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Alison J. Stafford Powell

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Effective November 18, 2019, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) issued a final rule extending by 90 days through February 16, 2020 the validity of the Temporary General License (“TGL”) authorizing certain transactions involving the export, reexport, and transfer of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations to Chinese-headquartered Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. (“Huawei”) and one hundred and fourteen of its non-US affiliates designated on the BIS Entity List. The TGL…

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 a new Venezuela-related general license (General License 34) to authorize transactions involving certain Government of Venezuela-related individuals that would otherwise be prohibited by Executive Order (“EO”) 13884.

On August 5, 2019, President Trump issued Executive Order 13884 (“Venezuela EO”) blocking all property of the Government of Venezuela (“GOV”), a significant escalation of sanctions against the regime of President Maduro.  Statements issued by the White House and State Department indicate that this escalation is meant to target the Maduro regime for its continued abuses of human rights and repression.  The US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) concurrently issued 12 amended general licenses and 13 new general licenses, new and revised FAQs, and guidance related to the provision of humanitarian assistance and support to the Venezuelan people.

The Venezuela EO targets only the GOV and entities owned 50% or more or otherwise controlled by the GOV, and thus does not place Venezuela under a full territorial embargo. Transactions with private Venezuelan parties that can be effected without the involvement of the GOV remain permissible.

The new sanctions prohibit virtually all US Person dealings with the GOV by blocking the property and interests in property of the GOV that are in the United States, that come within the United States, or that come within the possession or control of US Persons (i.e., US companies and their branches, US banks, US citizens and permanent resident aliens, any person physically located in the United States). GOV funds, contracts or other property interests that come into the possession or control of US Persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC.