lapse of a 45 day congressional notification period. The federal register notice regarding the rescission is available here. As detailed in our previous blog post here, the US Government revoked Sudan sanctions in October 2017, but Sudan’s…

On November 17, 2020, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) amended General License (“GL”) 8F and re-issued it as General License 8G. GL 8G extends the validity period of certain limited maintenance and wind-down transactions and activities involving Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (“PdVSA”) until June 3, 2021. Our blog posts describing previous amendments to the general license are available here, here, here, and here. Specifically, GL 8G extends the validity period…

On November 12, 2020, President Trump signed Executive Order 13959, “Addressing the Threat from Securities Investments that Finance Communist Chinese Military Companies” (the “China Securities EO”), which aims to prevent US investors from financing the development of the People’s Republic of China’s military, intelligence, and security capabilities by prohibiting purchases of securities of certain “Communist Chinese military companies.” This development builds on US Government concerns over China’s civil/military fusion and access to US capital markets and financing.…