The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has amended its Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations (GTSR) in order to impose additional sanctions on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) within the timeline required by the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). Effective October 31, 2017, persons and entities that OFAC has designated as officials, agents, or affiliates of the IRGC remain subject to secondary blocking sanctions which continue to prohibit them from engaging in activity with US and non-US persons and, in addition, these amendments to the GTSR now impose new sanctions to prohibit the designated IRGC affiliates from receiving humanitarian donations and other forms of assistance. OFAC has provided a list of the IRGC affiliates subject to these amendments here. Continue Reading OFAC and State Department Update Iran and Russia Sanctions Under Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act
On October, 6, the U.S. Department of State announced it will issue a report to President Donald Trump which will express the Department’s conclusion that the Government of Sudan (“GOS”) has sustained the positive actions necessary in order to repeal the majority of current U.S. economic sanctions against Sudan. The Department of State will formally publish a copy of this report in the Federal Register on Thursday, October 12, 2017, but has provided an advance copy on their website.
On Tuesday, September 26, the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the Treasury Department announced new sanctions on banks and representatives linked to North Korean financial networks. These sanctions come as a response to North Korea’s violations of UN resolutions and attempts to develop nuclear weapons.
OFAC identified 26 North Korean nationals working in China, Russia, Libya, and the UAE as representatives of North Korean banks. In addition, eight financial institutions were added to the Specially Designated Nationals list, several of which have branches in China.
On Thursday, September 21, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order imposing new sanctions on North Korea designed to curb its nuclear weapons program. President Trump, along with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, announced the sanctions at a United Nations luncheon.
The President said he had authorized the U.S. Department of Treasury to “target any individual or entity that conducts trade in goods, services or technology” with North Korea. The sanctions are also intended to disrupt shipping from North Korea by prohibiting aircraft and vessels that have been to North Korea within 180 days to call at a port or land in the United States.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) recently announced new sanctions on entities and individuals in Iran and Mexico. These sanctions were designated against individuals associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (“the Quds Force”), Iranian entities involved in hacking against American financial institutions in 2011 and 2012, and Mexican businesses and individuals associated with drug trafficking.
On Tuesday, August 22, the Trump Administration unveiled new sanctions against Chinese and Russian individuals and entities in order to restrain North Korea’s development of its nuclear and missile programs. The United States Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) added ten companies and six individuals accused of trading coal, oil, and mineral resources with North Korea to its Specially Designated Nationals List. The Department of Treasury says that North Korea generates nearly $1 billion a year in coal exports and imposed sanctions on three Chinese companies that it determined to have imported North Korean coal between 2013 and 2016.
Today, President Trump officially signed H.R. 3364, the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” (CAATSA) into law. CAATSA originated as a bill which was focused on only Iran. However, partially in response to Russian cyber-interference with the 2016 election, the Senate expanded CAATSA to impose additional sanctions against Russia and also codify into law various sanctions imposed by the Obama Administration in the form of Executive Orders. The House of Representatives then approved these additions and added further sanctions against North Korea. Eventually, the House and Senate approved the final version of CAATSA by a margin of 419-3 and 98-2, respectively. For additional detail on CAATSA’s legislative history, please see our previous alerts here, here and here.
On Tuesday, July 12, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order in order to amend Executive Order 13761, which was issued by the Obama Administration in January of 2017. Today’s amendments to EO 13761 allow the State Department additional time to prepare its report on whether the Government of Sudan has sustained the positive activities that the Obama Administration recognized when it originally issued EO 13761. EO 13761 originally required the report to be delivered by July 12, 2017, but President Trump’s new order pushes that deadline back to October 12, 2017.
Today, the Trump Administration announced that the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has updated the U.S. sanctions list of designated individuals and entities involved in the Ukrainian conflict. The announcement was made while Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was meeting with President Trump and other officials at the White House.
This action designates 38 individuals and entities under Ukraine-related authorities, thereby blocking access to property these individuals may have in the United States and prohibiting all transactions by U.S. persons involving these individuals.
President Trump today announced changes to U.S.-Cuban sanctions policy which will reverse amendments made by the Obama administration in 2015 and 2016 intended to normalize relations with Cuba. President Trump stated that these changes will include eliminating unsponsored individual travel under the “people-to-people” program and restricting transactions with Cuban military, intelligence and security agencies. The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security have not yet revised their rules to formally implement today’s announced policy changes, however OFAC has provided preliminary FAQ guidance. According to OFAC, today’s announced changes will not become effective until the new regulations are issued.