On July 26, 2019, the President issued an Executive Order targeting Mali entitled “Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Mali” (“Mali EO”) available here.  A White House press release on the Mali EO is available here.  The Mali EO provides authorization to the US Treasury Department, in consultation with the Department of State, to sanction individuals who are responsible for or complicit in actions that exacerbate the deteriorating situation in Mali.  The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) has thus far not issued a press release related to the Mali EO or added any individuals or entities to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (“SDN List”).

The Mali EO declares a national emergency to deal with the threat presented to the national security and foreign policy of the United States due and was issued in response to, among other things, the repeated violations of the agreed-to ceasefire in 2015, the expansion of terrorist activities into southern and central Mali, the intensification of drug trafficking and human trafficking, and the intensification of attacks against civilians, the Malian defense and security forces, and United Nations peacekeepers.  The Mali EO allows for the designation as SDNs of those parties that are responsible for, or complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged or attempted to engage in:

  1. actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, or stability of Mali;
  2. actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Mali;
  3. a hostile act in violation of, or an act that obstructs, including by prolonged delay, or threatens the implementation of, the 2015 Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali;
  4. planning, directing, sponsoring, or conducting attacks against local, regional, or state institutions, the Malian defense and security forces, any international security presences, United Nations peacekeepers, other United Nations or associated personnel, or any other peacekeeping operations;
  5. obstructing the delivery or distribution of, or access to, humanitarian assistance;
  6. planning, directing, or committing an act that violates international humanitarian law or that constitutes a serious human rights abuse or violation, including an act involving the targeting of civilians through the commission of an act of violence, abduction or enforced disappearance, forced displacement, or an attack on a school, hospital, religious site, or location where civilians are seeking refuge;
  7. the use or recruitment of children by armed groups or armed forces in the context of the armed conflict in Mali;
  8. the illicit production or trafficking of narcotics or their precursors originating or transiting through Mali;
  9. trafficking in persons, smuggling migrants, or trafficking or smuggling arms or illicitly acquired cultural property; or
  10. any transaction or series of transactions involving bribery or other corruption, such as the misappropriation of Malian public assets or expropriation of private assets for personal gain or political purposes.

The Mali EO also authorizes designation of those that materially assist, sponsor, or provide support to SDNs designated pursuant to the Mali EO.  Individuals designated pursuant to the Mali EO are restricted from entering the United States.

Any property or interests in property of SDNs designated pursuant to the Mali EO that come within US jurisdiction or possession of a US person must be blocked and reported to OFAC, and US persons are generally prohibited from transacting with any such SDNs or entities 50% or more owned or controlled by SDNs.



Mr. McMillan's practice involves compliance counseling; compliance programs; licensing; compliance reviews; internal investigations; voluntary disclosures; administrative enforcement actions; criminal investigations; customs inquiries, audits, detentions, and seizures; and trade-compliance due diligence and post-acquisition integration in mergers and acquisitions. His practice includes matters that implicate the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), US Export Administration Regulations (EAR), US National Industrial Security Program (NISP), the US Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and equivalent non-US laws. Mr. McMillan regularly advises on and represents clients in matters involving technology, including its control, protection, accidental disclosure, diversion, or unauthorized collection. Mr. McMillan has extensive experience working with companies in the aerospace and defense industry, as well as companies in the Middle East and other parts of Asia.


Inessa Owens is an associate in the Washington, D.C. office and member of the Firm’s International Trade practice group. She focuses on outbound trade compliance issues, including compliance with the Export Administration Regulations, anti-boycott rules, and economic sanctions administered by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, including those targeting Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Russia. She has worked with clients in diverse industries that include finance, pharmaceuticals, and energy.


Meg's practice involves assisting multinational companies with export compliance related matters, specifically trade sanctions and export control classifications. Additionally, she assists companies with respect to customs laws, anti-boycott laws and other trade regulation issues in the US and abroad. She also helps obtain authorizations from the US government for activities subject to sanctions regulations and US export control regulations, including the Export Administration Regulations and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. Meg's practice extends to assistance in internal compliance reviews as well as enforcement actions and disclosures necessitated by US government action.