Export Controls and Sanctions

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.

On September 14, 2020, the U.S. Department of Treasury, as Chair of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), published final regulations changing the mandatory CFIUS declaration requirements for transactions involving U.S. businesses that produce, design, test, manufacture, or develop  critical technologies. Previously, the regulations provided that a CFIUS declaration was mandatory

On August 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) updated its list of “Communist Chinese military companies” that provide expertise and technological support to the Chinese military.  The list, which includes a number of large state-owned enterprises in China, does not impose sanctions or export restrictions on the listed companies, although some of the

Today the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) added 24 Chinese state-owned companies to the Entity List for their role in the construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea.  The Entity List prohibits the export, re-export, and transfer (in-country) of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to these companies without a

On August 20, the Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) published a final rule (“final rule”) amending the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) to expand restrictions on transactions involving Huawei entities that are included on BIS’s Entity List (“designated Huawei entities”).  The newly expanded rule applies to a broader range of items produced outside of the

On August 20, 2020, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) will publish a final rule confirming that the Entity List licensing requirements apply to all transactions in which a listed party plays a role – including where the listed party is the ultimate consignee, end-user, purchaser, or intermediate consignee.  The new rule formally codifies

Last Thursday, the President issued two executive orders (“E.O.s”) targeting social media applications TikTok (and its parent company, ByteDance) and WeChat (and its parent company, Tencent Holdings).  The E.O.s direct the Department of Commerce (“DOC”) to prohibit transactions involving the applications.  Companies that deal directly with TikTok or WeChat in the United States and abroad or use their services need to evaluate the scope of those activities and determine if they will be affected by the E.O.s.

The E.O.s were issued pursuant to the national emergency declared in E.O. 13873 regarding information and communication services in the United States that are controlled by persons within the jurisdiction of a “foreign adversary.”  In issuing the E.O.s, the President cited concerns that the Chinese government could gain access to Americans’ personal information collected by the applications, among other policy considerations.  The President has the power to issue the directives under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA,” 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), which provides the President with the authority to declare national emergencies and implement sweeping trade controls based on national security concerns.

The intended scope of the E.O.s is not clear due to ambiguous language used in Section 1, which contain the E.O.s’ primary prohibitions.  Here is an excerpt of that section from the TikTok order:
Continue Reading President Issues Executive Orders Targeting TikTok and WeChat