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The PT Law Blog

Emerging Business and Trade Opportunities in Latin America

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Public Policy
Saturday, 09 March 2013 10:25

Arthur Freyre

The International Law Section of the Florida Bar this past week hosted a seminar on Emerging Business and Trade Opportunities in Latin America in Coral Gables, Florida.  The speakers discussed the various opportunities and obstacles in the emerging Latin American market.

The first speaker, Violeta Longino spoke about the business climate in Argentina and Mexico.  Concerning Argentina, she mentioned that Argentina is moving towards Venezuela in the sense of over-regulation. To put this in perspective, it is easier to open a corporation in China or in Afghanistan than it is in Argentina.  In contrast to Argentina, Mexico is moving towards open markets.  There have been reforms in the energy sector, and labor laws.  Mexico has even passed an Anti-Corruption law, which stemmed out of a litigation involving Walmart.

Read more... [Emerging Business and Trade Opportunities in Latin America]

Vegas Casino Corp. Deftly Refutes Allegations of Foreign Corruption

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Trade Security
Thursday, 07 March 2013 00:00

Jason I. Poblete

When senior company officials are politically active, or the company has matters pending before the U.S. Congress or federal agencies, your legal and public policy departments have to deal with a whole set of potential issues that other companies do not, at least not with the same intensity. Last week, several newspapers posted a story about the owner of the Las Vegas Sands corporation that is illustrative of what can happen when the law and public policy worlds collide; and also shows how a company should respond. 

The story deals with a very potentially serious legal issue faced by companies that do business around the world, compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA for short. The Las Vegas Sands corporation reported in its annual shareholders report that that company personnel may have violated the books, records, and internal control provisions of this anti-corruption law.

Read more... [Vegas Casino Corp. Deftly Refutes Allegations of Foreign Corruption]

OFAC Hosts Financial Services Industry Symposium

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Trade Security
Thursday, 21 February 2013 14:53

Jason Poblete

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) will host a Financial Services Industry Symposium in Washington, DC on March 19, 2013. Expected topics on the agenda include:

  1. Review of recent changes to Iran sanctions
  2. Overview of recent enforcement actions and guidelines
  3. Licensing procedures and guidance
  4. Compliance with U.S. economic and trade sanctions


These conferences are a good opportunity to meet with OFAC personnel and answer questions about general matters of interest to your companies. 

For more information visit this OFAC website or contact us.


US Updates Humanitarian Transaction Guidelines for Iran Sanctions

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Trade Security
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 14:07

In addition to the laws and regulations, familiarize yourself with U.S. policy reasons for sanctions programs

Jason Poblete

On February 6, 2013, OFAC published updated guidance for companies and individuals who provide or wish to export humanitarian assistance and other support to the Iranian people. While it is an especially good overview document for individuals and companies that have never engaged in such activities, these guideline materials are not a substitute for the laws and regulations.

In the case of Iran, you should refer to U.S. regulations including: Iranian Assets Control Regulations; Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations; Iranian Financial Sanctions Regulations; and the Iranian Human Rights Abuses Sanctions Regulations, as well as underlying laws they are based on such as the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act (CISADA), the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act (ITRASHRA). 

In addition, when reviewing your company's trade security policies and procedures, or if you're an individual or company unfamiliar with U.S. sanctions laws, you should also familiarize yourself with overall U.S. policy aims with respect to a target country or sanctions programs.

Read more... [US Updates Humanitarian Transaction Guidelines for Iran Sanctions]

Brasseler USA Settles with US for Alleged Violation of Iran Sanctions

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Trade Security
Saturday, 20 October 2012 12:23

Brasseler USA, the U.S. subsidiary of a Canadian medical supply company, and the Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced this week that Brasseler has agreed to pay $18,900 to settle potential civil liability for alleged violations of U.S. economic sanctions on Iran.

According to an OFAC civil penalties announcement, OFAC alleged that "on or about February 24, 2006, January 21, 2009, and March 20, 2009, Brasseler exported goods or services to a person in a third country with knowledge or reason to know that such goods or services were intended specifically for transshipment to Iran, without authorization from OFAC. The alleged violations involved three transactions valued at $5,241. OFAC determined that Brasseler did not voluntarily self-disclose the matter to OFAC and that the alleged violations constituted a non-egregious case. The base penalty amount for the alleged violations totaled $21,000."

Read more... [Brasseler USA Settles with US for Alleged Violation of Iran Sanctions]

FP Blog: Is China becoming a sanctioning state?

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Wednesday, 17 October 2012 09:27

Jason I. Poblete

Countries that complain about U.S. economic sanctions usually do not have the economic clout to impose them. This has been the case with China through the years; however, as China's global economic reach has increased, so has her use of this, at times, very effective tool to advance national interests.

Read more... [FP Blog: Is China becoming a sanctioning state?]

Venezuela's Chavez Arrests US Ship Captain, Arms Smuggling Allegations

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Sunday, 09 September 2012 10:24

Jason Poblete

With less than 30 days until Venezuelan general elections, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez has turned to distraction politics. According to various news accounts, a U.S. citizen has been detained for alleged arms smuggling.

The charges sound dubious. The articles do not state the type of weapons found aboard the ship; however, various news accounts state that just three rifles were found aboard the cargo vessel Ocean Atlas. The Ocean Atlas is a U.S.-flagged vessel (pictured) and is part of the Intermarine fleet based in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Read more... [Venezuela's Chavez Arrests US Ship Captain, Arms Smuggling Allegations]

State Department Publishes Public Comments on "Specially Designed"

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Friday, 10 August 2012 14:53
On August 8, 2012, the U.S. Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) published public comments received in response to the proposed definition for "Specially Designed" in the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).  The PDF document is available at the DDTC website.

Four South Floridians Charged with Shipping Defense Articles to Venezuela

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Tuesday, 26 June 2012 18:53

Four South Floridians have been charged with violating U.S. export control laws for shipping defense articles to Venezuela.

According to the materials published earlier today by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida, the four individuals were involved in a conspiracy to unlawfully export defense articles to the Venezuelan Air Force. Items exported or caused to be exported included actuators, pressure switches, valves, and hydraulic solenoid parts, among other things.

Read more... [Four South Floridians Charged with Shipping Defense Articles to Venezuela]

USG Publishes Proposed Rules for ‘‘Specially Designed’’ Under ITAR & EAR

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Wednesday, 20 June 2012 17:50

The U.S. Government has released two proposed definitions "setting forth, as much as possible, a common definition of the term ‘‘specially designed’’ for use in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)." 

Read more... [USG Publishes Proposed Rules for ‘‘Specially Designed’’ Under ITAR & EAR]
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