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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]

U.S. Publishes Proposed Rule on Export Controlled Items

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Friday, 08 June 2012 00:00

Earlier this week the U.S. Government published a proposed rule dealing with the export control of personal protective equipment, shelters, as well as related items, that no longer warrant controlling on the United States Munitions List and should be transferred to the Commerce Control List, among other matters. The announcement published was published on June 7, 2012 in the Federal Register and is part of the Obama Administration's ongoing effort to reform the U.S. export control laws and regulations.

Read more... [U.S. Publishes Proposed Rule on Export Controlled Items]

U.S. Senate Approves Stronger Iran Sanctions

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Tuesday, 22 May 2012 09:31

By a voice vote yesterday evening, the United States Senate unanimously approved the Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Human Rights Act of 2012. A similar measure was approved late last year in the House of Representatives, the Iran Threat Reduction Act of 2011.

This new set of sanctions primarily would target Iran's energy sector and is principally aimed at closing a loophole in current law that allows the Iranians to sell oil using their existing shipping fleet. If determined by the Obama Administration that certain Iranian entities have ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, the sanctions would prohibit dealing with companies such as the National Iranian Oil Co and National Iranian Tanker Company.

Read more... [U.S. Senate Approves Stronger Iran Sanctions]

New GAO Report: Management Enhancements Needed to Improve Efforts to Detect and Deter Customs Duty Evasion

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Sunday, 20 May 2012 09:38

Last week the U.S. Government and Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report that, in part, concluded that "to enhance CBP's efforts to address AD/CV duty evasion and facilitate oversight of these efforts, GAO makes several recommendations, including that CBP create a policy and a mechanism for information sharing among ports regarding the use of higher bond amounts and develop and implement a plan to track and report on these efforts. CBP and the Department of Commerce generally concurred with GAO's recommendations."

The report was requested by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Olympia Snowe of the Senate Fianance Committee, Subcomittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness.

Read more... [New GAO Report: Management Enhancements Needed to Improve Efforts to Detect and Deter Customs Duty Evasion]

Amendment Approved by the House of Representatives to Prohibit USG from Contracting with Businesses That Do Business with State Sponsors of Terrorism

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Saturday, 19 May 2012 11:14

This week the U.S. House of Representatives approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would prohibit federal government agencies from contracting for goods or services from any person or business that does business with a U.S.-designated State Sponsor of Terrorism. The amendment was sponsored by Rep. David Rivera (R-Fla.).

According to a press release issued by Rep. Rivera's office:

"This amendment would prohibit businesses that engage in business activity with terrorist nations—those nations that have been officially designated as sponsor of terrorism by our own government—from contracting and procurement opportunities with the Department of Defense. This is an issue of protecting not only American security, but protecting American jobs." Congressman Rivera said.

You can read more about it here.



Space News: Sponsors To Push Export Control Legislation as Part of Defense Authorization Bill

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Sunday, 13 May 2012 09:05

According to a recent article in Space News, export control reform legislation may be take up by the House of Representatives as soon as next week.  The measure would focus on a small component of the larger export control reform efforts: satellite components. 

In the article, an unnamed Congressional staffer says: “The defense authorization act, one of those must-pass bills, is going to be on the House floor next Wednesday,” the staffer said May 10 here at a meeting of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (Comstac). “One of the things Mr. Berman and others would like to do is to attach the content of this bill as an amendment to that bill.”

You can read the entire Space News article, here


New Jersey Companies and USG Enter Consent Agreement Over Export Control Violations

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Sunday, 08 April 2012 11:38

Last week the the Department of State announced that it had reached an "administrative agreement with Alpine Aerospace Corporation and TS Trade Tech Incorporated of New Jersey to resolve violations of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) related to the export of significant military equipment."

According to documents published by the State Department Alpine "engaged in six exports of parts for use on a Hawk missile system, and in a separate violation, failed to obtain a DSP-83 Non-Transfer and Use Certificate for these exports. Alpine cited an existing export license on export control documents for the exports which did not, in fact, authorize the export of parts for the Hawk missile system [to South Korea]. TS Trade engaged in one export of aircraft parts and associated equipment without authorization."

Additional information is available here.


A Process to Begin Settling American Certified Claims Against Cuba

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Tuesday, 28 February 2012 16:26

Mauricio J. Tamargo

The current commerce and travel being transacted between Cuba and the United States  should be subjected to a fee to be used to settle the debt Cuba owes our fellow Americans  with certified claims. Settling and paying these claims will achieve a goal of both the pro-Cuba sanctions and the anti-Cuba embargo supporters, while simultaneously removing a significant obstacle to making progress in U.S. - Cuba relations.

This proposed solution calls for imposing at least a 10% fee on the value of all transactions between the U.S. and Cuba, including travel, sales or transfer of goods, services, and commodities, and remittances. Funds raised from this fee will be used to create a settlement fund at the Department of the Treasury.  Americans with certified claims can tap this settlement fund for payments to fully satisfy the debt owed to them, including interest, in accordance with the certified claim issued to them by the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, at the Department of Justice.

jebel_ali_port_1_imresoltResolving these claims is neither a pro nor anti economic sanctions proposal. It simply helps fellow Americans, who have been forgotten in this Cuba policy debate, find justice and peace at a time when many of them could use this compensation to find closure and start a new. There are 5,913 certified and pending American claims against the government of Cuba which are currently valued at over $7 billion that have gone unpaid for over 50 years. These claims are based on real and personal property expropriated by the communist government of Cuba without compensation. These claims were all evaluated and certified by the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, which I chaired for eight years, under the first and second Cuba Claims Programs.

Claims programs are not designed to remain unpaid for 50 years. Frankly, having the Cuba Claims Program go unpaid for 50 years makes a mockery of the international claims process. Typically these programs are settled after a few years and, while it may take a little longer, half a century sets a new and untenable precedent for future claims programs.

Read more... [A Process to Begin Settling American Certified Claims Against Cuba]
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