News & Noteworthy

Chalinee Tinaves

Recent Posts

Turning Back the Clock on Cuba…Kind of

Posted by Chalinee Tinaves on Jun 20, 2017 10:15:00 AM

On Friday, June 16th, President Trump announced changes to the U.S. policy towards Cuba. His new Cuba policies seek to enhance compliance with U.S. law, hold the Cuban regime accountable for human rights abuses, further U.S. national security and foreign policy interests and those of the Cuban people, and lay the groundwork for empowering the Cuban people to develop greater economic and political liberty. Although much of the Obama Administration’s policies remain intact (such as the sending of remittances to Cuba, the expansion of telecommunications and internet access for Cuban people, support for the sale of agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical devices, and the end of the “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” immigration policy), President Trump’s policies are likely to impact two key areas:

  1. trade/business as it seeks to end economic practices that benefit Cuban military, intelligence, or security agencies or personnel; and
  2. travel-related transactions as it seeks to enforce the ban on U.S. tourism to Cuba.

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Topics: Sanctions, Cuba, OFAC

Exporting to Hong Kong? Don't Be Caught Flat Footed Come April 19

Posted by Chalinee Tinaves on Apr 4, 2017 1:36:07 PM

Starting April 19, 2017, U.S. companies and persons intending to export or reexport certain items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to Hong Kong should make sure you’ve got your import paperwork in order before shipping. Not familiar with this requirement? In the hubbub of the inauguration and other news, this final rule published in the Federal Register on January 19 by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) at the U.S. Department of Commerce may have slipped past you.

Under the final rule, exporters and reexporters of certain items to Hong Kong are required to obtain a copy of a valid import license from the Hong Kong importer issued by the government of Hong Kong or a copy of a written statement issued by the Hong Kong government that no import license is required. The requirement also applies to persons intending to reexport certain items from Hong Kong. While this shouldn't be news for importers and reexporters in Hong Kong, the BIS requirement to obtain written proof from their Hong Kong importers prior to shipment is new.

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Topics: BIS, Export Control Regulations, Country Guidance

The Future is DECCS

Posted by Chalinee Tinaves on Nov 16, 2016 12:42:54 PM

The folks at DDTC are beginning a slow roll out of their new electronic interface, DECCS, starting next week. DECCS, which stands for the Defense Export Control and Compliance System, is DDTC’s new modernized IT system. It is intended to eventually replace the current D-Trade, the Electronic Filing System (EFS), MARY and ELLIE systems. The first phase of the DECCS rollout will focus on the new Commodity Jurisdiction (CJ) application.

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Topics: DDTC, ITAR, DECCS

Obama Administration Moves Full Steam Ahead on Cuban Policies

Posted by Chalinee Tinaves on Oct 19, 2016 3:29:45 PM

President Obama and the administration are moving full steam ahead to normalize bilateral relations with Cuba. On October 17, 2016, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), respectively, to ease sanctions related to scientific collaboration, humanitarian activities, trade and commerce, and travel. Consistent with President Obama’s policy directive in December 2014 to chart a new course with respect to U.S.-Cuba relations, these amendments are aimed to create new opportunities for collaboration and commercial opportunities for Cubans and Americans. Specifically, new general licenses and authorizations were added to the regulations to allow for such transactions. Significant highlights are noted below.   

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Topics: Sanctions, Cuba

Harmonizing the Destination Control Statement: What You Need to Know

Posted by Chalinee Tinaves on Aug 25, 2016 12:00:00 PM


On August 17, 2016, the Bureau of Industry and Security and the Department of State published final rules (here and here) to harmonize the Destination Control Statement (DCS) required under §758.6 of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and §123.9 under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) respectively. As part of Export Control Reform (ECR) efforts, the agencies have sought to harmonize regulatory provisions that are intended to achieve the same purpose. The DCS is one example of an area where interagency coordination should reduce the burden on exporters.

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Topics: DDTC, BIS, Export Compliance