Export Control Compliance News

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October 14, 2016 - The Office of Foreign Assets Control has announced further amendments to Cuba sanctions regulations.  Below, please find the link for more information.

Amendments to Cuba sanctions regulations.

September 27, 2016 - Florida Woman Sentenced to Prison for Acting as an Illegal Agent of a Foreign Government and Conspiring to Commit Money Laundering

US Dept. of Justice, WASHINGTON – Amin Yu, 55, of Orlando, Florida, was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for acting in the U.S. as an illegal agent of a foreign government without prior notification to the Attorney General and for conspiring to commit international money laundering.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin and U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III for the Middle District of Florida made the announcement after Yu was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr.

According to the plea agreement, from at least 2002 to February 2014, at the direction of co-conspirators working for Harbin Engineering University (HEU, a PRC-controlled entity) in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Yu obtained systems and components for marine submersible vehicles from companies in the U.S. She then illegally exported those items to the PRC for use by her co-conspirators in the development of marine submersible vehicles including unmanned underwater vehicles, remotely operated vehicles and autonomous underwater vehicles for HEU and other state-controlled entities. Yu illegally exported items by failing to file Electronic Export Information (EEI), as required by U.S. law and by also filing false EEI. Yu completed and caused the completion of export-related documents in which she significantly undervalued the items that she had exported and provided false end user information for those items.

This case was investigated by the FBI, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, and the NCIS. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel C. Irick of the Middle District of Florida and Trial Attorneys David C. Recker and Thea D. R. Kendler of the National Security Division, Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.

September 13, 2016 -The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced a $4,320,000 settlement with PanAmerican Seed Co. (“PanAm Seed”).  PanAm Seed agreed to settle potential civil liability for alleged violations of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 560.  The alleged violations involve PanAm Seed’s exporting of seeds, primarily of flowers, to two Iranian distributors on 48 occasions, with knowledge or reason to know that the shipments were intended specifically for supply, transshipment, or reexportation to Iran from on or about May 5, 2009 to on or about March 2, 2012.  OFAC determined that PanAm Seed did not voluntarily self-disclose the alleged violations to OFAC, and that the alleged violations constitute an egregious case.

For more information on this case from OFAC, please visit:

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/CivPen/Documents/20160913_panam.pdf

June 20, 2016 - The U.S. Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) makes public a Consent Agreement with DDTC and Microwave Engineering Corporation wherein the parties settled a violation of the AECA and ITAR related to the unauthorized export of a defense article (technical data) to a foreign person employee from a proscribed destination.  The foreign person employee was a Research Scientist with an H-1B visa.  The link is to the Proposed Charging Letter, Consent Agreement and Order of $100,000 civil penalty for the one count violation of U.S. export control laws.

For more information pleae visit the following link:

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/cuba_fact_sheet_03152016.pdf

March 15, 2016 - Treasury and Commerce announce significant amendments to the Cuba Sanctions Regulations ahead of President Obama's Historic Trip to Cuba

For more information pleae visit the following link:

http://www.pmddtc.state.gov/compliance/consent_agreements/mec.html

January 27, 2016 - BIS amends the exceptions to the general policy of denial in the EAR for exports and re-exports to Cuba by identifying additional types of exports and re-exports that are subject to a general policy of approval:    

  • Items for safety of civil aviation and safe operation of commercial aircraft engaged in international air transportation    
  • Certain telecommunications and agricultural items    
  • Items to human rights organizations or individuals and non-governmental organizations that promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba    
  • Items for use by US news bureaus
  •  This rule also amends the exceptions to the general policy of denial in the EAR for exports and re-exports that will be reviewed to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether such transactions meet the needs of the Cuban people, including exports and re-exports for this purpose made to state-owned enterprises and agencies and organizations of the Cuban government that provide goods and services to the Cuban people.
  • BIS is making these changes to further implement the Administration’s policy of empowering and engaging the Cuban people - Rule retains the prohibition on the export and re-export of items subject to the EAR to Cuba without a license or applicable license exception

January 27, 2016 – Office of Foreign Assets Control, Department of the Treasury (OFAC) amends the Cuban Assets Control Regulations to further implement elements of the policy announced by the President on December 17, 2014 to engage and empower the Cuban people. These amendments:    

  • Remove certain payment and financing restrictions for authorized exports and re-exports to Cuba of items other than agriculture items or commodities;    
  • Further facilitate travel to Cuba for authorized purposes by allowing blocked space, code-sharing, and leasing arrangements with Cuban airlines and;    
  • Authorizes additional travel-related and other transactions directly incident to the temporary sojourn of aircraft and vessels    
  • Also authorizes additional transactions related to professional meetings and other events, disaster preparedness and response projects, and information and informational materials, including transactions incident to professional media or artistic productions in Cuba

For more information please view The Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) FAQs as related to Cuba.

2015

September 21, 2015 – BIS amends the EAR to expand the scope of license exception SCP (Support for the Cuban People) to facilitate engagement between the US and the Cuban people; the free flow of information to, from, and among the Cuban people; and independent economic activity generated by Cuba’s private sector. - Rule also makes temporary sojourns of most vessels to Cuba eligible for license exception AVS (Aircraft, Vessels and Spacecraft). - Rule also creates a case-by-case review policy of license applications to export and re-export to Cuba items to ensure the safety of civil aviation and safe operation of commercial passenger aircraft - Last, the rule amends the deemed export and re-export license requirements for releases of technology and course code to Cuban nationals.

July 22, 2015 – BIS amends the EAR to implement the recession of Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. Removes AT (anti-terrorism) license requirements from Cuba and eliminates references to Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. Cuba still maintains preexisting license requirements for all items subject to the EAR unless authorized by a license exception. Also removes Cuba from Country Group of terrorist supporting counties, which allows for a general 25 percent de-minimis level and portions of four license exceptions.

2014

2013

2012