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.
Export control can be baffling to newcomers. It is a blizzard of acronyms, “defined terms,” and citations. In our compliance practice, we often have to lay out the basics for new clients in order to even discuss their situation. Many others know bits and pieces but don’t see how the puzzle fits together. So to any compliance veteran reading this, go no further. What follows is a primer, plain and simple.
Happy New Year, folks! I’ve kept you in suspense long enough, so here it is – Part II of our blog series in understanding “technology” controlled under the EAR.
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.” 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.”