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Over 300 New Russia Sanctions Issued

The Treasury and State Departments are  issuing sweeping new measures guided by G7 commitments to intensify the pressure on Russia for its continued war against Ukraine. Wednesday's actions ratchet up the risk of secondary sanctions for foreign financial institutions that deal with Russia’s war economy; restrict the ability of Russian military-industrial base to take advantage of certain U.S. software and information technology (IT) services; and, together with the Department of State, target more than 300 individuals and entities.
EXIM President and Chair of the Board of Directors, Reta Jo Lewis.
EXIM Africa Strategy a Bust Says Audit
The US Export-Import Bank has failed to make an impact on trade and investment in sub-Saharan Africa, despite a congressional mandate for expansion and extensive overseas travel by EXIM President and Chair of the Board of Directors, Reta Jo Lewis.
Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo and Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko in happier times, July 2021
Adeyemo Calls for Coodinated Action on Sino-Russian Defense Trade
A senior Treasury Department official called for European allies to line up in applying pressure to Beijing to cease supporting the Kremlin's war efforts.     Citing the Russian econmy's "war footing," Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said "this war is not just an existential threat to Ukraine, but to Europe and our national security."
Cuban Trade Regs Loosened
Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is amending the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (the “Regulations”) to further implement elements of the policy announced by the Administration on May 16, 2022, Cuban entrepreneurs' access to internet-based services and banking facilities are improved, while the restrictions on transactions with state-owned entities remain fully in force.

Welcome to your new Export Practitioner

The Export Practitioner introduces a web-based format for easier review, research and sharing.  

In addition to your monthly print or e-edition, we can furnish mid-month updates for our readers. 

We seek your input as we make this transition. Please send your suggestions to fruffing@traderegs.com or call 703.283.5220.   

– Frank Ruffing, Editor 

Our latest news

New Iran FDP Rule Effective July 23

The new Iran Foreign Direct Product rules go into effect next month, and the unusual way the rule was imposed may have left some practitioners unprepared.  Enacted by Congress with no input from the Deparetment of Commerce, the provisions of (HR. 6603) introduced by Rep. Nathaniel Moran (R-TX) were included in the massive emergency supplemental appropriation [HR 815] signed into law April 24th.  "This is the first time in the history of Congress that it passed a bill to codify a foreign direct product rule," Mr. Moran's office stated.

Forwarder Barred 3 Years for Lax Export Compliance

The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has imposed a three-year denial order against a Portland, Oregon, package forwarding service prohibiting the frim from from …

House Passes NDAA, Larded for Warfighting, Home & Abroad

The House of Representatives passed their version of the FY23 National Defense Authorization Act.  The narrow 217 to 199 vote on the normally nonpartisan legislation reflected the last minute addition of a raft of culture war amendments which alienated all but six Democrats.

Rich Nephew's Grand Tour: Baltic to Balkans

Coordinator on Global Anti-Corruption Richard Nephew will travel to Montenegro, Lithuania, and Albania June 16-21. Mr. Nephew will visit Podgorica, Montenegro to meet with government officials and civil society representatives. He will then travel to Vilnius, Lithuania on June 18-19, to the opening plenary of the International Anti-Corruption Conference.

Include Drones in Connected Vehicle Study, Hill tells Commerce

 Congressional China hawks called for the Commerce Department to include Chinese drones in evolving regulations for connected vehicles.  "With UAVs’ connected software and hardware posing similar national security threats to those of other identified connected vehicles, such transactions present undue and unacceptable risks to U.S. national security," the lawmakers wrote.

Sen. Rubio Calls on UK to Scrutinize Shein

After Chinese fast fashion powerhouse pulled its plans to list shares in the US, Congressional bedevilment persists. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to the U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, informing him of SHEIN’s reported human-rights abuses and exploitation of trade loopholes and the risks these tactics pose to businesses and investors. The letter urges Hunt to investigate SHEIN thoroughly before allowing the company to list on the London Stock Exchange.  
Enforcement
A Turkish aviation operator was fined for ferrying passengers into and out of Russia on a US manufactured Gulfstream executive jet without the requisite export license.   The Commerce Department (BIS)  imposed a civil penalty of $285,000 against Sapphire Havacilik San Ltd. STI (Sapphire), an aviation company headquartered in Ankara, Türkiye, to resolve violations of the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (ECRA). Although the Russian national passengers provided payment to Sapphire through third-party non-Russian charter brokers, such flights into Russia—which were arranged for the benefit of the Russian national or nationals on board—were nevertheless controlled by or under charter or lease by a Russian national.  As such, the relevant flights did not fall within license exception Aircraft, Vessels, and Spacecraft (AVS) and violated Section 764.2(a) of the ECRA.
Two men have been indicted and 17 snow machines seized as law enforcement broke up a scheme to ship the equipment to Russia by way of Hong Kong.   Sergey Nefedov, 40, of Anchorage, Alaska, and Mark Shumovich, 35, of Bellevue, Washington, were arrested June 11.  Both are Russian nationals and naturalized US Citizens. According to the indictment, Nefedov and Shumovich told freight forwarders that the snowmachines would be going to Hong Kong, where they knew that a license was not required for export, thereby causing a freight forwarder to provide false information to U.S. authorities by concealing the end user and destination of the snowmachines.
Two Texas men, both of whom were convicted at trial, were sentenced today to 45 months in prison for attempting to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), conspiracy to violate IEEPA and conspiracy to commit money laundering based on their attempt to transact in sanctioned petroleum and launder the proceeds. The conspirators planned to start their scheme with a 500,000-barrel shipment of Iranian oil, but intended to increase the shipments to one or two million barrels per month for a year or more.
Sanctions

Seventh Round of Houthi Sanctions

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is sanctioning ten individuals, entities, and vessels, including tanker captains, in multiple jurisdictions that have engaged in the illicit transport of oil and other commodities, including for the network of Houthi financial facilitator Sa’id al-Jamal. This action targets maritime shipping and financial facilitators, several vessel managers and owners, and a company involved in forging shipping documents.

Treasury Targets Guyana Elites for Corruption

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned members of one of Guyana’s wealthiest families, Nazar Mohamed and his son, Azruddin Mohamed, their company, Mohamed’s Enterprise, and a Guyanese government official, Mae Thomas , for their roles in public corruption in Guyana. Azruddin and Mohamed’s Enterprise evaded Guyana’s tax on gold exports and defrauded the Guyanese government of tax revenues by under­declaring their gold exports to Guyanese authorities. Between 2019 and 2023, Mohamed’s Enterprise omitted more than 10 thousand kilograms of gold from import and export declarations and avoided paying more than $50 million in duty taxes to the Government of Guyana.

OFAC Russia Info Update

To support the Department's announcement of over 300 new sanctions Wednesday, Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is publishing Determinations, General Licenses and FAQs relating to trade with Russia and Belarus
Policy Briefs
A renewed urgency has gripped Capitol Hill's China hawks to call for the Chief of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) to report on patents issued to Chinese inventors.    In place since the Carter Administration and renewed every five years, the United States - China Science and Technology Agreement (STA) "is a vector to give the PRC access to U.S. dual-use research and presents a clear national security risk...The Biden Administration must stop fueling our own destruction and allow the STA to expire," the lawmakers write.
At the IPEF Clean Economy Investor Forum participants "identified $23 billion of priority infrastructure projects for consideration"  at the inaugural meeting in Singapore June 6. Among the major committments announced were cloud computing, data center and submarine cable projects, India's first battery energy storage system, a carbon capture scheme in Singapore, and several hundred million dollars of U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) funding to investment funds in the region.
Congressional Republican China hawks have called for a comprehensive ban on trade and investment dealings with two leading manufacturers of electric vehicle battery systems, Led by the new Chair of the House Select China Committee John Moolenaar (R-MI), the lawmakers wrote letters detailing "shocking new evidence implicating major Chinese battery manufacturers, Gotion and CATL, in Chinese Communist Party state-sponsored slave labor and the ongoing Uyghur genocide." The letters to Mr. Silvers detail supply relationships between the two firms and mineral, metals and labor providers currently under US sanction for their involvement in modern slavery in the Xinjiang Uyghur Region of Western China.
Supply Chain
Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., called on BMW to provide straight answers about its use of parts made by a banned Chinese supplier, following shifting explanations from the German automaker in response to a Finance Committee Democratic staff investigation. “The Committee is continuing to investigate several aspects of BMW’s exposure to forced labor through JWD, its tier 3 supplier,” the Senator wrote in a letter to the automaker.
Canadian helmet manufacturer Galvion, Ltd. has agreed to pay $2,495,000 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act through the knowing sale of non-conforming parts to the United States Department of Defense. Through prime vendors, the company sold products to the United States under a Defense Logistics Agency program which requires that textiles be sourced from the United States in accordance with the Berry Amendment. The investigation stemmed from a complaint made to the DLA Hotline related to the origin of materials used in the company’s products.
The Department of Commerce  seeks public comment to inform its work on assessing and analyzing risk in global supply chains. The deadline is June 21. This includes input into a determination of an initial list of “critical sectors” and “key goods” as provided under the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) Agreement Relating to Supply Chain Resilience.
Licensing
 This report documents defense articles and defense services licensed for permanent export to each foreign country and international organization during fiscal year 2023.
China has announced export controls on certain equipment, software and technologies in key sectors ranging from aerospace to shipbuilding that matter to national security. Under the new policy, the controlled export products involve equipment and software in key industries, including aerospace structural components and engine manufacturing, gas turbine engine manufacturing, aerospace surface window-related equipment, and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene fiber-related items, according to the notice.
Friday the Office of Missile, Biological, and Chemical Nonproliferation, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, Department of State, named three individuals and two entities as violators of the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA). Industry should be aware of its compliance obligations and exercise extra vigilance due to the ubiquitous nature of many of the items, as Iran utilizes commercial-grade components in its weapons.
Wednesday the House Foreign Affairs Committee  passed H.R. 8315, the “Enhancing National Frameworks for Overseas Critical Exports Act” (ENFORCE Act) 43-3, with broad bipartisian support.   Introduced by Rep. Michael McCaul, the bill expands the authority of the BIS to control the export of Artificial Intelligence Systems.
Kevin Wolf at Akin Gump brings to our attention "a reminder re the scope of the GTN and how to read all technology ECCNs on the CCL (i.e., with a "required" limiter)," can be found in an advisory opinion published in 2014 by Eileen Albanese,  then Acting Director, Office of Exporter Services, now Director of the Office of National Security and Technology Transfer Controls Bureau,