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Treasury

ChinaCubaExportInternational TradeIRANU.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

OFAC Sanctions & Licensing

posted by Jennifer Diaz June 1, 2021 0 comments

Co-Authored by Sharath Patil

Background on U.S. Sanctions (as of May, 2021)

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) administers a number of different sanctions programs. The purpose of U.S. sanctions programs is to advance U.S. foreign policy objectives and protect national security. Currently, OFAC administers 35 sanctions programs. These sanctions programs vary widely – some are comprehensive while others are highly selective.

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EAREEIExportInternational TradeITARU.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)U.S. Census BureauU.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC)U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

Exporting 101 – Introduction to Export Controls

posted by Jennifer Diaz May 7, 2021 0 comments

On April 30, 2021, the Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) announced that it had fined FLIR Systems, Inc. $307,922 for an egregious violation of the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) for misrepresentations made in commodity jurisdiction (“CJ”) requests. A BIS spokesperson said: “BIS will not tolerate exporters that provide inaccurate or incomplete representations related to export regulations and laws.”

This recent announcement is a textbook example of why it is important to obtain counsel and be  both proactive and truthful in regards to your export compliance. Whether you are new to exporting or looking to understand the foundations of export controls, including a discussion of recent penalty cases like FLIR’s (so they do not happen to you), or a seasoned professional looking to understand the latest developments, this one-hour webinar is a must attend. Register today to hear directly from the following expert duo:

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ExportInternational TradeIRANU.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

The CAPTA List – An Introduction

posted by Jennifer Diaz April 15, 2021 0 comments

Co-Authored by Sharath Patil

What’s the CAPTA List?

The Correspondent Account or Payable-Through Account Sanctions List (“CAPTA” List”) is a list maintained by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”). The CAPTA List identifies foreign financial institutions that are prohibited or in some way restricted from maintaining a correspondent account or a payable-through account in the United States.

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ExportU.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

The Journal for Export Control Professionals

posted by Jennifer Diaz April 29, 2011 0 comments

I am pleased to introduce to you a new periodical, "World Export Controls Review – the journal of export controls and compliance," published by Brightlaw Media Ltd., London, England.  The first issue published in March 2011 is free.  The April 2011 publication contains my article entitled "Good Practice: Responding to an OFAC Administrative Subpoena" (available only upon request).

The publication reports on sanctions programs such as the United States has with Burma, Iran, and Libya, as well as general international trade topics such as "U.S. Tightens Controls on Foreign Workers" or "Evolving Intent Standards in U.S. Prosecutions". The publication is truly for the legal experts in international trade and export controls.

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world ecr helps its readers stay on top of:

  • Developments in export control regulation and policy around the world,
     
  • Changing enforcement policies and practice governing export and re-export,
     
  • Legal implications of changing distribution technologies, 
     
  • Best practice in trade regulation compliance, and
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  • Encryption, technology transfer and end-use and end-user controls.

I hope you enjoy reading the article, and will subscribe to the publication. 

ImportInvestigation

Is Your Company Under Investigation by the Federal Government?

posted by Jennifer Diaz January 19, 2011 1 Comment

Every year, the numerous agencies of the United States Government send out letters to companies putting them on notice that the company is suspected of committing some serious violation.  Usually, the letter or notice demands a written response within 30 days or the company will be subject to a penalty or fine.  Knowing how to handle such letters, notices, or subpoenas is critical in terminating the investigation successfully, not paying a huge penalty, and even avoiding criminal prosecution.

The Executive Branch departments, bureaus, and agencies of the Federal Government  all have the legal authority to investigate and assess penalties against companies that violate that particular Government agency’s regulations. This is especially true of companies which are importers, exporters, or otherwise involved in international trade such as customs brokers, international freight forwarders, airlines, and indirect air carriers.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would issue an "Administrative Subpoena" or a"Notice of FDA Action", the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) would issue an "Administrative Subpoena" while the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would call it a "Notice of Proposed Civil Penalty", the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) describes it as a "Notice of Action" and "Pre-Penalty Notice", the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calls it a "Request for Information", the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) calls it a "Proposed Charging Letter", and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would call it a "Letter of investigation". 

Whatever pseudonym or term is used, the Government documents are all similar in that they:

(1) are a legal demand from the Government,

(2) require a written response by the addressee,

(3) describe briefly the factual basis for the demand,

(4) threaten action against the company for not providing a timely response, and

(5) threaten action against an individual if false information is provided to the Government.

The first response by the President of the company (or its General Counsel) who receives the letter is – you guessed it – identify and call a lawyer very knowledgeable and experienced in handling these investigations.  All communications between the company and its outside lawyer are considered to be under the attorney-client privilege. That means that anything the President or other employees of the company say to the attorney are entirely confidential.  The inquiry by the outside legal expert is also confidential, so anything the attorney discovers or discusses with the company’s employees do not have to be subsequently disclosed to the Government.

In my over 20 years of practice as a customs and international trade lawyer routinely involved in defending companies under investigation by the U.S. Government, the biggest error by company officers is that they respond directly to the U.S. Government without seeking proper legal advice.  Only after the company receives a large penalty do I finally get the call to straighten it all out. Fortunately, whether the letter of investigation is from Washington, D.C. to a company located in California, Florida, New York, or elsewhere in the United States, the administrative procedures are identical.