Update on Section 889 Restrictions Relating to Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment from Certain Chinese Companies

Companies that do business with the US federal government have seen important changes to the requirements for federal contractors in the past several months as the US Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR Council) has proceeded with rulemaking for the implementation of Section 889 of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year … Read more

OFAC Issues New Venezuela General License, Effectively Delaying Creditors’ Ability to Seize Citgo Assets

On October 6, OFAC issued General License 5E, Authorizing Certain Transactions Related to the Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. 2020 8.5 Percent Bond on or After January 19, 2021 (“GL-5E”). GL-5E appears intended to protect bondholders of CITGO Holding, Inc. (“Citgo”), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned oil and natural gas company, Petróleos … Read more

OFAC Significantly Expands Sanctions on the Iranian Financial Sector

On October 8, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sweeping secondary sanctions on the financial sector of the Iranian economy, pursuant to Executive Order (“E.O.”) 13902.  Simultaneously, OFAC designated eighteen major Iranian banks to OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (“SDN List”).  These new, broad sanctions apply to U.S. and non-U.S. persons, and appear … Read more

Recent Trends in Secondary Sanctions

In recent years, OFAC has increasingly used secondary sanctions – the threat of being placed on a US sanctions list on the basis of dealings with US-sanctioned persons or jurisdictions – to attempt to regulate the conduct of non US persons. First utilized on a broad basis under OFAC’s Iran sanctions programs, secondary sanctions have … Read more

OFAC, FinCEN Publish Ransomware Advisories

On October 1, both OFAC and the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) published advisory guidance regarding the sanctions and money laundering risks, respectively, of making ransom payments to cybercriminal organizations which use “malware” to immobilize or compromise computer systems. The OFAC and FinCEN guidance signals that US regulators are likely to increase their … Read more

Summary of June 2020 Revisions to the US Department of Justice Corporate Compliance Programs Evaluation Guidance Document

On June 1, 2020, the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) substantially revised its guidance for evaluating the effectiveness of corporate compliance programs(the “Revised Guidance”). The new guidance contains several key recommendations which should be carefully reviewed by US and non US companies in order to ensure that their compliance programs meet DOJ’s expectations. Significantly, … Read more

OFAC, State Department, and Coast Guard Issue New Guidance About Sanctions Evasion Practices in Shipping Industry

On May 14, 2020, the US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), the US Department of State, and US Coast Guard issued a Sanctions Advisory for the Maritime Industry, Energy and Metal Sectors, and Related Communities (the “Advisory”). The Advisory focuses on Iran, North Korea, and Syria, and offers information about, and tools to … Read more

Proposed Regulations To Impose Filing Fees on CFIUS Filings

The US Department of Treasury (“Treasury”) has published proposed regulations that would impose fees on filings with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”). The proposed regulations, published March 9, 2020, are intended to implement Treasury’s authority to impose filing fees under the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (“FIRRMA”). The proposed regulations follow … Read more