Archive for the ‘BIS’ Category

Commerce/BIS: “Cuba: Exports and Reexports of Foreign-Made Items”

Friday, May 27th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

(Source: Commerce/BIS)

Both the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) administer Cuba sanctions pursuant to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) (15 C.F.R. Parts 730-774) and the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR) (31 C.F.R. Part 515), respectively.  Most export or reexport transactions require general or specific authorizations from both BIS and OFAC.  OFAC has issued a general license authorizing all transactions ordinarily incident to the exportation of items from the United States, or the reexportation of 100 percent U.S.-origin items from a third country, to any person in Cuba, provided that the exportation is licensed or otherwise authorized by BIS.  See 31 C.F.R. § 515.533.
Accordingly, for those BIS-licensed exports or reexports, further OFAC authorization generally is not needed.  However, in some cases, a specific license from OFAC may be required in connection with BIS-authorized exports or reexports.  For example, although BIS may authorize the export to Cuba of foreign-made items from the United States, persons may require a specific license from OFAC for the initial importation into the United States of items specifically intended for export to Cuba.
Additionally, even if BIS has authorized the reexport of items that are not 100 percent U.S.-origin to Cuba, persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction would also require a specific license from OFAC to reexport the items, and OFAC’s consideration of applications for such licenses may be subject to statutory restrictions.  See 31 C.F.R. § 515.559.

For additional information regarding BIS’s Cuba sanctions, please visit http://www.bis.doc.gov/cuba. You may also call BIS’s Foreign Policy Division (202-482-4252).

For additional information regarding OFAC’s Cuba sanctions, please visit http://www.treasury.gov/cuba.

You may also call OFAC’s toll free hotline (800-540-6322 FREE), its local hotline (202-622-2490), or the Licensing Division (202-622-2480), or send a message to OFAC’s email hotline account (ofac_feedback@treasury.gov).

Export Control Reform Is Not Dead

Friday, May 27th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

By: John Black

Maybe you were beginning to feel comfortable with the sweeping changes to US export controls resulting from the Obama Administration’s Export Control Reform Initiative.   Well, the regulatory change party isn’t over.  Get out your reading glasses and free up some time in your calendar because it won’t be long before the EAR-ITAR definitions clean-up regulations hit the street.  In 2015, DDTC and BIS published proposed, so-called harmonization rules to harmonize EAR and ITAR definitions of terms such as export, publicly available/public domain and others.  At first glance I thought the proposed EAR and ITAR rules were not harmonization because they proposed to have different definitions of many key terms.  Then the musicians in my family reminded me that when two people sing harmony they do not sing the same note at the same time but they sing different notes at the same time.  So I guess the proposal to have definitions in harmony was musically correct because the definitions were not the same.

It’s easier for me to talk about the rules as definitions clean up, updates or clarifications, or perhaps just changes.  In any event, putting aside the name I prefer to use, this is a high level overview of what I/we should expect:

  • Clarifications of the EAR definitions of export (something leaves the US), reexport (something goes from one foreign country to another) and retransfer (change in end-use or end-user).
  • Stating in the EAR that a person’s country status under the EAR deemed export rule is the most recent country of citizenship or permanent resident status.
  • If technical data, technology or software is electronically transmitted or moved using end-to-end encryption, and is not intended for storage in the most sensitive export control countries such as China, Russia, and arms-embargoed countries, it is not an unauthorized export if electronic transmissions transit countries for which the a license would be required for the content of the transmission.
  • The EAR will include provisions to apply the ITAR 126.18 and 124.16 concepts to EAR deemed reexports of technology or source code.  Deemed reexports from Country Group A:5 STA eligible countries to nationals of any of those A:5 countries will be authorized.  Deemed EAR reexports involving other countries and nationals will be authorized along the lines of ITAR 126.18 which means the deemed reexporter has an NDA from the recipient, a compliance procedure to vet/control the deemed reexport and there is no substantive contact with problem countries.
  • The EAR will include provisions to apply ITAR special arrangements involving countries such as Canada, the UK and Australia to EAR issues.
  • The EAR will require that the license applicant inform all other parties in the license of the license scope and conditions.
  • The EAR will clarify that technology that is an input into a fundamental research is not fundamental research.

To a large extent, the definition changes will merely clarify that the definitions mean what you thought they meant, which will increase your confidence in your understanding of the regulations and, hopefully, make it easier for you to explain and apply the rules in your organization, and perhaps help you to sleep better at night.  Clarification, even without hope for changes to the restrictions and requirements, is something I always appreciate because for me it is always better to understand the rules than to agree with them.

In any event, once the new changes are out, it will be time to join me as I print out the Federal Register notices, get some small sticky notes and a couple highlighter pens, pour yourself a big cup of coffee, and start to read the notices, including the preamble text, and study the new rules.  I am looking forward to it, and I hope you are too.

It’s Pho Real! Obama Lifts US Arms Embargo on Vietnam

Friday, May 27th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

By: John Black

During his visit to Vietnam, President Obama announced that the US was lifting its long standing arms embargo on Vietnam.   While this may not result in an immediate flood of US weapons to Vietnam, it paves the way for US exporters and foreign companies who sell US military items to seek new, yet perhaps relatively modest, business opportunities in Vietnam.

On May 23, 2016, the Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls announced is it ending its policy prohibiting the sale or transfer of lethal weapons to Vietnam.   DDTC said it will review on case-by-case basis applications for licenses to export or temporarily import defense articles and defense services to or from Vietnam under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). DDTC will soon publish a rule in the Federal Register to implement a conforming change to ITAR §126.1.

While the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has not yet officially announced it will make corresponding changes to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to remove the EAR/ ITAR-lite arms embargo on Vietnam, it is reasonable to assume that BIS will do so in approximately the same “soon” timeframe as DDTC’s ITAR change.

“The decision to lift the ban was not based on China… but on our desire to complete what has been a lengthy process moving towards normalization with Vietnam,” Obama said at a joint press conference alongside his Vietnamese counterpart President Tran Dai Quang.   A casual observer like me, however, cannot help but think that to a certain extent this US action is intended to send a clear symbolic, and perhaps tangible, signal to China in response to China’s recent empire expanding actions in the South China Sea including, for example, building a military air base on the Spratly Islands, which most of the world do not recognize to be Chinese territory.

Vietnam’s economy has been growing at an impressive rate compared to other countries in the region in recent years as it has begun to be a low cost manufacturing source that is taking some manufacturing opportunities away from China as Chinese manufacturing costs increase.  According to the latest CIA statistics, Vietnam has the 36th highest GDP in the world and its industrial production growth rate of 7.5% is the 15th highest in the world.  This is not to say that Vietnam soon will be cranking out  a high volume of low cost ITAR and EAR controlled military parts as it becomes a regional military manufacturing powerhouse.  It is unlikely that the US Government is prepared to approve the transfer of technology for the production of sophisticated military items to Vietnam anytime soon and equally unlikely that Vietnam has the capability to do so.  Nonetheless, this shift in US-Vietnam economic relations removes the US arms embargo as a cloud hanging over trade between the two countries and is another step in improving US-Vietnam relations.  Certainly too, some extent this enhances Vietnams status in the region.

North Korean Ruler Kim Jong-un was unavailable for comment.

BIS Amends EAR and Updates Six ECCNs for MTCR Annex

Thursday, May 5th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

By: Danielle McClellan

On April 4, 2016 The Bureau of Industry and Security published a final rule to reflect changes to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) Annex that were agreed on by MTCR member countries in October 2015. The following changes have been published:

  • In § 742.5 (Missile technology), this final rule adds a new paragraph (b)(3), and redesignates paragraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4), as paragraphs (b)(4) and (b)(5). This paragraph specifies that BIS licenses for MT controlled items also authorize the minimum ‘‘software’’ and ‘‘technology’’ for MT controlled items authorized under the same license, unless such minimum ‘‘software’’ and ‘‘technology’’ are specifically excluded by BIS on the license.
  • This final rule also amends § 750.7(c)(1), which identifies ‘‘non-material changes [to a license that] do not require submission of a ‘Replacement’ license or any other notification to BIS.’’ BIS has determined that a license applicant who does not seek a license for minimum ‘‘software’’ or ‘‘technology’’ for an MT controlled item need not seek a ‘‘Replacement’’ license if the applicant subsequently wishes to export such software or technology under the authority of the previously issued license.
  • Accordingly, in this rule BIS establishes a new paragraph (c)(1)(x) to § 750.7 that applies to all MT licenses, except when a condition is placed on the license that excludes such minimum ‘‘software’’ and ‘‘technology.’’ These changes are also consistent with the boilerplate text on BIS licenses, because the § 750.7(c)(1)(x) revision identifies the export, reexport or transfer (in-country) of minimum necessary MT controlled software and technology as a non-material change to a license.
  • BIS makes this change to MT licensing policy to be consistent with the MTCR Annex General Minimum Software Note and the MTCR Annex General Technology Note that specify that a license for MT controlled items should also authorize certain minimum ‘‘software’’ and ‘‘technology,’’ which is being implemented by adding paragraph (c)(1)(x) to § 750.7 (which allows licensees to make such exports, reexports and transfers (in-country) pursuant to licenses for MT items) and paragraph (b)(3) to § 742.5 (which specifies this MT licensing policy) of the EAR.
  • The MTCR General Minimum Software Note, MTCR Annex General Technology Note, and the provisions this final rule adds to § 742.5 are consistent with the General Software Note and General Technology Note in Supplement No. 2 to part 774 and License Exception TSU under § 740.13, paragraphs (a) and (c). Note, however, that the implementation of these provisions is being done through the MT licensing policy, and the addition of paragraph (c)(1)(x) to § 750.7 described below, instead of through the use of a license exception.
  • This final rule also specifies in § 742.5, paragraph (b)(3) that a license for MT controlled items authorizes pursuant to § 750.7(c)(1)(x) the later export (or reexport, or transfer (in- country) as applicable) of ‘‘software’’ controlled for MT reasons intended to correct defects (bug fixes) in a previously legally exported item under a BIS license to the same ultimate consignee(s) and end user(s) specified on the license, provided that the capability and/or performance of the item are not otherwise enhanced and such ‘‘software’’ is not excluded from the license by a BIS condition on the license.
  • Lastly, for the changes to § 742.5, this final rule adds a Note to paragraph (b)(3) to clarify that for the limited number of ECCNs that are identified in § 740.2, paragraph (a)(5), License Exception TSU is available, and therefore exporters do not need to apply for a license from BIS for such minimum ‘‘software’’ or ‘‘technology.’’
  • In § 750.7(c) (Changes to the license), this rule adds a new paragraph (c)(1)(x), as referenced above in the description of the changes this final rule makes to § 742.5. This paragraph (c)(1)(x) specifies that the export, reexport or transfer (in-country) of missile technology (MT) controlled minimum ‘‘software’’ and/or ‘‘technology’’ permitted pursuant to the missile technology licensing policy in § 742.5(b)(3) does not require a new license.
  • This final rule also includes a parenthetical phrase in § 750.7(c)(1)(x) to cross reference § 742.5(b)(3)(i) to define the scope of eligible minimum ‘‘software’’ and ‘‘technology’’ and other limitations for licenses for MT controlled items.
  • Also in § 750.7, this final rule adds two notes to paragraph (c)(1)(x). The new Note 1 provides context for why BIS is implementing the MT licensing policy pursuant to § 750.7(c)(1)(x). Note 1 explains that the MT licensing policy is being implemented pursuant to paragraph (c)(1)(x) because it applies to all MT licenses. This new Note 1 also explains that this MT licensing policy does not apply when BIS places a condition on the specific license(s) which excludes the use of paragraph (c)(1)(x).
  • This final rule also adds a Note 2 to paragraph (c)(1)(x) to provide guidance on the relationship between License Exception TSU and § 750.7(c)(1)(x), as well as § 742.5(b)(3). Note 2 is the same as the Note to paragraph (b)(3) to § 742.5, described above in this final rule, except for minor changes to reflect that the note is in § 750.7.
  • This final rule amends ECCN 1B101 by revising paragraph a and the introductory text of paragraph b in the List of Items Controlled section. (MTCR Annex Change, Category II: Item 6.B.1.a. and b., Bern 2015 TEM). Specifically, this final rule amends paragraph a to revise the term ‘fiber- placement machines’ to add the term ‘‘/tow’’ after the term ‘‘fiber’’ to clarify that the scope of the control parameter extends to placement machines regardless of whether they are named fiber-placement machines or tow- placement machines.
    • This final rule revises the term ‘‘fiber-placement machines’’ to ‘‘fiber/tow-placement machines’’ in order to clarify that both these similar machines (two types of placement machines) are classified under this control parameter, regardless of the naming convention.
    • This final rule revises paragraph b to add single quotation marks around the term ‘tape- laying machines’ to indicate that this term is defined for purposes of ECCN 1B101.
    • This final rule also revises paragraph b to remove the phrase ‘‘and sheets,’’ because it is no longer needed as part of the control parameter because the definition of tape now encompasses sheets. Lastly, this final rule adds four new Technical Notes to paragraphs a and b. The addition of these four Technical Notes provides a cleartechnical definition for ‘fiber/tow- placement machines’ and ‘tape-laying machines’ under new Technical Note 1, which is based on the minimum width of material that these machines are capable of laying (as specified further in the new Technical Notes 3 and 4 this final rule adds to ECCN 1B101).
    • This final rule also adds a Technical Note 2 to provide an ECCN-specific definition of ‘filament band,’ which is also used as part of the definition of ‘fiber/tow- placement machines’ and ‘tape-laying machines.’ The purpose of this change to ECCN 1B101 is to more clearly define and differentiate between fiber/tow- placement machines and tape-laying machines.
  • This final rule amends ECCN 1C111 by revising paragraphs b.4, b.9, d.9, and d.12 in the List of Items Controlled section to add CAS (Chemical Abstract Service) Numbers. CAS Numbers are numerical identifiers assigned by the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) to every chemical substance described in open scientific literature, including organic and inorganic compounds, minerals, isotopes and alloys. The inclusion of CAS Numbers will make it easier to identify the materials controlled under these ‘‘items’’ paragraphs of 1C111.
    • This final rule revises paragraph b.4 to add the CAS Number (CAS 25265– 19–4/CAS 68891–50–9) after the material ‘‘polybutadiene acrylic acid acrylonitrile (PBAN).’’ (MTCR Annex Change, Category II: Item 4.C.5.e., otterdam 2015 Plenary).
    • This final rule revises paragraph d.9 to add the CAS Number (CAS 6068– 98–0) after the material ‘‘ethylene dihydrazine.’’ (MTCR Annex Change, Category II: Item 4.C.2.b.8., Rotterdam 2015 Plenary).
    • This final rule revises paragraph d.12 to add the material ‘‘1,1- Dimethylhydrazinium azide (CAS 227955–52–4),’’ which is an alternative structure of the same chemical (Dimethylhydrazinium azide) classified under d.12. This final rule also revises paragraph d.12 to add ‘‘1,2-’’ before the material ‘‘Dimethylhydrazinium azide’’ and adds the CAS Number (CAS 299177–50–7) after the material ‘‘1,2- Dimethylhydrazinium azide.’
    • Lastly, for the changes to ECCN 1C111, this final rule revises paragraph d.19, to add the material ‘‘1,1- Diethylhydrazine nitrate (DEHN),’’ which is an alternative structure of the same chemical (Diethylhydrazine nitrate (DEHN)) classified under d.19.
    • This final rule also revises paragraph d.19 to add ‘‘1,2-’’ before the material ‘‘Diethylhydrazine nitrate (DEHN)’’ and adds the CAS Number (CAS 363453– 17–2) after the material ‘‘1,2- Dimethylhydrazinium nitrate.’’
  • This final rule amends ECCN 7A116 to revise the heading to add the term ‘‘pneumatic’’ to the beginning of the control parameter to specify that pneumatic flight control systems are also controlled under ECCN 7A116. In addition, this final rule adds the phrase ‘‘and fly-by-light’’ to the parenthetical phrase ‘‘(including fly-by- wire systems)’’ to specify that the flight control systems classified under this ECCN include fly-by-wire and fly-by- light systems. (MTCR Annex Change, Category II: Item 10.A.1., Rotterdam 2015 Plenary).
  • This final rule amends ECCN 9A012 by adding paragraph b.5 in the List of Items Controlled section to control pneumatic, hydraulic, mechanical, electro-optical, or electromechanical flight control systems (including fly-by-wire and fly-by-light systems) and attitude control equipment designed or modified for UAVs or drones controlled by ECCN 9A012, and capable of delivering at least 500 kilograms payload to a range of at least 300 km. (MTCR Annex Change, Category II: Item 10.A.1., Rotterdam 2015 Plenary). New paragraph b.5 is not intended to control UAVs or drones controlled by either USML paragraph VIII(a) or ECCN 9A610.a.
  • This final rule also makes two conforming changes to ECCN 9A012 for the addition of paragraph 9A012.b.5. Specifically, this final rule is revising the ‘‘MT’’ paragraph in the License Requirements section to add an MT control for the new paragraph 9A012.b.5.
  • This final rule is revising the Related Control Paragraph to include a reference to also see ECCN 9A610, because as noted above, similar types of systems and equipment are controlled under ECCN 9A610.w
  • This final rule amends ECCN 9A610 by revising paragraph w in the List of Items Controlled section to add the term ‘‘pneumatic’’ to the beginning of the control parameter to specify that pneumatic flight control systems are also classified under this paragraph w.
    • In addition, this final rule adds the phrase ‘‘and fly-by-light’’ to the parenthetical phrase ‘‘(including fly-by- wire systems)’’ to specify that the flight control systems classified under this paragraph w include fly-by-wire and fly- by-light systems. (MTCR Annex Change, Category II: Item 10.A.1., Rotterdam 2015 Plenary).
  • This final rule amends ECCN 9B106 by revising paragraphs a.1 and the introductory text of paragraph a.2 in the List of Items Controlled section. The introductory text of paragraph previously referred to both paragraphs a.1 and a.2 as flight conditions, which was not entirely accurate.
    • Therefore, this final rule revises the introductory text of paragraph a by removing the phrase ‘‘simulating all of the following flight conditions’’ and adding in its place the phrase ‘‘having all of the following characteristics.’’ (MTCR Annex Change, Category II: Item 15.B.4.a., Bern 2015 TEM). The altitude and temperature requirements specified in paragraphs a.1.a and a.2.a are flight conditions, but the incorporation or ability to incorporate a shaker unit or other vibration test equipment specified in paragraph a.2 is not strictly a flight condition, but a means of simulating a flight condition, so the introductory text of paragraph a needed to be updated for clarity. This clarification to the introductory text of paragraph a reflects the way this control has previously been interpreted by BIS.
    • This final rule revises the control parameter in paragraph a.1.b to clarify the temperature range goes from below ¥50° C to above 125° C.
    • The revision to paragraph a.1.b does not change the scope of control of 9B610 and this revision will better reflect the control text of the MTCR Annex. (MTCR Annex Change, Category II: Item 15.B.4.a.1.b., Conforming Change to MTCR Annex).

 

Shipments of items removed from eligibility for a License Exception or export or reexport without a license (NLR) as a result of this regulatory action that were on dock for loading, on lighter, laden aboard an exporting or reexporting carrier, or enroute aboard a carrier to a port of export or reexport, on April 4, 2016, pursuant to actual orders for export or reexport to a foreign destination, may proceed to that destination under the previous eligibility for a License Exception or export or reexport without a license (NLR) so long as they are exported or reexported before May 4, 2016. Any such items not actually exported or reexported before midnight, on May 4, 2016, require a license in accordance with this rule.

Federal Register Notice: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-04-04/pdf/2016-07601.pdf

BIS EAR Licensing Requirements for EAR-Controlled Items Destined to ISIL-Controlled Facilities or Territory

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

(Source: Commerce/BIS)

BIS prohibits the shipment of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) absent a license in conjunction with regulations administered by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). OFAC has designated ISIL as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) and the Department of State has designated ISIL as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).

As part of its efforts against ISIL, the U.S. Government is targeting not only ISIL’s abilities to raise revenue but also its purchase and use of U.S.-origin items.  BIS is committed to preventing ISIL from procuring U.S.-origin items, like oilfield equipment, that generate wealth as well as components useful for improvised explosive devices to support terrorist activities.  Our goal is to provide industry with information on potential diversion risks to safeguard the export, reexport, and transfer (in-country) of U.S.-origin items and protect national security.

ISIL controls facilities located in the areas which it controls and uses the facilities to generate revenue; some of these facilities require U.S.-origin parts and accessories to operate.  A list of ISIL-controlled facilities in Iraq and the addresses thereof is incorporated into Attachment A of this notice (see below).  BIS advises persons exporting or reexporting U.S.-origin items to Iraq to review Attachment A on a regular basis; it will be updated as necessary.  BIS also reminds persons exporting or reexporting U.S.-origin items to Syria of the existing license requirements for all items subject to the EAR, other than food or medicine classified as EAR99.  The full text of BIS’s licensing requirements and policy specific to Syria is found here.

Exporters/reexporters are advised that sanctions administered by other agencies, including those administered by OFAC, may also impact transactions in the region.  Exporters/reexporters should note that U.S. entities/persons are generally prohibited from engaging in activities with any entities/persons who are on the OFAC administered Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List.

Pursuant to Section 744.12  of the EAR, BIS requires a license for the export or reexport to an SDGT of any item subject to the EAR.  However, to avoid duplication, U.S. persons are not required to seek authorization for an export or reexport to an SDGT of an item that is subject to both the EAR and OFAC’s regulatory authority from both OFAC and BIS.  Rather, if OFAC authorizes an export from the United States or an export or reexport by a U.S. person to an SDGT, no separate authorization from BIS is necessary.  However, U.S. persons must seek authorization from BIS for the export or reexport to an SDGT of any item subject to the EAR that is not subject to OFAC’s jurisdiction and non-U.S. persons must seek authorization from BIS for any export from abroad or reexport of any item subject to the EAR to an SDGT.  BIS will generally review license applications for exports or reexports to SDGTs under a policy of denial.  No license exceptions or other BIS authorizations are available for the export or reexport to an SDGT of an item subject to the EAR.   Additionally, the EAR does not make contract sanctity available for export or reexport license applications to SDGTs.

BIS’s license requirements for shipments of items subject to the EAR to FTOs are found in Section 744.14 of the EAR.  Note especially the guidance in Section 744.14(e), which is specific to FTOs that are also designated as Specially Designated Terrorists (SDTs) or SDGTs, and directs that the guidance specific to SDTs or SDGTs, as applicable, will apply instead.

BIS also notes that an export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) to geographic areas controlled by ISIL carries a “red flag” and suggests that you exercise caution and strong oversight if you opt to engage in an EAR transaction within these areas. A list of geographic areas known to be under ISIL control is contained in Attachment B (see below).

For additional information on this FAQ or attachments, please contact the Office of Enforcement Analysis at the following: EEinquiry@BIS.DOC.GOV or 202-482-1881.

Belgium Company Pays $350,000 after Exporting Coatings, Pigments and Paints to Iran

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

By: Danielle McClellan

Chemical Partners Europe (CPE) S.A. of Brussels, Belgium has been charged with 6 counts of Evasion after exporting coatings, pigments and paints from the US to their facility in Brussels  and then to Iran. The exported items were suitable for use in nuclear facilities and had marine applications, making them subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) as well as the Iranian Transactions Regulations (Governed by the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)).

Between January 2010 and March 2011, the company purchased the coatings, pigments and paints, valued at $244,358, from a US company and concealed the fact that the ultimate destination was actually Iran. The shipper’s export declarations filed listed CPE as the ultimate consignee and Belgium as the country of ultimate destination. Once CPE received the items they transferred them directly to Iran without proper authorization.

CPE has agreed to pay $350,000 to settle the charges; they will not be debarred. Charging Letter

BIS & OFAC Slightly Relax Controls on Cuba

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

By: Danielle McClellan

On March 16, 2016, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published a final rule amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) by allowing vessels departing the US on temporary sojourn to Cuba with cargo for other destinations to travel to Cuba under a license exception instead of having to obtain a license for the cargo. The rule also allows exports of certain items to persons authorized by the Department of the Treasury to establish and maintain a physical or business presence in Cuba. Finally, the rule adopts a licensing policy of case-by-case review for exports and reexports of items that would enable or facilitate export of items produced by the private sector in Cuba (subject to certain limitations).

Specific Changes to the EAR:

This rule revises § 736.2(b)(8) of the EAR, which prohibits shipments from transiting certain destinations, to explicitly state that the prohibition does not apply if a license or license exception authorizes the in-transit shipment.

  • This rule revises § 740.15(d)(6) of the EAR to authorize temporary sojourn to Cuba of a vessel carrying cargo destined to other countries provided that such cargo departs with the vessel at the end of its temporary sojourn to Cuba, does not enter the Cuban economy and is not transferred to another vessel while in Cuba.
  • This rule revises § 740.21(e) to remove the individual references to categories of persons authorized by OFAC to establish and maintain a physical or business presence in Cuba pursuant to 31 CFR 515.573, and to authorize exports and reexports to all such persons and to persons whose physical or business presence is authorized by a specific license issued by OFAC.
  • This rule revises § 746.2(b)(3)(i), to add a paragraph(b)(3)(i)(D), which sets a policy of case-by-case review of items that will enable or facilitate export from Cuba of items produced by the Cuban private sector.
  • It also revises Note 1 to clarify that the license condition described therein is intended to preclude use of items authorized by licenses bearing that condition from being reexported from Cuba or being used to enable or facilitate exports from Cuba that primarily generate revenue for the state.

Federal Register Notice: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-03-16/pdf/2016-06019.pdf
In addition to the changes to the EAR, The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is amending the Cuban Assets Control Regulations to further implement these changes along with facilitating travel to Cuba for authorized financial transactions, and authorize additional business and physical presence in Cuba.

Specific Changes to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations:

  • OFAC is amending section 515.565(b) to remove the requirement that people-to-people educational travel be conducted under the auspices of an organization that sponsors such exchanges. This section now authorizes individuals to travel to Cuba provided that, among other things, the traveler engage while in Cuba in a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that are intended to enhance contact with the Cuban people, support civil society in Cuba, or promote the Cuban people’s independence from Cuban authorities, and that will result in meaningful interaction between the traveler and individuals in Cuba.
  • OFAC is amending section 515.571 to remove the limitation on the receipt of compensation in excess of amounts covering living expenses and the acquisition of goods for personal consumption by a Cuban national present in the United States in a non- immigrant status or pursuant to other non-immigrant travel authorization issued by the U.S. government. New section (a)(5)(i) explicitly authorizes the receipt of any salary or other compensation consistent with the individual’s non-immigrant status or other non-immigrant travel authorization, provided that the recipient is not subject to any special tax assessment by the Cuban government in connection with the receipt of the salary or other compensation.
  • New section 515.571(e) authorizes all transactions related to the sponsorship or hiring of a Cuban national to work in the United States and provides that an employer may not make additional payments to the Cuban government in connection with the sponsorship or hiring of a Cuban national. Section 515.571(e) also authorizes transactions in connection with the filing of an application for non- immigrant travel authorization. OFAC is also making conforming edits in section 515.560(d)(3) and the Note to section 515.565(a)(5).
  • OFAC is adding section 515.585(c) to authorize individuals who are persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction and who are located in a third country to engage in the purchase or acquisition of merchandise subject to the prohibitions in section 515.204, including Cuban-origin goods, for personal consumption while in a third country, and to receive or obtain services from Cuba or a Cuban national that are ordinarily incident to travel and maintenance within a third country. This provision does not authorize the importation of such merchandise into the United States, including as accompanied baggage. OFAC is making a conforming change to section 515.410.
  • OFAC is amending section 515.584(d) to authorize U-turn transactions in which Cuba or a Cuban national has an interest to be conducted through the U.S. financial system. This provision authorizes funds transfers from a bank outside the United States that pass through one or more U.S. financial institutions before being transferred to a bank outside the United States where neither the originator nor the beneficiary is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction. Transactions through the U.S. financial system that do not meet these criteria, including all transactions where the originator or beneficiary is a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction, remain prohibited unless otherwise authorized or exempt under the Regulations.
  • OFAC is also making conforming edits to section 515.584(e), regarding unblocking of certain previously blocked funds transfers.
  • OFAC is adding new section 515.584(g) to authorize U.S. banking institutions to process U.S. dollar monetary instruments presented indirectly by Cuban financial institutions. Correspondent accounts used for transactions authorized pursuant to this section may be denominated in U.S. dollars. This section does not authorize banking institutions subject to U.S. jurisdiction to open correspondent accounts for banking institutions that are nationals of Cuba.
  • OFAC is adding new section 515.584(h) to authorize banking institutions to open and maintain accounts solely in the name of a Cuban national located in Cuba for the purposes only of receiving payments in the United States in connection with transactions authorized pursuant to or exempt from the prohibitions of this part and remitting such payments to Cuba. This provision would allow, for example, a Cuban national author located in Cuba to open an account with a bank or online payment platform in the United States to receive payments for sales of her book. This provision is in addition to the two existing authorizations for banking institutions to operate certain accounts on behalf of certain Cuban nationals. See Note to paragraph (a) of section 515.571(a)(5) and section 515.585(b).
  • To avoid confusion, OFAC also is making conforming edits to the Note to section 515.571(a)(5) to clarify that all three account authorizations extend to banking institutions.
  • OFAC is amending section 515.573 to authorize additional persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to establish a business and physical presence in Cuba.
  • OFAC amended section 515.573 to authorize certain persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to establish a physical presence, such as an office or other facility, in Cuba, to facilitate authorized transactions. OFAC is now expanding this authorization to include the following additional categories of persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction: entities engaging in non-commercial activities authorized by section 515.574 (Support for the Cuban People); entities engaging in humanitarian projects set forth in section 515.575(b) (Humanitarian projects); and private foundations or research or educational institutes engaging in transactions authorized by section 515.576.
  • OFAC is also adding a note to clarify that the activities that may be carried out by exporters of items exported or reexported pursuant to authorization by the Department of Commerce or OFAC, or that are otherwise exempt, at a physical presence authorized by this section include the assembly of such items.
  • OFAC is adding a new provision in section 515.565 to authorize the provision of educational grants, scholarships, or awards to a Cuban national or in which Cuba or a Cuban national otherwise has an interest. This could include, for example, the provision of educational scholarships for Cuban students to pursue academic studies for a degree. OFAC is also adding a note to section 515.575(b) to clarify that the existing authorization includes provision of grants or awards for humanitarian projects in or related to Cuba that are designed to directly benefit the Cuban people as set forth in that section. Telecommunications and internet- related services.
  • OFAC is amending section 515.578 to allow the importation of Cuban-origin software. OFAC is also making several technical and conforming edits. In particular, OFAC is correcting a typographical error in section 515.533(d)(2).
  • OFAC is also conforming the language of the general authorization in section 515.559(d) to the corresponding authorization in section 515.533(d).

Federal Register Notice: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-03-16/pdf/2016-06018.pdf

A Few Things That Can Be Exported to Cuba

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

By: Danielle McClellan

BIS has released a final rule revising the licensing policy from possible approval on a case-by case-basis to a general policy of approval for exports and reexports of the following to Cuba:

  • Telecommunications items that would improve communications to, from, and among the Cuban people;
  • Certain commodities and software to human rights organizations or to individuals and non-governmental organizations that promote independent activity intended to strengthen civil society in Cuba;
  • Commodities and software to U.S. news bureaus in Cuba whose primary purpose is the gathering and dissemination of news to the general public; and
  • Agricultural items that are outside the scope of “agricultural commodities” as defined in part 772 of the EAR (such as insecticides, pesticides and herbicides) as well as agricultural commodities not eligible for License Exception Agricultural commodities (AGR) (such as those that are specified in an entry on the Commerce Control List, i.e., are not designated EAR99).
  • Items that are necessary to ensure the safety of civil aviation and the safe operation of commercial aircraft engaged in international air transportation, including the export or reexport of such aircraft leased to state-owned enterprises. Given a substantial increase in air travel to and from Cuba, BIS is making the change to emphasize the importance of civil aviation safety and to recognize that access to aircraft used in international air transportation that meet U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency operating standards by Cuban state-owned enterprises contributes to that safety.

This rule also amends the exceptions to the general policy of denial by also adopting a case-by-case review policy for exports and reexports of some of the following:

  • Exports and reexports to state-owned enterprises, agencies, and other organizations of the Cuban government that provide goods and services for the use and benefit of the Cuban people.
  • Exports and reexports of items for agricultural production, artistic endeavors (including the creation of public content, historic and cultural works and preservation), education, food processing, disaster preparedness, relief and response, public health and sanitation, residential construction and renovation and public transportation.
  • Exports and reexports of items for use in construction of: facilities for treating public water supplies, facilities for supplying electricity or other energy to the Cuban people, sports and recreation facilities, and other infrastructure that directly benefits the Cuban people.
  • Additionally, it includes exports and reexports to wholesalers and retailers of items for domestic consumption by the Cuban people.

The rule also adds the term “reexport” to the existing statement of a policy of case-by-case review of applications for aircraft or vessels on temporary sojourn to Cuba. Finally, this rule will consolidate the statements of licensing policy for exports and reexports to Cuba (previously the policies were in six different paragraphs spread in different places with inconsistent wording).

Additionally, OFAC released a final rule coordinating with these changes set forth by BIS. OFAC is making amendments to the Cuba Sanctions Regulations with respect to non-agricultural export trade financing and travel and related services:

  • Section 515.533(a) will remove the former limitations on payment and financing terms for all exports from the United States or reexports of 100 percent U.S.-origin items from a third country that are licensed or otherwise authorized by the Department of Commerce, other than exports of agricultural items or commodities. As required by the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000, 22 U.S.C. 7207(b)(1), such agricultural exports continue to be authorized only if one of the payment and financing terms specified in the statute are used.
  • Section 515.584 will add an authorization for depository institutions to provide financing for such authorized exports and making a conforming change to section 515.421.
  • Carrier services by air: section 515.572 will be amended to authorize the entry into blocked space, code-sharing, and leasing arrangements to facilitate the provision of carrier services by air authorized pursuant to section 515.572(a)(2), including the entry into such arrangements with a national of Cuba.
  • Temporary sojourn: section 515.533 will be amended to authorize travel-related and other transactions directly incident to the facilitation of the temporary sojourn of aircraft and vessels as authorized by the Department of Commerce for travel between the United States and Cuba, including by certain personnel required for normal operation and service on board a vessel or aircraft or to provide services to a vessel in port or aircraft on the ground.
  • Transactions related to information and informational materials: section 515.545 will be  expand the general license authorizing travel- related and other transactions that are directly incident to the export, import, or transmission of informational materials to include professional media or artistic productions in Cuba. Such productions include media programs (such as movies and television programs), music recordings, and the creation of artworks. OFAC is removing a restriction in an existing general license and explicitly authorizing transactions relating to the creation, dissemination, or artistic or other substantive alteration or enhancement of informational materials, including employment of Cuban nationals and the remittance of royalties or other payments. OFAC also is making a conforming change to section 515.206.
  • Professional meetings: section 515.564 will now authorize travel-related and other transactions to organize professional meetings or conferences in Cuba.
  • Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions: section 515.567 will now authorize travel-related and other transactions to organize amateur and semi-professional international sports federation competitions and public performances, clinics, workshops, other athletic or non-athletic competitions, and exhibitions in Cuba. OFAC is also removing the existing requirements for certain events that all U.S. profits from the event after costs be donated to an independent nongovernmental organization in Cuba or a U.S.-based charity and that workshops and clinics be organized and run, at least in part, by the authorized traveler.
  • Humanitarian projects: section 515.575 will expand the list of authorized humanitarian projects to include disaster preparedness and response.

BIS Notice: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-01-27/pdf/2016-01557.pdf

OFAC Notice: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-01-27/pdf/2016-01559.pdf

BIS & DDTC Release Another Set of Proposed Rules on Military Aircraft

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

By: Danielle McClellan

BIS and Department of State simultaneously released proposed rules based on a review of Categories VII and XIX as well as ECCNs 9A610, 9A619, 9C610, 9C619, and 9E619.

BIS Revisions would be as follows:

Changes to ECCN 9A610

  • This proposed rule would remove text currently in the “Control(s)” table that excludes paragraphs .t, .u, .v and .w from national security controls. Although the text of those paragraphs is taken from the Missile Technology Control Regime Annex, the commodities that they control are unmanned aerial vehicle parts, components or associated equipment that also are subject to category ML10 on the Munitions List of the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies. The addition of the national security controls would not increase the number of destinations to which a license is required for the commodities controlled by these paragraphs as those paragraphs already have missile technology and regional stability controls. …

Changes to ECCN 9A619

  • This rule would make three additions to the “Related Controls” paragraph. The first would state explicitly the historical practice of controlling 501-D22 gas turbine engines in ECCN 9A991.d, which is the classification that has been used for many years. The second would add a reference to USML Category XIX(f) to alert readers that some aircraft parts and components are enumerated in that paragraph. Finally, a note would be added reminding readers that the commodities enumerated in paragraph .y are subject to the controls in that paragraph rather than the broader controls elsewhere in this ECCN. …

Changes to ECCN 9C610

  • ECCN 9C610 would be revised by adding references to USML Category VIII in both the heading and in paragraph .a, to make clear that materials specially designed for commodities enumerated or otherwise described in that category are controlled in ECCN 9C610.

Changes to ECCN 9C619

  • ECCN 9C619 would be revised by adding references to USML Category XIX in both the heading and in paragraph .a, to make clear that materials specially designed for commodities enumerated or otherwise described in that category are controlled in ECCN 9C619.

Change to ECCN 9E619

  • The related controls paragraph in ECCN 9E619 would be amended by removing the sentence that reads “Technology described in ECCN 9E003 is controlled by that ECCN.” Although true, the placement of the sentence in a 600 series ECCN could mislead readers into thinking that the order of review does not apply in this instance.

Comments must be received by BIS by March 25, 2016. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Search for this rule using its regulations.gov docket number: BIS-2016-0009.
  • By email directly to publiccomments@bis.doc.gov. Include RIN 0694-AG76 in the subject line.
  • By mail or delivery to Regulatory Policy Division, Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 2099B, 14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230. Refer to RIN 0694-AG76.
  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas DeFee or Jeffrey Leitz in the Office of Strategic Industries and Economic Security, Munitions Control Division by telephone at (202) 482-4506 or by email at Thomas.DeFee@bis.doc.gov or Jeffrey.Leitz@bis.doc.gov.

Department of State Revisions would be as follows:

Revision of Category VIII

This proposed rule revises USML Category VIII, covering aircraft and related articles, to describe more precisely the articles warranting control on the USML.

  • Paragraph (a) is revised to clarify that the controls for all paragraphs are applicable “whether manned, unmanned, remotely piloted, or optionally piloted,” by modifying paragraph (a)(5) to clarify the features meriting USML control, and by deleting paragraph (a)(6) and placing it into reserve, because the relevant control would be subsumed by paragraph (a)(5).
  • Paragraphs (a)(7) and (a)(8) are modified to clarify the features meriting USML control.
  • Paragraphs (a)(11) and (a)(13) are deleted and placed into reserve.
  • Paragraph (a)(14) is modified to exclude L-100 aircraft manufactured prior to 2013 from the scope of control.
  • The Note to paragraph (a) is revised to incorporate technical corrections.
  • Paragraph (d) is modified to delete the “ship-based” control parameter and to clarify the intent and scope of the control.
  • Notes 1 and 3 to paragraph (f) are modified to incorporate clarifying language. …

Revision of Category XIX

This proposed rule revises USML Category XIX, covering gas turbine engines and associated equipment, to describe more precisely the articles warranting control on the USML.

  • Paragraph (a) is modified to clarify the scope of controlled engines and to incorporate technical corrections.
  • Paragraph (b) is revised to provide additional technical parameters to clarify the scope of controlled engines. With respect to paragraph (b)(1), public comment is requested on whether any commercial models exceed the capability described in this paragraph. In any public comment submitted in reply to this request, please provide specific examples of the commercial models at issue.
  • Paragraph (c) is modified to incorporate conforming changes and to make clear that the paragraph applies only to gas turbine engines, while paragraph (d) is modified to update the list of subject engines.
  • The Note to paragraph (e) is modified to incorporate a conforming change.

The Department of State will accept comments on this proposed rule until March 25, 2016. Interested parties may submit comments within 45 days of the date of publication by one of the following methods:

  • Email: DDTCPublicComments@state.gov with the subject line, “ITAR Amendment–Categories VIII and XIX.”
  • Internet: At www.regulations.gov, search for this notice by using this rule’s RIN (1400-AD89).
  • Comments received after that date will be considered if feasible, but consideration cannot be assured. Those submitting comments should not include any personally identifying information they do not wish to be made public or information for which a claim of confidentiality is asserted, because those comments and/or transmittal emails will be made available for public inspection and copying after the close of the comment period via the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls Web site at www.pmddtc.state.gov. Parties who wish to comment anonymously may do so by submitting their comments via www.regulations.gov, leaving the fields that would identify the commenter blank and including no identifying information in the comment itself. Comments submitted via www.regulations.gov are immediately available for public inspection.
  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. C. Edward Peartree, Director, Office of Defense Trade Controls Policy, Department of State, telephone (202) 663-2792; email DDTCPublicComments@state.gov. ATTN: ITAR Amendment–USML Categories VIII and XIX.

BIS Amends Country Chart and Various Missing Wassenaar Changes

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

By: Danielle McClellan

BIS released the following amendments and revisions that were inadvertently omitted from the Wassenaar Arrangement 2014 Plenary Agreements Implementation and Country Policy Amendments. A rule was published on May 21, 2015 but the following revisions were absent in that notice and will be implemented now:

 

  • Supplement No. 1 to Part 738: Commerce Country Chart
    • This rule would remove the X, i.e., license requirement, in the NS:2 Column for South Africa, as well as remove the X in the RS:2 Column for Argentina and South Africa
  • Part 740: Country Groups
    • This rule removes Fiji from Country Group D:5 ‘‘U.S. Arms Embargoed Countries,’’ and from Country Group D in Supplement No. 1 to part 740 of the EAR (This correction is not the result of a Wassenaar Arrangement agreement, but rather of a final rule published by the Department of State on May 29, 2015)
  • Section 743.3: Thermal Imaging Camera Reporting
    • BIS inadvertently removed a thermal imaging camera reporting requirement exemption for Canada in the May 21 rule. The reporting requirements for thermal imaging cameras are corrected by exempting Canada from the reporting requirements, as was the policy prior to the publication of the May 21, 2015, Wassenaar rule. The exception is added to paragraph (b) of § 743.3 of the EAR.
  • Part 772: Definitions
    • This rule removes a reference for ‘‘signal analyzer (dynamic).  .  .’’ that was inadvertently not removed when the definition for ‘‘dynamic signal analyzer’’ was removed from this part.
  • Supplement No. 1 to Part 774: Commerce Control List ECCN 8A620 Submersible Vessels, Oceanographic and Associated Commodities
    • Replaces paragraph .f with a new paragraph containing two subparagraphs: Subparagraph f.1 for self-contained diving rebreathers, closed or semi-closed circuit; and subparagraph f.2 for underwater swimming apparatus ‘‘specially designed’’ for use with equipment specified in paragraph f.1. Paragraph f.1 narrows the scope by adding the ‘‘self- contained’’ parameter, while f.2 is an expansion of controls.
  • ECCN 9A004 Space Launch Vehicles and ‘‘Spacecraft’’
    • The range of reference in the License Requirement Note is corrected to read ‘‘9A004.b through .f.’’ Also, Note 3 in the Related Controls is revised for clarity.
  • 9A010  ‘‘Specially Designed’’ ‘‘Parts,’’ ‘‘Components,’’ Systems and Structures, for Launch Vehicles, Launch Vehicle Propulsion Systems or ‘‘Spacecraft’’
    • The Heading to ECCN 9A010 is corrected by removing the reference to the ITAR for jurisdiction over these items and instead referring to the newly added Related Controls paragraph.

Federal Register Notice: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-12-03/pdf/2015-30253.pdf