November 4, 2019 By: Thomas Nollner*
A commonly held misconception within the sanctions industry is that Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions programs only apply to financial institutions. Recent large civil liability settlements between OFAC and several large banking companies support this misconception. As published in the international press, Standard Chartered Bank reached a settlement agreement with OFAC in April 2019 for an apparent violation by paying OFAC $639 million; Societé Génerale S.A. in November 2018 reached a settlement agreement for the same type of apparent violation by paying OFAC $53 million; and J.P. Morgan Chase in October 2018 paid $5 million to OFAC for an apparent violation.
Lessons from the Euroturbine Case: Global Trends and Enhanced Due Diligence Essential to Safeguard Your Business
February 21, 2019 By: Jan Verloop*
On February 18, 2019, Euroturbine B.V. (Euroturbine), a Dutch supplier of specialist parts for gas and steam turbines, was fined for the illicit export of so-called ‘dual-use’ items with full knowledge that the items would eventually reach Iran.‘Dual-use’ items are those goods, products or technologies, normally used for civilian purposes but which may have military or Weapons of Mass Destruction related applications. As turbine engines and parts are made of high alloy materials, and can be used to power a number of military vehicles, they are considered ‘dual-use’ for export purposes, and cannot be exported without permission from the Dutch government.
February 4, 2019 By: Scott Nance and George Voloshin
On December 20, 2018, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published a penalty notice and settlement agreement with Zoltek Companies, Inc., a U.S. producer of carbon fiber. OFAC found that Zoltek had violated U.S. sanctions laws due to its Hungarian subsidiary, Zoltek ZRT, having purchased inputs from a Specially Designated National (SDN) in Belarus. Zoltek agreed to pay a substantial fine of $7,772,102 and to implement various measures to ensure it would not commit future violations.
Between a rock and a hard place: How to ensure sanction compliance when operating a facility in a sanctions-targeted country
June 13, 2017
By Simon Hirsbrunner and Alice Lauterjung
The recently reported resignation of cement manufacturer LafargeHolcim’s CEO has thrown a spotlight on the risks of operating commercial activities in countries targeted by economic sanctions. Without drawing any conclusions on the legal qualification of LafargeHolcim’s conduct in the specific circumstances, the following provides an overview of the principal issues at stake in this case. (more…)
Record-breaking 1.19 Billion Fine for Chinese Tech Giant Demonstrates Broad Extraterritorial Reach of U.S. Export Control Laws
March 22, 2017
By Anna Sayre, Legal Content Writer SanctionsAlert.com
On March 7, three U.S. regulators – the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), and the Department of Justice (DOJ) – entered into a coordinated settlement with Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation (ZTE), in which the company agreed to a record-breaking combined $1.19 billion in civil and criminal penalties for knowingly shipping illegal telecommunications equipment to Iran and North Korea in violation of U.S. sanctions law. ZTE, a Chinese publicly traded telecommunications manufacturer, is the largest in China and the fourth largest telecommunications manufacturer in the world. (more…)
India’s Upgrade in Export Control Status and Bid to Enter ‘Dual Use’ Controls Club Point to Expansion of Non-Proliferation Efforts
February 2, 2017
By: Anna Sayre, Legal Content Writer, SanctionsAlert.com
On January 19, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) amended the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to implement a new phase of export control cooperation between the U.S. and India.
The new rule marked the first major change to India’s “Validated End User” (VEU) status since July 2009 and follows recognition of India by BIS as a “Major Defense Partner” on June 7, 2016. (more…)