On October 9, 2019, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) added 28 Chinese entities to the Entity List because they are accused by the US Government of being associated with human rights violations and abuses against Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinijiang Uighur Autonomous Region (“XUAR”). All exports, reexports, or in-country transfers of items (i.e., goods, software, technology) subject to the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”), including EAR99 items, are now subject to a license requirement to such entities. The final rule also includes an extensive list of aliases for these entities.
On September 9, 2019, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued Executive Order 13886 (“EO 13886”), expanding the US counter-terrorism sanctions program by amending Executive Order 13224 (“EO 13224”), which dates to the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. OFAC also designated 28 individuals and entities as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (“SDGTs”) under this new authority and updated various other entries on the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List to reflect sanction of those authorities under the same authority. In addition, as described in statements here and here, the State Department implemented the new authority by designating Hurras al-Din, an al-Qaeda-affiliated group in Syria, and 12 leaders of SDGT groups (all of which were designated by OFAC on the same day).
On August 30, 2019, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) published Due Diligence Guidance urging companies to employ heightened due diligence when exporting to Pakistan (the “Pakistan Guidance”). The Pakistan Guidance specifically focuses on (i) supplemental licensing requirements applicable for items (e.g. goods, software, or technology) subject to the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) that may be destined to nuclear or missile activities, and (ii) best practices for screening customers in Pakistan to prevent diversion of items subject to the EAR to unauthorized end uses and end users.
BIS published the Pakistan Guidance in an effort to bring attention to compliance risks related exports/reexports to Pakistan after investigations by the BIS Office of Export Enforcement “revealed schemes” by Pakistani entities attempting to acquire items subject to the EAR for entities listed on the Entity List. The Pakistan Guidelines appear to reflect an enforcement focus on Pakistan from BIS, so companies exporting/reexporting items subject to the EAR to Pakistan should take into account these BIS recommendations to ensure compliance.
Key takeaways from the Pakistan Guidance are found below:Read more…
On August 2, 2019, the US State Department announced targeted sanctions against Russia related to the March 2018 use of a “novichok” nerve agent in an attempt to assassinate UK citizen Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal in the United Kingdom. This was the second round of sanctions required under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (the “CBW Act”) following the State Department’s determination on November 6, 2018 that Russia had failed to provide reliable assurances that it would not engage in future chemical weapons attacks. The US Government issued the first round of CBW Act sanctions on August 27, 2018. See our blog post on the first round of CBW Act sanctions here.