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Trade Security

Satellite Export Controls Bill Introduced in Congress

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Friday, 04 November 2011 00:00

If your one of the folks in this town who follow the Obama Administration's ongoing efforts to reform U.S. export control laws, you know that control of satellite and related technologies is a hot button issue on Capitol Hill. Indeed, officials both on and off the Hill will frankly admit that it is best to leave satellite controls on the back burner until other, less controversial matters are addressed.

This week the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) and Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Ill.), Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, introduced the "Safeguarding United States Satellite Leadership and Security Act of 2011". On the surface, this seemingly straightforward and short bill (its just about 350 words), reads like something most policy watchers on the Hill and the Obama Administration could rally around. But as with most things related to export controls, you need to dig a little deeper and plumb the depths of official Washington to get the whole story.

Read more... [Satellite Export Controls Bill Introduced in Congress]

Two U.S. Trade Security Policy Meetings Next Month

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Friday, 28 October 2011 09:40

The following trade security policy meetings were announced this week in the Federal Register:

The Defense Trade Advisory Group (DTAG) will meet in open session November 9 at the Department of State. DTAG members consists of private sector defense trade representatives, appointed by the Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, who advise the Department on policies, regulations, and technical issues affecting defense trade. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss current defense trade issues and topics for further study.

Read more... [Two U.S. Trade Security Policy Meetings Next Month]

Export Control Violations Land Georgia Man Prison Time

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Thursday, 27 October 2011 00:00

The U.S. Justice Department announced this week that a Georgia man has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison for his role in plotting to supply Iran with U.S. military aircraft components. Michael Edward Todd, the former President of a Georgia company called The Parts Guys, was sentenced to forty-six (46) months in prison and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and forfeit $160,362 for his role. 

This past summer, a dozen defendants in four countries were charged with allegedly conspiring to violate the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) by selling military components to Iran.The defendants had set up an elaborate network to evade U.S. sanctions that included businesses located in the United Arab Emirates and France. The components were for use in attack helicopters and fighter jets such as the Bell AH-1 attack helicopter, the UH-1 Huey attack helicopter, and the F-5 and F-4 fighter jets.

Read more... [Export Control Violations Land Georgia Man Prison Time]

Iran & Sudan Sanctions Regulations Amended

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Tuesday, 18 October 2011 00:00

by Jason Poblete

The Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), has amended the Iran and Sudan sanctions regulations to allow food to be exported and re-exported to these countries under a general license.

According to the final rule published by OFAC on October 12, 2011, "food" is defined as "items that are intended to be consumed by and provide nutrition to humans or animals in Sudan or Iran — including vitamins and minerals, food additives and supplements, and bottled drinking water — and seeds that germinate into items that are intended to be consumed by and provide nutrition to humans or animals in Sudan or Iran. The definitions also specify that food does not include alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, gum, or fertilizer."

Read more... [Iran & Sudan Sanctions Regulations Amended]

State Department Starts Publishing Commodity Jurisdiction Final Determinations

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Sunday, 09 October 2011 00:00

For lawyers and other export controls professionals, the State Department's decision this week to finally start publishing its Commodity Jurisdtion (CJ) determinations on the State Department website is long overdue and a very welcome development. 

A CJ is used when a company or another entity is unsure whether an item or service is subject to export controls administed by the State Department Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC). A CJ determination advises you if the item or service is covered by the U.S. Munitions List (USML) and subject to controls pursuant to the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). It can also lead to a review by the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) for controls pursuant to the Export Administration Act and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). 

The Obama Administration in the Fall of 2009 set in a motion a broad-based inter-agency review of U.S. export controls that built upon reforms started during the Bush Administration. The Obama Administration decided to launch an Export Control Reform Initiative that aims to update U.S. export control laws and regulations. The publication of CJ outcomes is part of that reform process. 

To access prior DDTC CJ determinations, visit the DDTC website.



Presidential Determination on Major Illicit Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for Fiscal Year 2012

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Monday, 26 September 2011 09:30

In this morning's Federal Register, pursuant to section 706(1) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2003 (Public Law 107–228)(FRAA), President Barack Obama identified the following countries as major drug transit or major illicit drug producing countries: Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.

Read more... [Presidential Determination on Major Illicit Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for Fiscal Year 2012]

Miami Herald: Pakistan search for energy could run afoul of U.S. Iran sanctions

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Saturday, 17 September 2011 13:56

The Miami Herald reports today that "Pakistan's power supply network is in deep crisis, pounding the economy and making life miserable for average Pakistanis. But one of the solutions that Pakistan has proposed to fix the problem, a natural gas pipeline from Iran, faces objections from the United States. This week U.S. officials warned Pakistan not to depend on Iran."

Read more... [Miami Herald: Pakistan search for energy could run afoul of U.S. Iran sanctions]

U.S. Biological Weapons Export Controls Revised

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Thursday, 15 September 2011 17:49

On Monday, September 12, 2011, the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a final rule to amend the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to implement a series of changes to biological weapons export controls. The amendments to the EAR are based on a proposal that was discussed at the 2010 Australia Group (AG) Plenary and adopted in November 2010.

Read more... [U.S. Biological Weapons Export Controls Revised]

U.S. Government Updates Kingpin Act Watch List with Venezuelan Nationals

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Wednesday, 14 September 2011 12:44

This morning the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") published the name of four individuals whose property and interests in property have been blocked pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act ("Kingpin Act"), 21 U.S.C. 1901-1908, 8 U.S.C. 1182.

Enacted in 1999, the Kingpin Act establishes a program targeting the activities of significant foreign narcotics traffickers and their organizations on a worldwide basis. The Act provides a statutory framework for placing targeted economic sanctions against significant foreign narcotics traffickers and their organizations on a worldwide basis.

Read more... [U.S. Government Updates Kingpin Act Watch List with Venezuelan Nationals]

U.S. Energy Department Publishes Proposed Revisions to Nuclear Export Control Regulations

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Friday, 09 September 2011 15:43

On September 7, 2011, the Department of Energy published proposed changes to its export control regulations concerning unclassified atomic energy activities. These regulations are found at 10 C.F.R. Part 810. The proposed rule is open for public comment until November 7, 2011 and, in part, is meant to reflect changes in nuclear technology since the last major update of the rules which occurred in  1986. These proposed changes will be of interest to companies that employ or interact foreign nationals as well as research entities.

By way of background, Part 810 regulations implement section 57b of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended by section 302 of the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Act of 1978. These rules regulate the export of unclassified nuclear technology and nuclear assistance as well as facilitate international commerce. The new regulations are drafted to better help guard against the spread of nuclear technologies and material that would be contrary to the nonproliferation and other national security interests of the United States.

Read more... [U.S. Energy Department Publishes Proposed Revisions to Nuclear Export Control Regulations]
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