On September 14, 2023, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), the Department of State, and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) announced new sanctions designations and export control guidance related to Russia. These developments are the latest updates in the U.S. government’s ever-evolving response to Russia’s war in Ukraine through economic sanctions and export controls.
On July 26, 2023, Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement Matthew Axelrod of the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) spoke at the Society for International Affairs “Back to Basics” conference about BIS’s recent efforts to build partnerships in export controls regulation and enforcement and developments in antiboycott rules. In his address, Assistant Secretary Axelrod likened the Marvel cinematic universe—the blockbuster superhero films that feature intertwined characters and storylines—with the current export control landscape. By way of this analogy, Assistant Secretary Axelrod articulated BIS’s view that an ensemble cast of its interagency colleagues, international partners, private industry, and academia is central to a successful export control strategy.…
On June 9, 2023, the US Departments of Commerce, Justice, State, and the Treasury published a joint advisory and guidance (the “Guidance”) related to Iran’s procurement, development, and proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles (“UAVs”). Notably, the agencies warned industry participants that key components of Iranian UAVs are US-origin technologies, some of which are “low-technology items” that are designated as EAR99, i.e., not included on the Commerce Control List (“CCL”), Supplement No. 1 to part 774 of the EAR. The Guidance provides specific Harmonized System (HS) codes that exporters/reexporters may use to identify items that are of diversion/transshipment concern.
Further, the agencies provided clear guidance on the US government’s expectations for private industry compliance programs, identified numerous red flags for industry participants, and highlighted several best practices for how to address a red flag.
This Guidance is the most recent activity in a series of measures implemented by US government agencies to disrupt Iran’s UAV program. The Guidance may signal an increased focus on both US and non-US manufacturers and suppliers of commodities that can be used in the production of UAVs.…
On January 19, 2021, the Department of Commerce published an Interim Final Rule (the “Rule”) setting out a more detailed regulatory structure to implement Executive Order 13873, which authorizes Commerce to prohibit or otherwise regulate transactions involving information and communications technology or services (“ICTS”) with a nexus to “foreign adversaries” that pose an “undue or unacceptable risk” to US national security. See also our post on the predecessor proposed rule. The stated purpose of the Rule, which bears some resemblance to (though differs in many ways from) the foreign investment review and mitigation process administered by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”), is to protect US national security through a focus on the ICTS supply chain.
The Rule identifies for the first time the following as covered “foreign adversaries”:
- China (including Hong Kong)
- North Korea
- “Venezuelan politician Nicolás Maduro (Maduro Regime)