Archives: Economic Sanctions

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OFAC Issues General License Extending Maintenance / Wind-Down Period for Rusal Dealings

On Monday, OFAC issued General License No. 14 under the Ukraine-Related Sanctions Regulations (URSR), authorizing the maintenance or winding down of business with United Company Rusal plc (Rusal) through October 23, 2018.  The imposition of sanctions on Rusal, which OFAC listed as a Specially Designated National (SDN) on April 6, had roiled the global aluminum market and … Continue Reading

New Sanctions Against Russian Oligarchs, Officials, and Companies May Have Significant Impact

Following up on our earlier blog post, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced new blocking sanctions on April 6, 2018 against seven Russian oligarchs, 12 entities owned or controlled by those oligarchs, 17 senior Russian government officials, a Russian weapons trading company, and a banking subsidiary owned by … Continue Reading

OFAC Sanctions Russian Oligarchs and Major Russian Companies

Today, the U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated several Russian individuals and companies as Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs).  Specifically, in response to what Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin described as Russia’s “malign activity”, OFAC indicated that it sanctioned seven Russian oligarchs and 12 companies they own or control, 17 senior Russian … Continue Reading

President Imposes First US Economic Sanctions Against Venezuelan Digital Currency

On March 19, President Trump issued Executive Order 13827, which imposes the first US sanctions against a virtual currency – namely, a digital currency known as the “petro” that has been issued by the Government of Venezuela (GOV). Specifically, the executive order prohibits “all transactions related to, provision of financing for, and other dealings in, by … Continue Reading

Newly Introduced Sanctions Bill Targets IRGC

On March 1, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and the committee’s ranking Democrat, Eliot Engel (D-NY), introduced bipartisan legislation targeting Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (“IRGC”), a branch of Iran’s armed forces considered responsible for much of Iran’s international terrorism and domestic repression.  The new bill, known as the Iranian Revolutionary Guard … Continue Reading

Russia Sanctions: Amended OFAC Directive 4 Effective Today

Today is the effective date of the expanded sanctions set out in Directive 4 under the U.S. Russia sanctions program, as amended by the U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on October 31, 2017.  The amendment implemented Section 223 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), signed into law … Continue Reading

What if President Trump Refuses to Renew Iran Sanctions Waivers?

Last week, while reluctantly renewing waivers of statutory sanctions against Iran, President Trump issued an ultimatum: Either the United States’ European allies negotiate a “supplemental agreement” that strengthens the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement and targets Iran’s ballistic missile program, or the United States will no longer waive sanctions against Iran.  The President’s … Continue Reading

President Trump Reissues Iran Sanctions Waivers, but Warns That Concerns over JCPOA Must Be Addressed

On January 12, President Trump announced that he was reissuing statutory waivers necessary to continue certain sanctions relief pursuant to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA” or Iran nuclear deal), but stated that this was the last time he would reissue such waivers unless his concerns over the agreement were addressed.  On the same … Continue Reading

Trump Designates North Korea as a ‘State Sponsor of Terrorism,’ Makes Additional Sanctions Designations

On November 20, 2017, President Trump announced that North Korea would be designated a “state sponsor of terrorism.”  The only other countries with this designation are Syria, Iran, and Sudan.  The president also stated that the United States would announce the imposition of additional sanctions on Pyongyang.  The next day, the US Department of the … Continue Reading

UN and EU North Korea Sanctions: Impacts on European and Cross-Border Trade

As tensions continue to escalate between the United States and North Korea, and President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un trade increasingly tense lobs, the United Nations, the EU, the United States, and other countries continue to impose further stringent sanctions against North Korea to a breaking point (for details on UN Security Council Resolution 2375 … Continue Reading

A ‘Modest Proposal’ for Cuba: OFAC, BIS and State Department Implement President’s New Cuba Policy

Effective November 9, 2017, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR), respectively, to implement US Cuba sanctions policy changes President Trump announced in a presidential memorandum issued June … Continue Reading

Russian Sanctions Update: OFAC Amends Directive 4 and Updates FAQ Guidance

On October 31, 2017, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took a number of actions to implement the Countering Russian Influence in Europe and Eurasia Act (CRIEEA) (also known as the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), a larger sanctions statute of which CRIEEA was a part).  As part of this, OFAC amended Directive … Continue Reading

Economic Sanctions Webinar

On Wednesday, November 15 at 12:00 PM EST, Anthony Rapa will be presenting “Recent Developments in Economic Sanctions: Russia, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, and Cuba,” a webinar hosted by Federal Publications.  As described on the Federal Publications website: From “decertifying” the Iran deal to disputes with “Rocket Man,” the economic sanctions world has seen dizzying … Continue Reading

State Department Allows Certain Civilian Trade to Continue with Russia’s Defense Sector

On October 27, 2017, the US Department of State, pursuant to Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), published the list of entities that are part of, or operate for or on behalf of, the Russian defense or intelligence sectors, as well as Guidance that sets out indicators of how the … Continue Reading

Congress Continues Bipartisan Focus on Sanctions Legislation

The House of Representatives was the scene of a flurry of sanctions-related activity this week, as the lower chamber passed new sanctions measures related to North Korea, Iran, and Hizballah. The bipartisan consensus on sanctions policy in the House continued, with three of the bills passing by unanimous voice vote and the other two bills … Continue Reading

OFAC Continues Belarus Sanctions Relief

On October 24, 2017, the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued a general license continuing the extension of certain sanctions relief toward Belarus. The general license, which is the fourth in a series of identical licenses, authorizes US persons to engage in certain transactions with nine Belarus-based entities that have … Continue Reading

President Trump Decertifies Iran Deal, Outlines New Approach

As a follow up to our recent blog post, Steptoe published a detailed advisory on President’s Trump’s October 13, 2017 announcement that his administration would take a new strategic approach with regard to Iran and that he “cannot and will not” continue to make at least one of the periodic certifications regarding the Joint Comprehensive … Continue Reading

President Trump Outlines New Strategic Approach Regarding Iran

In a speech today, President Trump announced the result of his Administration’s strategic review of foreign policy towards Iran, including the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”) implemented by the Obama administration in January 2016.  As set out in a White House fact sheet, the Trump Administration will seek to expand the focus of U.S. … Continue Reading

Trump Administration Announces Permanent Rollback of Sudanese Sanctions Regulations

On October 6, the U.S. Government announced the termination of U.S. sanctions against Sudan, which had been in place since 1997. While most of the recent developments regarding U.S. sanctions have involved increasing sanctions against countries such as North Korea and Venezuela, Sudan-related sanctions policy has been quietly moving in the opposite direction, with the … Continue Reading

Bank Warranties: The Other Sanctions Regulations

Imagine, for a moment, that your company has achieved a state of compliance nirvana. Through the diligent efforts of compliance personnel and counsel, the company has assessed its economic sanctions and export control risks, implemented policies and procedures to prevent unlawful activity, and provided compliance training to employees.  With those measures in place, the company … Continue Reading

EU Raises Specter of Blocking Regulation as Trump Administration Ponders JCPOA

In a panel hosted by the Atlantic Council last week, the EU Ambassador to the United States, David O’Sullivan, stated that the European Union could block U.S. sanctions on Iran if the United States pulls out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”). The U.S. Congress built in a requirement under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review … Continue Reading

OFAC Shortens New Debt Maturity Periods under Russian Financial and Energy Sectoral Sanctions

OFAC today revised its Ukraine/Russia-related sectoral sanctions directives prohibiting US person dealings in new debt or new equity of listed Russian financial institutions and new debt of listed Russian energy companies (in both cases, these prohibitions continue to apply to the “interests in property” of the listed entities, meaning any entity 50% or more owned … Continue Reading

OFAC Reaches Settlement Agreement with Richemont North America

On September 26, 2017, the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published information about a civil enforcement action against Richemont North America, d.b.a. Cartier, headquartered in New York.  Richemont agreed to settle charges and pay approximately $334,800 for allegedly selling jewelry to a Specially Designated National and Blocked Person designated under the Foreign Narcotics … Continue Reading
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