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The Importance of Regular Export Compliance Training for your Business

posted by Jennifer Diaz November 19, 2020 0 comments

Co-Authored by Sharath Patil

What’s Export Compliance?

Boundless opportunities exist for U.S. businesses when they export their products and services to foreign markets. In fact, over 95% of the world’s consumers are located outside of the United States. However, the vast export opportunities must be tempered by your duty to diligently and effectively comply with U.S. export control laws under the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) and the U.S. State Department’s International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”).

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President Trump Strengthens U.S. Policy Toward Cuba

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 17, 2019 1 Comment

President Trump Strengthens U.S. Policy Toward CubaDid you know that the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced additional changes to U.S. policy toward Cuba implemented on October 9? On September 6th, the Trump Administration announced measures to increase economic pressure on the Cuban military regime. This follows past policy changes President Trump has taken to sanction the Cuban government for its daily human rights abuses against the Cuban people and abroad. Earlier this year, the President restricted non-family travel to Cuba by removing the travel exemption category of “people-to-people” travel to the island. 

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UPDATE: Non-Commercial Airplanes and Cruise Ships on Temporary Sojourn are Now Prohibited To Travel To Cuba.

posted by Jennifer Diaz June 4, 2019 0 comments

cuba - prohibtFollowing President Obama’s historical break in precedent, easing restrictions on Cuba in 2016, President Trump now seeks to deprive the Communist regime of revenue from American citizens.

President Trump, not wanting the US to be complicit in the oppression and subjugation of Cubans, has decided to roll back the newly established relationship and directed the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to draft a final rule limiting the types of aircraft that are authorized to fly to Cuba and the types of vessels that are authorized to sail to Cuba on temporary sojourn. This change is likely to be a result of the exponential growth of the island’s economy, coupled with the lack of improvement in overall quality of life for its citizens.

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ZTE Barred by U.S. Government & ZTE Fights Back!

posted by Jennifer Diaz May 1, 2018 0 comments

dfvzadfBackground

China-based Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation and ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd (collectively “ZTE”) entered a guilty plea and agreed to pay a combined penalty up to $1.19 billion to settle criminal and civil allegations that ZTE violated U.S. export control laws and U.S. sanctions by illegally shipping U.S.-origin items to Iran.

The record-breaking settlement agreement was with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”), and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”). The penalty assessed against ZTE included a $100,871,266 civil monetary penalty imposed by OFAC; a $430,488,798 in combined criminal fines and forfeitures; and a $661,000,000 penalty payable to BIS, of which $300,000,000 were suspended for a seven-year probationary period. Continue Reading

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Want to Avoid 1 BILLION dollars in civil and criminal penalties from OFAC and BIS?

posted by Jennifer Diaz April 24, 2018 0 comments

exporttParticipants of our Importing 201 webinar said – “This is my second seminar with DTC/DTL and each time I walk away feeling like I’ve learned quite a bit of information in addition to gathering extensive resources so that I can learn more.”

You don’t want to miss Exporting 201 on May 22! Register here!

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OFAC Increases Civil Monetary Penalties

posted by Jennifer Diaz April 4, 2018 0 comments

coinsOn March 19, 2018, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) adjusted its maximum civil monetary penalties for inflation (per the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015). The rationale for this increase is to maintain and improve the effectiveness and deterrent effect of civil monetary penalties. Any increase applies to penalties assessed after the effective date regardless of whether the violation occurred prior to such date.

How much did civil monetary penalties increase? Continue Reading

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Trump Administration Tightens Cuba’s Sanctions Program 

posted by Jennifer Diaz November 9, 2017 2 Comments

Since June 2017, we have been anxiously awaiting changes to the Cuba sanctions program since President Trump signed an executive order and emphatically stated that his administration would tighten loose regulations established under the Obama Administration.cuba relations

On November 8, 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury stated,

  • “We have strengthened our Cuba policies to channel economic activity away from the Cuban military and to encourage the government to move toward greater political and economic freedom for the Cuban people”

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President Trump Outlines New U.S. Policy on Cuba

posted by Jennifer Diaz June 16, 2017 1 Comment

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We’ve been patiently waiting for today’s announcement since President Trump took office on Friday, January 20, 2017. Some have speculated on whether President Trump’s stance on Cuba would further diplomatic relations following the steps of former President Barack Obama, while the majority have opined that Trump’s next steps could reverse some of the changes made by the former President. The speculation can now be put to the side as today President Trump delivered a speech in Miami (at the Manuel Artime Theater), a little over 90 miles away from the island of Cuba, outlining his new policy with the communist island. The announced changes do not take effect until the new OFAC regulations are issued. The forthcoming regulations will be prospective and will not affect existing contracts and licenses.  

Here is a summary of the MAIN changes, and background of why the President has signed an executive order making these changes in support of the Cuban people:

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Travel to the U.S. with an Unlimited Number of Cuban Cigars and Rum – Courtesy of New Revised OFAC and BIS Regulations

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 17, 2016 1 Comment

On October 14, 2016, President Obama issued a Presidential Policy Directive on United States-Cuba Normalization to further ease travel and trade restrictions with Cuba. As a result, Monday, October 17, 2016, amendments to both OFAC and BIS regulations will take effect.

Below are the top changes from both OFAC and BIS:

OFAC is making additional amendments to the Regulations with respect to health, trade and commerce, civil aviation safety, travel and related transactions, humanitarian-related activities, and certain other activities. Below is a recap:

  • Health
    • Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are now permitted to engage in commercial and non-commercial joint medical research projects with Cuban nationals. (Section 515.547).
  • Travel and Related Transactions
    • Importation of Cuban merchandise: Not too long ago we alerted our readers that CBP was targeting Cuban Cigars at American Ports. We haveImage result for travel with cigars and rumBIG news for cigar and rum lovers… As of Monday, October 17, 2016, persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction are now able to return home from Cuba (or any other country where Cuban rum and cigars can legally be purchased) with an unlimited amount of rum and cigars. However, the number of cigars and amount rum must be for personal use and such merchandise must be imported as accompanied baggage and are subject to the normal limits on duty and tax exemptions. This is a huge step forward from OFAC’s initial limit of $400 or less (with no more than $100 of such merchandise consisting of alcohol or tobacco products). (Section 515.560(c)(3)). Continue Reading
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Build Your Own ‘People to People’ Mission & More Cuba Changes

posted by Jennifer Diaz March 16, 2016 6 Comments

Plane, United States and Cuba flags

If you have been following our Cuba updates, you’ll note we’ve been busy. A full listing of all of our posts to get you caught up are all the way at the bottom. Also, check out our new blog design and let me know what you think!

Here’s the Cliff Notes version:

  • On December 17, 2014, President Obama made a historic announcement: “Today, the United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people.”
  • By January 16, 2015, both the U.S. Treasury Department, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) amended its Cuban Assets Control Regulations, and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) amended the Export Administration Regulations with a “Support for the Cuban People” license exception. Both OFAC and BIS’s new rules were effective as of January 16, 2015.
  • OFAC and BIS issued additional new rules on June 15, 2015, September 21, 2015, January 27, 2016 and again today!

As far as travel goes, the NY Times posted their travel tips, but, here are MY travel tips to you:

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