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Standards Export Control Rule Published

The long-awaited Standards Rule has been published by the Commerce Department,  revising Export Administration Regulations to facilitate US industry participation in international standards setting bodies. In this  rule, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) amends the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to revise the scope and the terms used in the EAR to describe “standards-related activities” that are subject to the EAR. As we reported last month [12385] lack of clear guidance from Commerce has chilled come companies' participation for fear of running afoul of export controls. 
Brighton Beach, Brooklyn
Brooklyn Dual-Use Scheme Guilty Pleas
Two men pleaded guilty July 9 to conspiracy to commit export control violations for their roles in a global procurement scheme on behalf of sanctioned Russian companies, including Russian military companies.   Some of the electronic components shipped by the defendants were later found in seized Russian weapons platforms and signals intelligence equipment in Ukraine. Salimdzhon Nasriddinov, 53, a Brooklyn resident and dual citizen of Russia and Tajikistan, was arrested on Oct. 31 in Brooklyn.    Nikolay Goltsev, 38, of Montreal and an associate who pleaded guilty  in February were arrested at a hotel in Manhattan on Oct. 31 during a trip to New York to visit Nasriddinov.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Nuclear Weapons Stockpiles Grow
The nine nuclear-armed states—the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and Israel—continued to modernize their nuclear arsenals and several deployed new nuclear-armed or nuclear-capable weapon systems in 2023, according to the most recent SIPRI Yearbook.
Drug trafficking organizations, such as the Sinaloa Cartel, have increasingly partnered with CMLOs to launder funds.
OFAC Targets Chinese Money Launderers
Following on the June 18 Indictments of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned a Mexico-based money launderer and China-based members of a money laundering organization with criminal links to the Sinaloa Cartel Monday.. The United States is working with Chinese authorities to target illicit financing networks, including those linked to the fentanyl trade. Chinese Money Laundering Organizations are now one of the key actors laundering money professionally in the United States and worldwide, and are rapidly becoming one of the most prominent money laundering threat actors facing the U.S. financial system.

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Our latest news

OFAC Guidance on Statute of Limitation Change. Rule Pending

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today released guidance addressing questions raised by recent legislation that extended the statute of limitations for violations of certain sanctions that the agency administers.   As explained in the guidance, OFAC may now commence an enforcement action for civil violations of International Emergency Economic Powers Act- or Trading with Enemy Act-based sanctions prohibitions within 10 years of the latest date of the violation if such date was after April 24, 2019. To match the new statute of limitations period, OFAC anticipates publishing an interim final rule, with an opportunity to provide comment, extending from five years to 10 years the recordkeeping requirements codified at 31 C.F.R. § 501.601.

PRC Sanctions US Defense Firms / Executives

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic imposed sanctions on six US defense contractors, along with five executives in retaliation for sales to Taipei. Sanctioned firms included Anduril Industries, Maritime Tactical Systems, Pacific Rim Defense, AEVEX Aerospace, LKD Aerospace, and Summit Technologies Inc.

Updates to OFAC Licensing Portal Application Status and Hotline

The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is providing more detailed updates regarding the status of their applications via the public Licensing Portal. Applicants will now receive one of ten following case statuses to better indicate where their application is in the processing timeline.

Guacamole Labor Spat Resolved

The United States and Mexico announced the successful a course of remediation to address denials of rights at the RV Fresh Foods facility, which produces guacamole in the state of Michoacán. This case is the first time the United States has used the mechanism in the food manufacturing sector. It is also the first time both the United States and Mexico have identified violations related to the conduct of the petitioning union.

USTR Digital Trade Chief Bolts to Chips Lobby

Carrie Esko, director for ICT services and digital trade at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), has left to join the Semiconductor Industry Association as director of global policy for trade and supply chain matters. At the USTR, Esko led digital trade negotiations within bilateral and regional trade initiatives. She also served in other roles at USTR, including director for APEC affairs, and director for industrial goods, where she worked on trade policy and negotiations involving critical minerals, metals, and related sectors with partner governments across Asia and globally.

More Houthi Sanctions

The Treasury Department said yesterday it is targeting and designating as blocked property a dozen persons and vessels, that have played a critical role in financing the Houthis’ destabilizing regional activities as part of the network of Sa’id al-Jamal. The action includes Indonesia-based Malaysian and Singaporean national Mohammad Roslan  Bin Ahmad and People’s Republic of China-based Chinese national Zhuang Liang, who have facilitated illicit shipments and engaged in money laundering for the network.
Alabama man Ray Hunt , pleaded guilty to conspiracy to export U.S.-origin goods to the Islamic Republic of Iran in violation of trade sanctions. Hunt, a naturalized US Citizen also known as Abdolrahman Hantoosh, is alleged to have conspired to export U.S.-origin parts used in the oil and gas industry, including control valves and oil tubing, through his Alabama-based company, Vega Tools LLC, to customers in Iran. The scheme transshipped the goods to Iran through Turkey and the UAE to evade U.S. sanctions.
A Russian national based in Hong Kong pleaded guilty to money laundering and smuggling charges for illicitly procuring dual-use, military-grade microelectronics for export to Russia, Members of the conspiracy procured these sensitive microelectronics by falsely representing to the U.S. distributors (who, in turn, are required to report to U.S. agencies) that the Hong Kong shell entity was sending the shipments to end users located in China, Hong Kong, and other countries outside of Russia for use in electron microscopes for medical research. In reality, the OLED micro-displays were destined for end users in Russia.
Two people were arrested Tuesday morning for shipping controlled avionics from New Jersey to the United Arab Emirates without having obtained the required license and authorization. The defendants obtained an ADIRU, a component that supplies air data and inertial reference information to pilots’ electronic flight instrument system displays and attempted to ship it to another company in the UAE.

OFAC Basics Video Series

Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is releasing the second video in its “OFAC Basics” video series, "My Funds Are Blocked, Now What?" This video provides viewers with guidance on what it means when funds are blocked in connection with OFAC sanctions, as well as recommended steps for what to do if your funds have been blocked. 

EU Expands Belarus Sanctions

The European Council today adopted restrictive measures targeting the Belarusian economy, extending the export ban on dual-use/advanced goods and technologies, the measures include maritime navigation goods and technologies, and luxury goods.  Also controlled are services exports, transport, and select imports from the Russian vassal state. The regulation requires that EU exporters insert in their future contract the so-called 'no-Belarus clause', through which they contractually prohibit the re-exportation to Belarus or re-exportation for use in Belarus of sensitive goods and technology, battlefield goods, firearms and ammunition.

State Sanctions UAE Shippers for Iran Trade

In response to continued development of Tehran's nuclear capabilities, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced additional measures against Iranian petrochemical transport and trade. "Over the past month, Iran has announced steps to further expand its nuclear program in ways that have no credible peaceful purpose," said Mr. Blinken.  "We remain committed to never letting Iran obtain a nuclear weapon, and we are prepared to use all elements of national power to ensure that outcome."
Policy Briefs
In his weekly news confwerence, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian reiterated China's refusal to engage in nuclear nonproliferation discussions in light of arms sales to Taipei.    "This has seriously compromised the political atmosphere for continuing the arms control consultations. Consequently, the Chinese side has decided to hold off discussion with the US on a new round of consultations on arms control and non-proliferation," he stated.
While not directly naming China, G7 trade ministers pledged Thursday to use their trade tools when needed to counter trade-distorting trade practices. “We will continue to tackle non-market policies and practices, as well as harmful non-market excess capacity and other market distortions resulting from them,” G7 trade ministers said in a joint statement wrapping up their two-day meeting in Italy. The ministers' statement emphasized a commitment to the role of, and reform of the World Trade Organization, as well as placed a particular emphasis on Export Control & Investment Screening
Stating "We will be a nation of Truth, Justice, and Common Sense," the Republican party platform adopted by the Milwaukee Convention goes beyond calls to "deport the millions of illegal Migrants who Joe Biden has deliberately encouraged to invade our Country," and "DRILL, BABY, DRILL," with specific policy recommendations for industry and trade.
Supply Chain
The State Department issued a Statement of Concern Tuesday focused on certain minerals supply chains from Rwanda and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The statement clarifies the specific risks associated with manufacturing products using minerals extracted, transported or exported from eastern DRC, through Rwanda and Uganda, according to State.
The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response announced Tuesday that they are conducting a comprehensive assessment of the US Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient industrial base to gain an understanding of the supply chain network. The resulting information will allow the federal government to more accurately plan and develop funding strategies to help ensure the availability and security of the API supply chain and to raise awareness of current limited domestic manufacturing capabilities, among other potential issues, according to BIS.
The Department of Homeland Security, Chair of the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF) released a summary of enforcement efforts since enactment of the Uyghur Forced Labor Protection Act. Highlighted in the fact sheet are the impacts the FLETF has made on Solar, PVC and Cotton supply chains, as well as a summary of the recent designation of New High Priority Sectors for Enforcement
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) are calling on the Commerce Department to beef up its new rule on firearms license requirements in order to prevent US weapons exports from contributing to violence and killings across the globe. The lawmakers are responding to an interim final rule issued in April by Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security, which strengthened Commerce’s exports licensing requirements and regulations. But there are still critical weaknesses to the rule, the lawmakers said in a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
The Commerce Department published a Final Rule redesignating regulations governing  the review of certain transactions involving information and communications technology and services (ICTS) …
Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published guidance outlining the different actions that BIS takes to inform industry and academia about parties – beyond those identified on public screening lists like the Entity List – that present risks of diversion of items subject to BIS export controls to countries or entities of concern. Thew guidance also contains a new recommended best practice asking that exporters, reexporters, and transferors of Common High Priority List (CHPL) items screen transaction parties using online resources made newly available by the Trade Integrity Project (TIP).
The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)  added six companies to the Entity list Tuesday, four for their involvement in training Chinese military pilots in NATO tactics. BIS also added two UAE- based entities to the Entity List because they repeatedly engaged in “dilatory or evasive conduct, including the provision of false, misleading, or incomplete information, during end-use checks.”   
The Treasury Department Friday issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to implement Executive Order 14105 of August 9, 2023, “Addressing United States Investments in Certain National Security Technologies and Products in Countries of Concern”. The NPRM builds on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by Treasury last August and provides the full draft regulations and explanatory discussion regarding the intent of the proposal, and solicits comment from the public