Export Controls and Sanctions

On November 12, 2020, the President issued Executive Order 13959 (the Order) to prohibit U.S. persons from purchasing the publicly traded securities of certain companies that are affiliated with China’s military.  While the Order does not come into force until January 11, 2021, U.S. financial services companies and U.S. investors will need to carefully review

Last week, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued an Art Advisory, warning of the sanctions risk presented by high-value artwork transactions due to the anonymity, lack of transparency, mobility of assets, and subjective valuations that often characterize that market.  OFAC cautions that bad actors, like terrorist financiers and others subject to sanctions,

Yesterday, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued General License M, authorizing U.S. academic institutions to export certain online learning services and software to Iranian students to facilitate remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Students that are in Iran, or are ordinarily resident in Iran, are eligible to receive services under the general

Yesterday, OFAC announced amendments to the Cuba embargo that will further restrict the ability of U.S. companies to process remittances to or from Cuba.  Specifically, the new rules prohibit U.S. companies from processing remittances involving Cuban entities on the State Department’s Cuba Restricted List (CRL), which include Fincimex and American International Services, two major

The Department of Treasury’s office that administers reviews of foreign investments in U.S. companies is changing how it identifies critical technology businesses and related technologies that require mandatory review during a foreign investment process.  The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS or the Committee) issued a final rule effective October 15, 2020

This week, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced a settlement agreement with Berkshire Hathaway Inc. involving apparent violations of the U.S. embargo on Iran by a subsidiary in Turkey.  Under the agreement, Berkshire Hathaway agreed to pay over $4.1 million to settle allegations that the Turkish subsidiary exported 144 shipments of cutting tools

On October 16, 2020, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced that exporters may request a six-month extension for export licenses set to expire on or before December 31, 2020.

BIS indicates that most requests for extensions will be reviewed and approved on an expedited basis within two to three business days, depending on

Last week, the United States expanded sanctions on Iran’s financial sector by designating 18 major Iranian banks as Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) and authorizing additional future sanctions on the Iranian financial sector.  Non-U.S. companies and banks could be subject to serious U.S. secondary sanctions penalties for significant continued dealings with the designated Iranian financial institutions,

Last week OFAC extended its general license authorizing U.S. persons to wind down and divest from certain transactions with subsidiaries of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) until November 30, 2020.  OFAC extended the general license to give U.S. persons more time to exit dealings involving XPCC’s many subsidiaries, which play a significant role

Yesterday, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) to further limit the ability of U.S. persons to book lodging in Cuba, import certain goods from Cuba, and participate in professional meetings or artistic and athletic events in Cuba.  The changes include the following:

  • The new rules prohibit U.S.