Tag Archives: Sanctions

A New Sleuth in Britain: The UK Quietly Empowers a Sanctions Enforcement Office

On April 3, 2017, the UK Treasury’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) announced new penalties for economic sanctions violations of £1 Million or 50% of the value of the transaction, whichever is higher. As a result, this new detective has a powerful new enforcement tool, and it may be taking notes from the aggressive U.S. … Continue Reading

Predicting the Unpredictable: Will President Trump Tear Up the Iran Nuclear Deal?

As a candidate for President, Donald J. Trump was widely reported to despise the Iran nuclear agreement, which is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. As President, he responded to reports of Iranian missile tests by putting Iran “on notice.” While observers have speculated whether that portends a naval escalation in the Persian … Continue Reading

The Future of Russia Sanctions: The Awkward Edition

On January 10, 2017, Senate Republicans and Democrats introduced bi-partisan legislation called the “Countering Russian Hostilities Act of 2017,” which would impose broad sanctions on Russia. The Act would codify the sanctions President Obama imposed in response to the Russian cyberattack on the United States to influence the 2016 U.S. Presidential election and the Ukraine-related … Continue Reading

The Table Flip: Trump, the Iran Nuclear Deal, and American Business

A President Trump will have authority to reinstate sanctions lifted by the Iran Nuclear Deal as well as revoke certain authorizations provided for business with Iran. Several economic and geopolitical factors may cause Mr. Trump to reconsider or mitigate his approach to the Iran Nuclear Deal. Companies should prepare to respond quickly to any changes. … Continue Reading

Obama’s Not Slowing Down On Cuba: New Steps Forward Open Doors (and Humidors!) for Collaboration

With fewer than 100 days left in office, President Obama is not slowing down on his efforts to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba. Today, several changes to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR) go into effect. Those changes build on the plan President Obama laid out in … Continue Reading

Those Three Little Words: OFAC’s Subtle Language Shift Could Create Sweeping Change on Iran Investment

Article Highlights: Non-U.S. banks can do business with Iran and continue their relationships with U.S. banks. Non-U.S. companies may use proceeds from Iran transactions more freely, including in the United States. OFAC draws a clearer line with respect to the use of Iran-related funds. After the Iran nuclear agreement, as non-U.S. companies entered into newly-permitted … Continue Reading

Layover in Tehran: United States Authorizes Carriers to Land Civil Aircraft in Iran

On July 29, 2016, the U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) cleared the runway for non-U.S. operators of civil aircraft to send flights into Iran. New  “General License J” authorizes many Boeing, Airbus, and other civil aircraft containing U.S.-origin materials to fly to Iran on “temporary sojourn.” The General License provides a great … Continue Reading

Buying Russian Bonds: Risky Business or Safe Bet?

In late May, The Russian Federation issued its first sovereign bond since the Ukraine crisis in 2014. The sole organizer of the bond is VTB Capital, an arm of VTB Bank, Russia’s second largest financial institution. Both VTB Capital and VTB Bank are subject to sectoral sanctions. According to published reports, the 10-year bond is … Continue Reading

New Business Opportunities in Iran! But Who Will Be Your Banker? Non-U.S. Banks Hesitant to Process Lawful Iran Transactions…and for Good Reason

Highlights: Sanctions relief presents new business opportunities with Iran Most U.S. companies are still prohibited from Iran business, but the U.S. government is encouraging lawful business by non-U.S. companies The line between permitted and prohibited financial transactions by non-U.S. banks is not clear Careful advice of counsel is critical… Continue Reading

The Day of North Korea Sanctions: the UN Imposes the Toughest North Korea Sanctions Yet While OFAC and State Designate More North Korean Entities

After weeks of negotiations and a Putin-backed delay, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2270 on March 2, 2016, imposing new sanctions against North Korea. According to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the resolution imposes the strongest set of UN sanctions in over two decades. This article provides a summary of the new … Continue Reading

Airplanes, Pistachios, and a New Burger Joint in Tehran: What Changes for the United States Under Lighter Iran Sanctions

On January 16, 2016, two NFL playoff games and a historic revision of U.S. foreign policy took place. Many of us enjoyed the first two (did you see that last-second touchdown pass?!) but did not pay close attention as the United States lifted many of its secondary sanctions against Iran. Even those normally attentive to … Continue Reading

Keep Your Frenemies Close: Proposed China Sanctions and the Price of Escalation

On August 30, 2015, the Washington Post broke a story that the Obama administration is developing a package of economic sanctions that will target Chinese companies and individuals who have benefitted from cybertheft. The new sanctions would come at a time when commerce between the two countries is thriving, but political relations are strained.… Continue Reading

A Break From the Past: Historic Deal with Iran Marks A New Day in U.S.-Iran Relations

Today, President Obama announced a landmark agreement with Iran designed to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon in exchange for lifting sanctions that have retarded the country’s development for the decades since the revolution. The agreement is the result of 20 tough months of negotiations among Iran and the so-called P5+1 (the United States, … Continue Reading

UPDATE: Iran Nuclear Deal

Iran and the Western powers have agreed to agree again. On April 2, 2015, the so-called P5+1 (the United States, the UK, China, France, and Russia) along with the EU, have joined Iran in announcing that they have reached a set of broad “parameters” to be negotiated in detail between now and June 30, 2015, regarding … Continue Reading

The Broader Problem: European Bank Creates an Easy Catch for the Long Arm of U.S. Jurisdiction

On March 12, 2015, Commerzbank AG, Germany’s second largest bank and a global financial institution, agreed to pay $1.45 Billion (yes, with a “B”) in forfeitures and fines to the U.S. Government for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and Sudan. The amount paid by Commerzbank under the settlement will not be shocking to those who … Continue Reading

Paying the Piper: PayPal Inc. Settles Sanctions Violations with OFAC for $7.7 Million

On March 25, 2015, the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced that PayPal Inc. (“PayPal”) agreed to pay $7.7 million to settle 486 violations of U.S. economic sanctions.  According to OFAC, for several years until 2013, PayPal, one of the world’s largest electronic payment companies, did not have adequate compliance processes … Continue Reading

Round Two: Prosecutors Reopen Bank Settlements

With our political system suffering from a growing chasm down party lines, our public servants seem to be increasingly vulnerable to public pressure.  Politicians scramble to fight for whatever cause du jour will garner them the most support.  And lately, no political act is guaranteed to please Main Street quite so much as blaming the … Continue Reading
LexBlog