On November 21, 2023, the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced its largest settlement in history with the virtual currency exchange Binance. This almost-billion dollar settlement is a part of a larger comprehensive settlement with the Department of Justice, FinCEN, and the CFTC, totaling over $4 billion. OFAC found that Binance had allowed 1.6 million transactions in violation of multiple sanctions regimes while Binance’s C-Suite was complicit. Binance’s blunders that led to this enforcement action highlight the importance of management commitment to compliance programs.Continue Reading Binance’s Paper Compliance Program Crumples Under OFAC Scrutiny in Largest OFAC Settlement in History
Reid is the Managing Partner of Sheppard Mullin's London office, practicing in international trade regulations and investigations.
In 1947, then President Harry Truman pledged that the United States would support any nation in its efforts to resist Communism and prevent its spread. The policy was commonly called, “Containment,” capturing the concept that countries aligned with U.S. policy would surround the Soviet Union and its allies, containing the spread of their ideologies. The policy was maintained as doctrine and a guiding principle in U.S. policy throughout the Cold War era.Continue Reading China Semiconductor Export Regulations, Episode IV – “Technological Containment” – U.S. Semiconductor Restrictions Aim to Align Allies with U.S. Policy
- Advanced Computing and Supercomputing ECCNs are expanded.
- Controls applied to exports to countries other thanChina; countries from where items may be reexported to China.
- Chipmaking equipment controls are expanded and the de minimis rule reduced.
- New entities are added to the U.S. Entity List with the Footnote 4 (FN4) FDPR designation.
- More U.S.-person activity is controlled.
On August 9, 2023, President Biden issued an Executive Order (E.O.) ordering the issuance of outbound investment restrictions. This E.O. comes after nearly a year of anticipation (as we have documented on several occasions over the past year). This is the start of the reverse Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) process that has been mostly speculation (and blog articles) until yesterday. In conjunction, the Treasury Department issued a press release, fact sheet, and Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) seeking comments from the public on the proposed restrictions by September 28.Continue Reading Reverse CFIUS Unveiled: Focus on China, Semiconductors, Artificial Intelligence, and Quantum Computing
On June 23, 2023, the EU released its 11th package of sanctions on Russia. This package is designed to improve enforcement with new anti-circumvention rules, new trade restrictions, and new designations. The anti-circumvention rules are quite a novel aspect and could result in the first extraterritorial reach of European sanctions.Continue Reading The EU’s 11th Sanctions Package: The Long(er) Arm of the Law
The United States and its allies are aiming to choke off the supplies that support the last vestiges of Russian industry. On May 19, 2023, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) released new regulations implementing additional restrictions under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) as well as corrections and clarifications on existing controls for Russia and Belarus. Those additions build on recent export control regulations issued on February 24, 2023 (which we discuss here) and significantly expand controls over items that can be used in even basic electronics and manufacturing. The new regulations continue BIS’s push to leave very little that may be sent into Russia from the United States.Continue Reading Everything but the Kitchen Sink (and Maybe That Too!): New Export Controls on Russia Cover Whole Categories of Low-Level Commercial Electronic and Mechanical Equipment
Between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and growing U.S. tensions with China, U.S. export controls are in the spotlight like never before. As if regulators have not already made it clear enough, recent statements and actions indicate that the enforcement crosshairs are squarely on the semiconductor industry.Continue Reading Watching the Detectives: Export Control Enforcement Trends Upward
When can an employer use the “national security exception” under U.S. anti-discrimination law to make a hiring decision based on the national origin of the candidate? An often overlooked area of compliance is how to comply with anti-discrimination law when the job will include access to export-controlled data.Continue Reading Don’t Let the Government Name, Shame, and Fine You – Export Controls Do NOT Excuse Hiring Discrimination
- Outbound investment rules may require notification, but there is less risk of transactions being blocked by regulators.
- Investments in advanced semiconductors in China may still be subject to being blocked.
- The required notification, review, and possible restriction still represents a massive increase (from almost nothing) in regulation on outbound investments.
- Increases in the scope and powers of the reviewers may follow in future regulations or legislation.
It looks like the licensing restrictions on Huawei are trickling into effect.
Our sources indicate that, as early as February 27, all license applications for exports or transfers involving Huawei which were pending with the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) have been placed on Hold Without Action. Further, we understand from various industry sources that BIS has begun informing certain U.S. companies that they will not receive further licenses to export chips for end use by Huawei.Continue Reading Breaking the Link – New Developments on U.S. Licenses for Exports to Huawei
In response to Russia’s ongoing aggression in Ukraine, both the United States and the European Union have imposed additional sanctions and further restricted exports to Russia and Iran. These new controls span many industries.Continue Reading Friday Development: New Sanctions and Export Controls to Address Russia’s Ongoing Aggression in Ukraine (Including the use of Iranian UAVs)