American Trade & Manufacturing Blog

Tag Archives: OFAC

AIG Settles Potential Violations of U.S. Sanctions Regulations

Posted in Economic Sanctions
On June 26, 2017, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced a settlement with global insurance giant American International Group, Inc. (AIG) for apparent violations of multiple U.S. sanctions regimes, including the regimes relating to Iran, Sudan, Cuba, and Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators.   The apparent violations involved 555 transactions totaling approximately $396,530 in… Continue Reading

Trump Administration Imposes Fresh Sanctions on Iran

Posted in Economic Sanctions
On February 3, 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned more than two dozen individuals and entities related to Iran’s ballistic missile program and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force (IRGC-QF).  The move comes amid escalating tensions between the Trump Administration and the Iranian government. The… Continue Reading

OFAC Targets Ukraine/Russia-Related Sanctions Evaders

Posted in Economic Sanctions
As part of its continued efforts to oppose Russia’s conduct in Ukraine and its occupation of Crimea, on September 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated 37 individuals and entities related to the conflict in Ukraine.  The new designations are, in part, intended to address attempts to circumvent… Continue Reading

OFAC Further Eases Travel Restrictions to Cuba

Posted in Economic Sanctions
Following the United States government’s easing of sanctions against Cuba last year, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) loosened travel restrictions for U.S. persons.  At the beginning of last year, OFAC authorized 12 categories of travel (detailed here).  Effective January 27, 2016, OFAC has further eased travel restrictions within certain of those categories. Exportation,… Continue Reading

OFAC Eases Sanctions Against Iran, But Restrictions Remain in Place for U.S. Companies

Posted in Economic Sanctions
As most U.S. companies are aware, on January 16, 2016, “Implementation Day” of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the United States lifted several prohibitions on doing business with Iran. These include the removal of secondary sanctions against non-U.S. companies and the lifting of restrictions on foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies doing business with… Continue Reading

OFAC Publishes its Much-Anticipated Cyber-Related Sanctions Regulations (Here’s Looking at You, China)

Posted in Economic Sanctions
December 31, 2015: The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has published its Cyber-Related Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 578. These regulations implement the President’s April 2015 Executive Order (E.O.) 13694, which authorizes the imposition of broad economic sanctions on individuals and entities that are deemed responsible for “malicious cyber-enabled activities,”… Continue Reading

Iran Sanctions Relief and Uncertainty Under the JCPOA

Posted in Economic Sanctions
On July 14, 2015, Iran, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, France, Russia, and Germany finalized a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) intended to restrict Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for easing international sanctions against the country.  While the text of the JCPOA provides a relatively detailed framework for the implementation of the… Continue Reading

OFAC Issues Guidance on Travel to and from Cuba

Posted in Economic Sanctions
Following the United States’ recent easing of sanctions against Cuba, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has released additional guidance on travel between the two countries. The guidance is particularly relevant to companies authorized to provide carrier services via aircraft or commercial passenger vessels. According to the guidance, the following individuals may be transported… Continue Reading

ITC Invites Companies to Participate in Study on Effects of U.S. Restrictions on Trade With and Travel to Cuba

Posted in Economic Sanctions, Trade Remedies
On January 30, 2015, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), an independent, nonpartisan, fact-finding federal agency, launched an investigation to examine the economic effects on exports of U.S. goods and services on trade with and travel to Cuba.  This investigation is in direct response to a request received by the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance… Continue Reading

Epsilon Files Suit in Rare Challenge to OFAC Penalty Assessment

Posted in Economic Sanctions
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is facing a rare judicial challenge to its authority to impose penalties for violations of U.S. sanctions programs.  The plaintiff, Epsilon Electronics, Inc. (“Epsilon”), is a family-owned California wholesaler of automotive sound and video systems.  Last summer, OFAC hit the company with a civil penalty of more than… Continue Reading

OFAC Amends Sudanese Sanctions Regulations on Personal Communications

Posted in Economic Sanctions, Export Controls
Effective February 18, 2015, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published a series of amendments to its Sudanese Sanctions Regulations (SSR), 31 C.F.R. Part 538, permitting the export or reexport of certain services, software, and hardware incident to personal communications to or in Sudan.  These amendments were issued in conjunction… Continue Reading

OFAC Eases Restrictions on Travel to Cuba

Posted in Economic Sanctions
On January 16, 2015, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control significantly eased restrictions on travel to and from Cuba, as well as transactions normally incident to such travel. While tourist travel to Cuba remains prohibited, travel and transactions for a variety of other purposes will now be permitted: Family visits:  In… Continue Reading

OFAC Eases Restrictions on Credit and Debit Card Use in Cuba, Imports, and Third-Country Effects

Posted in Export Controls
On January 16, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced the issuance of the agency’s eagerly anticipated amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR), which are designed “to increase people-to-people contact, support civil society in Cuba, enhance the free flow of information to, from, and among the Cuban people, and… Continue Reading

Jail Time Handed Down for Zimbabwe Lobbyists

Posted in Economic Sanctions, National Security
Two individuals were recently charged and sentenced for violating U.S. sanctions against Zimbabwe and the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), underscoring the potential legal risks associated with engaging in business activities with foreign entities that are subject to U.S. economic sanctions.  It also highlights the dangers of failing to register under the little-known FARA. On Tuesday,… Continue Reading

OFAC and Commerce Amend Their Cuba Regulations to Open Up Trade and Investment with Cuba

Posted in BIS, Economic Sanctions, Export Controls
Today, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced the issuance of their eagerly awaited amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), respectively.  These amendments implement the President’s policy to significantly ease restrictions… Continue Reading

OFAC Expands North Korean Sanctions

Posted in Economic Sanctions
On January 2, 2015, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) blocked the property and interests in property of several North Korean entities and representatives operating outside North Korea.  The designations followed the issuance of an Executive Order that authorized sanctions against the government of North Korea and the Worker’s… Continue Reading

Identifying UBOs: The Conflict Between FINCEN and OFAC

Posted in Anti-Money Laundering, Compliance, Economic Sanctions
Identifying who the hidden owners of an entity may be is a key step in combatting money laundering and terrorist financing and complying with U.S. sanctionslaws. For banks in particular, this means identifying the ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs) of customers who are legal entities. Typically, banks will try to identify everyone holding some specified percentage… Continue Reading
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