On 07 March 2017, the U.S. announced that China’s Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation and ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd., (ZTE), has agreed to a record-high combined civil and criminal penalty of $1.19 billion, after illegally shipping telecommunications equipment to Iran and North Korea in violation of U.S. export controls and sanctions.
On 28 February 2017, OFAC announced a $515,400 settlement agreement with United Medical Instruments, Inc. regarding 56 violations of U.S. Iran sanctions. The violations occurred between 2007-2009.
In the brief weeks that President Trump has been in office, he has commenced to implement his campaign pledges. Despite his ranting to put Iran on notice, regarding its most recent ballistic missile test, it’s…
On 09 February 2017, OFAC published its increases of sanctions penalties adjusted to inflation.
On 09 January 2017, the Obama Administration announced that it added five Russian nationals to the Magnitsky Sanctions list for human rights abuses. The move by the Obama Administration will further complicate how President-Elect Trump can ease tensions between Russia and the U.S. The most eye-catching designated individual is Aleksandr I. Bastrykin, an aide who directly reports to President Putin.
On 05-01-2017, the departing U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jacob J. Lew published his exit memo – Eight Years of Progress at Treasury and a Look to the Future of American Financial Prosperity. His exit memo, similar to his speech last March at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (regarding the evolution of U.S. sanctions) spells out a warning to limit unilateral sanctions and the use of U.S. secondary sanctions.
On 20-12-2016, the U.S. Department of the Treasury sanctioned 7 Russian individuals and 8 companies (including more than 20 subsidiaries of the Russian Agricultural Bank and OAO Novatek) under U.S. sanctions concerning the Crimean Region of the Ukraine. The OFAC measures, parallel to the EU measures, are a reaction to the U.S. Government’s determination of Russia’s involvement in the ongoing crisis in the Crimean peninsula.
On 29 December 2016, President Obama issued a new set of sanctions against Russia. These are cyber-related sanctions as a result of U.S. determination that Russia was involved in the hacking of the most recent U.S. Presidential elections. Designations include 9 entities and individuals including the GRU and the FSB (Russian intelligence services). Other measures cover the shutting down of 2 Russian compounds in the U.S., and the expulsion of of 35 Russian diplomats – claimed by the U.S. to be intelligence operatives.
On 15 December 2016, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control updated its FAQ’s regarding the uplifting of sanctions under the JCPOA. The revision of the FAQ’s aim to clarify the U.S. intentions in regard to the triggering of JCPOA snap-back provisions. At the same time OFAC also introduced General License (GL) J-1 to allow the re-export of civilian aircraft to Iran (Authorizing the Re-exportation of Certain Civil Aircraft to Iran on Temporary Sojourn and Related Transactions).
OFAC Follows EU: Sanctions Six Members of Russian Duma On 14 November 2016, the OFAC published a press release in which it sanctioned (pursuant to Executive Order 13660) six individuals that the U.S. Government holds…