On March 22, 2018, the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) issued a final rule (the “Final Rule”) adding, in relevant part, 15 South Sudanese entities to the Export Administration Regulations’ (“EAR”) Entity List — a step that increases the pressure on that country following the US Government’s imposition of an arms embargo last month. All 15 entities are subject to a license requirement for all exports, reexports, or in-country transfers of items subject to the EAR, and new license applications for these entities are subject to a presumption of denial.
On March 1, 2018, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) announced the amendment and reissuance in their entirety of the North Korea Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 510 (“NKSR”). A public inspection copy of the Final Rule can be found here. These changes to the NKSR will take effect on March 5, 2018 upon publication in the Federal Register. OFAC also published 13 new FAQs, which can be found here.
On January 12, 2018, the Trump Administration released a statement that the US Government would renew waivers of certain sanctions provisions in compliance with the US Government’s commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”). This same statement indicated, however, that future waivers would not be issued unless both the US Congress and US allies in Europe take action. This development further escalates the uncertainty about the future of the JCPOA that followed the Trump Administration’s October 2017 decision not to recertify Iran’s compliance with the requirements of the nuclear deal as described here.
On October 27, 2017, the US State Department issued guidance regarding Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA”; see our previous blog post on the CAATSA here). This provision requires that the President impose retaliatory sanctions on any individual or entity, regardless of nationality, that knowingly engages in a “significant transaction” with a person that is determined to be part of, or operates for or on behalf of, the defense or intelligence sectors of the Government of the Russian Federation. The State Department will not begin imposing retaliatory sanctions under Section 231 until January 29, 2018, but this guidance provides important information for US and non-US companies that do business in Russia with the entities targeted by entities.