On Thursday, December 31, 2015, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued the Cyber-Related Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 578 (“Regulations”), which implement Executive Order 13694 of April 1, 2015 (“Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities” or the “Cyber EO”). Our prior blog post on the Cyber EO is available here.

The Regulations implement the restrictions on transactions involving parties designated as Specially Designated Nationals (“SDNs”) under the Cyber EO. Parties may be designated as SDNs under the Cyber EO for, among other things, engaging in “significant malicious cyber-enabled activities.” Although no parties have been designated under the Cyber EO to date, publication of the Regulations signals that the U.S. Government continues to pursue measures for combating “significant cyber threats,” as announced by the President in a statement accompanying release of the Cyber EO in April.

The Regulations were published in an abbreviated form and, for now, include only the standard provisions that are incorporated in most OFAC blocking program regulations. These include a small number of general licenses that are commonly found in OFAC sanctions regulations, such as general licenses for legal services and certain payments and transfer of credit related to blocked accounts. The Regulations also re-state OFAC’s interpretation that any entities in which any SDNs hold a 50% or greater interest are treated as SDNs for purposes of the Regulations.

OFAC has noted that it intends to provide a more comprehensive set of Regulations at a later date, which may include guidance regarding “cyber-enabled” activities and potential general licenses/statements of licensing policy. OFAC provided some initial guidance on the activities targeted by the Cyber EO in FAQ’sissued in April 2015 on the same day as the Cyber EO.


Ms. Lis has extensive experience advising companies on US laws relating to exports and reexports of commercial goods and technology, defense trade controls and trade sanctions — including licensing, regulatory interpretations, compliance programs and enforcement matters. She also has advised clients on national security reviews of foreign investment administered by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), including CFIUS-related due diligence, risk assessment, and representation before the CFIUS agencies.


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.