We advise and represent clients on matters related to import and customs law, export controls, economic sanctions, antiboycott restrictions, and free trade agreements.
In an effort to counter attempts to circumvent U.S. sanctions on Russia and to assist the private sector in complying with U.S. sanctions, OFAC identified a number of individuals and entities involved in the conflict in Ukraine and added them either to the SDN List or Sectoral Sanctions Identification (SSI) List. The Treasury Department stated that its actions are “consistent with the U.S. commitment to seek a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine,” and reiterated that the sanctions on Russia will “remain in place until Russia fully honors its obligations under the Minsk Agreements.” In the agreements, Russia consented to a cease-fire and withdrawal of heavy weapons from Eastern Ukraine. BIS is also adding Ukraine-/Russia-related entities to the Entity List. The U.S.’ recent actions align with those of international partners such as the EU (which recently extended sanctions on Russia).
Today, the White House unveiled that it is changing U.S. policy toward Cuba by reinstituting certain restrictions on travel and other business involving Cuba, previously eased under the Obama administration. The Trump administration stated that the previous policy enriched and rewarded the Cuban military regime. The new policy enhances travel restrictions involving Cuba, and include ending individual (not group) “people-to-people” travel. The new U.S. policy also prohibits certain direct financial transactions with the Cuban military, security, and intelligence services. Read More→
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran and Russia. With respect to Iran, the bill authorizes additional sanctions related to the country’s ballistic missile program and human rights violations, as well as sanctions related to the sale or transfer of certain military equipment to Iran. With respect to Russia, the bill authorizes sanctions related to a number of areas (including Russia’s apparent involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election). Read More→
According to BIS, two companies agreed to pay $700,000 and $28,000, respectively, to settle export-related charges. Axis Communications (of Massachusetts) allegedly exported thermal imaging cameras to Mexico without the required licenses and failed to comply with the EAR’s recordkeeping requirements. Additionally, Cryomech, Inc. (of New York) allegedly exported LNP-20 Liquid Nitrogen Plant (an EAR99 item) to the Russian Federal Nuclear Center-VNIIEF, without the required license. Axis and Cryomech were also ordered, respectively, to hire an unaffiliated third-party consultant (with expertise in U.S. export controls laws) to audit their export controls compliance programs.
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Join the Houston East End Chamber of Commerce for the Port of Houston Appreciation Luncheon, which will include a keynote speech from Roger Guenther (Executive Director, Port of Houston Authority) and a wealth of information involving strategies business owners can implement when conducting international business. Other event details can be found here. Register→
At this year’s conference, Jamie Joiner will discuss several important trade-related topics, including key recent Customs cases, rulings, and regulatory changes that every import compliance manager should be aware of; the latest 2017 guidance from BIS and DOJ on the government’s expectations for U.S. export control and sanctions compliance programs; the use of ACE export data to monitor exporters’ compliance; and the importance of a post export audit process in compliance programs. JLF attorney, Thomas Ludwig, will present on balancing deemed export compliance obligations with anti-discrimination laws. Joiner Law Firm is a proud sponsor of this advanced-level trade compliance conference. Register→
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