|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.
The Congressionally-mandated annual certification process is an important instrument of U.S. international narcotics control policy. Under this law, the President is required annually to identify the major illicit drug producing and transit countries and then "certify" whether they have cooperated fully with the United States or taken adequate steps on their own to implement the 1988 U.N. Drug Convention.
The Obama Administration must impose certain economic sanctions on countries that do not meet these requirements unless the President certifies that the vital interests of the United States require that sanctions not be imposed. The sanctions include cutting off our foreign assistance, other than our humanitarian and counternarcotics foreign assistance, to countries denied certification and voting against their requests for loans from certain multilateral lending institutions.
With regards to the Western Hemisphere, the President has waived possible economic sanctions in the cases of Venezuela and Bolivia in order to continue advancing U.S. policy goals in the region. And by adding Belize and El Salvador to the list, the entire Central America region is now listed as a major transit and major illicit drug producing region.
While the annual certification is not of immediate concern to U.S. companies doing business in the region, this information should form part of a company's complete trade security compliance program. An effective trade security compliance program takes in to account numerous variables including the business climate in a particular country such as economic transparency, corruption, and many other inputs that include U.S. policy toward that particular country or region.
The 2012 Presidential determination is available for download here.