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United States

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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,…

On April 9, 2021, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a final rule (“Final Rule”) in the Federal Register to add seven Chinese parties (together, the “Designees”) to the Entity List. The Final Rule took effect on April 8, 2021. According to the Final Rule and the Commerce Department’s press release, the Designees were added to the Entity List because they have procured US-origin items for use in building supercomputers that are used to support…

On April 8, 2021, the US Treasury Department published an updated List of Countries Requiring Cooperation With An International Boycott (the “Treasury List”). Significantly, Treasury announced that it had removed the UAE from the Treasury List following the UAE’s repeal of its law requiring participation with the Arab League Boycott of Israel and subsequent implementation of the new policy. In connection with its establishment of full diplomatic ties with Israel last year under the UAE-Israel Abraham Accords,…

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…

Under the Russian encryption regulations, notification to, or registration with, the Russian Federal Security Service (the FSB) is required in order to import and distribute foreign products (hardware and software) with encryption functions or features in the Russian Federation. Although the FSB is a sanctioned party, listed on the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) list of specially designated nationals and blocked persons (the “OFAC SDN List”) pursuant to the Cyber-Related Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R.…

On April 9, 2021, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) strengthened restrictions targeting Burma by adding Burma to the list of countries subject to the Export Administration Regulations’ (EAR’s) military-intelligence end-use and end-user controls and controls on certain support activities by US persons (“Interim Final Rule“). These controls were first issued on January 15, 2021 (“January Rule“), and became effective March 16, 2021.  Our blog posts on other recent sanctions targeting Burma…

On April 1, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14022, revoking Executive Order 13928 “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Associated with the International Criminal Court” (the “ICC EO”), which authorized the imposition of sanctions and visa restrictions on non-US ICC officials. The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control concurrently removed two senior ICC officials from the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (“SDN List”), including Fatou Bensouda, the ICC’s chief prosecutor. The…

On April 5, 2021, a majority of a three-judge panel of the US Court of International Trade (CIT) held that President Trump issued Proclamation 9980, Adjusting Imports of Derivative Aluminum Articles and Derivative Steel Articles Into the United States (85 Fed. Reg. 5,281), beyond the statutory time limits set forth in Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (19 U.S.C. §1862) and was therefore invalid as contrary to law. The CIT found that…

On March 29, 2021, the Commerce Department published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) seeking public comment on potential licensing or other pre-clearance processes for transactions under the regulations that took effect on March 22, 2021 to implement Executive Order 13873, “Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain” (Executive Order 13873). Executive Order 13873 authorizes the Commerce Department to block or impose conditions on transactions involving information and communications technology and services (ICTS) originating in countries…

On April 1, 2021, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register a final rule [CBP Dec. 21-06] that amends the CBP regulations to reflect the imposition of import restrictions on certain archaeological material from the Republic of Costa Rica (Costa Rica). These restrictions are being imposed pursuant to an agreement between the United States and Costa Rica that has been entered into under the authority of the Convention on Cultural Property…