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 Michael Vaccaro is the new permanent Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Defense Trade, responsible for The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC).

A group of Democratic lawmakers has called for the Commerce Department to strengthen export controls and end-use checks for firearm exports. The letter comes as Commerce prepares for the expiration of its 90-day pause on export approvals of certain firearms and related components. 

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has expanded the scope of the EAR’s Russian and Belarusian Industry Sector Sanctions by adding 95 6-digit Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) codes to the list of items requiring a license for export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) to Russia or Belarus. The expanded list of items includes certain chemicals, lubricants, and metals, and it covers the entirety of Chapter 88 of the HTS (aircraft, spacecraft, and parts thereof).

Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced that Elizabeth “Liz” Cannon will serve as the first Executive Director of the Office of Information and Communications Technology and Services (OICTS) beginning on Monday, January 22, 2024. OICTS is charged with implementing a series of Executive Orders (EOs) under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) focused on protecting domestic information and communications systems from threats posed by foreign adversaries.

The United States has asked Mexico to review whether workers at the Atento Servicios, S.A. de C.V. facilities in the city of Pachuca, state of Hidalgo, are being denied the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. Both Atento locations in Pachuca offer call center services to BBVA Mexico, a subsidiary of the Spanish bank BBVA Group.  The request marks the nineteenth time the United States has formally invoked the Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM) in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and the first time the United States has done so in the telecommunications sector.

The Federal Reserve Board on Friday issued an enforcement action and fined the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. and its New York branch approximately $2.4 million for their unauthorized use and disclosure of confidential supervisory information (CSI). New York state regulators fined the bank an additional $30 million.

EP sat down with Chuck Schroeder of Textron Aviation to reflect on and discuss some the changes he's seen in his three-decade career in Aerospace Export Compliance. From the day I started my trade compliance career, I have enjoyed doing this type of work. Really, I mean it. Back in those days you did not get trained for a Trade/export compliance job, you were self-taught. There was nowhere to go for any type of formal operational training, so you just learned the scope of the regulatory world as part of the job. I have had what most may consider to be an incredibly good career. It has certainly been great and equally rewarding for me. I have been involved with super people, mentors, and programs, ranging from supporting NORAD, NATO F-16 deployment, then to Boeing and NASA, where I was involved with launching the shuttle for the International Space Station, and then to Seattle for the 787 and P-8 programs, and now the work in Wichita at Textron Aviation on our Business Jets, Prop aircraft, etc.  

OFAC has released the first video in its “OFAC Basics” video series.  The OFAC Basics: Sanctions List Search video provides viewers with a brief tutorial on how to use OFAC’s Sanctions List Search Tool and recommended steps for assessing a potential match to one of OFAC’s published sanctions lists.  

A Virginia man was sentenced yesterday to 24 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for criminal conduct in connection with a scheme to unlawfully export heavy equipment from the United States to Iran by routing the shipments though the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Commerce officials announced the arrrest of a Los Angeles man for his alleged involvement in a years-long scheme to secure and unlawfully export sensitive technology from the United States for the benefit of a Russian business. 

In a letter addressed to the Swiss company ASEA Brown Boveri Ltd. (ABB), a group of House Republican lawmakers requested public testimony from its U.S. Country Holding Officer, Michael Gray, regarding the company’s relationship with the Chinese state-owned enterprise, Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company Limited (ZPMC). 

Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is conducting a comprehensive assessment of the use of mature-node semiconductor devices (legacy chips) in the supply chains that support—directly or indirectly—U.S. national security and critical infrastructure.

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is taking its first oil price cap enforcement action of 2024, targeting a shipping company linked to a price cap violation. OFAC is also issuing Russia-related General License 13H , "Authorizing Certain Administrative Transactions Prohibited by Directive 4 under Executive Order 14024," and Russia-related General License 86, "Authorizing Limited Safety and Environmental Transactions Involving Certain Persons or Vessels Blocked on January 18, 2024." OFAC is also amending Frequently Asked Question 1157. 

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned Alberto Pimentel Mata for his role in exploiting the Guatemalan mining sector through widespread bribery schemes, including schemes related to government contracts and mining licenses.

Yemen is not subject to jurisdiction-based sanctions, nor will it become subject to jurisdiction-based sanctions on February 16, 2024. In order to ensure that the humanitarian aid community and commercial actors can continue providing humanitarian aid and commercial goods in Yemen, on January 17, 2024, OFAC issued five general licenses (GLs) to authorize certain categories of transactions, including: (1) agriculture, medicine, and medical devices; (2) telecommunications mail, and certain internet communications; (3) personal remittances; (4) refined petroleum products (including fuel); and (5) operation and use of ports and airports for import of goods.

Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement Matt Axelrod announced enhancements and expansions of the Bureau's Voluntary Self-Disclosure program, including simplified reporting, e-mail submittals and expedited handling of corrective action for unlawfully exported items. In a speech January 16 at NYU School of Law’s Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement Mr. Alelrod described the changes, along with an engaging history of the jukebox, details of which can be found in the complete speech.  

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is potentially vulnerable to threats from foreign and domestic actors.

The Export Practitioner is continuing with a series of upgrades and enhancements with this upgraded newsletter and e-edition. The process began with a redesign of our print edition last January. When you visit our site to read this issue of Export Practitioner, you'll find we feature all of our content in an online format.  Further improvements and enhancements will be coming to keep you better informed about critical developments in export management, enforcement and policies. If you have any questions about access or editorial, reach out anytime to info@traderegs.com or the editor, Frank Ruffing at +1.703.283.5220 – Frank Ruffing, Editor 

The Export Practitioner is continuing with a series of upgrades and enhancements with this upgraded newsletter and e-edition. The process began with a redesign of our print edition last January. When you visit our site to read this issue of Export Practitioner, you'll find we feature all of our content in an online, searchable format.  Further improvements and enhancements will be coming to best keep you informed of critical developments in export compliance, enforcement and policies. If you have questions about subscriber access or editorial, reach out anytime to info@traderegs.com or the editor, Frank Ruffing at +1.703.283.5220

The US Export-Import Bank signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday with the Saudi Export-Import Bank to facilitate the financing of US exports to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The MOU will encourage collaboration between the two export credit agencies as well as support exports in a variety of sectors, including climate and energy security, critical minerals projects, infrastructure, transportation and digital technology.

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