News & Noteworthy

Chalinee Tinaves

Recent Posts

Sanctions Screening Software Isn’t Foolproof

Posted by Chalinee Tinaves on Dec 4, 2019 10:14:14 AM

Last week the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced that it had reached an agreement with Apple, Inc., to resolve apparent violations of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Sanctions Regulations (“FNKSR”). Apple allegedly violated the FNKSR by hosting, selling, and facilitating the transfer of software applications developed by SIS, d.o.o. (“SIS”), a Slovenian software company. While the $470,000 settlement is the equivalent of a rounding error for the trillion-dollar company, the interesting part of the settlement agreement was the level of detail regarding Apple’s sanctions screening missteps and their resulting commitments to improve. The settlement highlights the importance of detailed screening procedures for the use of sanctions screening software and adequate employee training to resolve potential red flags.

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Topics: Export Compliance, Sanctions

Heightened Scrutiny for "Emerging" Technologies

Posted by Chalinee Tinaves on Nov 21, 2018 8:41:37 AM
This week the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) seeking comments from the public on criteria for identifying “emerging technologies” essential to U.S. national security. As part of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA), the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (ECRA) authorized the Department of Commerce to establish appropriate controls for exports of “emerging and foundational technologies.” However, at the time, what was covered under this phrase was not clear. BIS took a step forward this week by identifying several technology sectors of concern. 
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Topics: BIS, Export Compliance, Technology

OFAC Tries the Carrot and the Stick Approach with Russian Aluminum Giant

Posted by Chalinee Tinaves on Apr 23, 2018 2:47:09 PM

In case you missed the flurry of Russian sanctions news over the past few weeks, you may have missed an addition to the sanctions that could impact your business, especially if you’re in the aluminum market. On April 6, 2018, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) added a number of prominent Russian individuals and entities, including Russian government officials, to its Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List). Among those was the designation of Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska. If the name doesn’t sound familiar to you, the aluminum magnate is tied up in allegations regarding interactions with former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, related to the 2016 presidential election.

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Topics: Sanctions, OFAC, Russia

Thinking About Investing in Petro? Not If You Don’t Want OFAC On Your Case

Posted by Chalinee Tinaves on Jan 22, 2018 2:50:14 PM

Unfamiliar with the “petro?” You’re likely not alone given the increasing variations of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with their wild price increases and dips. Back on December 3, 2017, as part of the Venezuelan government’s five-hour Christmas special, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro introduced the “petro.”OFAC sanctions Venezuela petro cryptocurrency Unlike Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, the petro is not mined and is at the direction of the government. Rather, President Maduro’s government intends for the petro cryptocurrency to be backed by strategic reserves of Venezuelan wealth –gold, oil, gas, and diamonds. According to Maduro, the petro is needed to help the country “advance in issues of monetary sovereignty, to make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade.”

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Topics: Sanctions, OFAC, Venezuela

Beware of Contracts Signed By Specially Designated Nationals

Posted by Chalinee Tinaves on Jul 21, 2017 10:15:00 AM

On July 20, 2017, the Office of the Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced a $2 million penalty against ExxonMobil Corporation and two of its subsidiaries for violating the Ukraine-Related Sanctions Regulations. According to OFAC, ExxonMobil violated the sanctions when its execs dealt in services with Igor Sechin, President of Rosneft OAO, when they signed eight legal documents relating to oil and gas projects in Russia between May 14, 2014, and May 23, 2014.

If you’ll travel back in time to March 2014, as tensions were heating up regarding Russian deployment of military forces in the Crimea region of Ukraine, President Obama issued Executive Order 13661, “Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine,” in response to actions deemed to constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the U.S. Section 1(a)(ii) authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to designate officials of the Government of the Russian Federation, block any property or interests in property, and prohibit dealing in any property and interests in property of a person listed on the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List). Section 4 of E.O. 13661 prohibited US persons from making “any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order” as well as receiving “any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services” from a designated person.

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Topics: Sanctions, OFAC