Treasury/OFAC Announces Settlement Agreement With IPSA International Services, Inc.

October 16th, 2017 by Danielle McClellan

(Source: https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/OFAC-Recent-Actions.aspx)

IPSA International Services, Inc. of Phoenix, Arizona agreed to settle its potential civil liability for 72 apparent violations of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 560 (ITSR). The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced IPSA’s settlement of $259,200 on August 7, 2017. The apparent violations include, on 44 separate occasions, IPSA’s importation of Iranian-origin services into the United States in apparent violation of § 560.201 of the ITSR, and on 28 separate occasions, IPSA’s engagement in transactions or dealings related to Iranian-origin services by approving and facilitating its foreign subsidiaries’ payments to providers of Iranian-origin services in apparent violation of §§ 560.206 and 560.208 of the ITSR.  OFAC concluded that IPSA did not voluntarily disclose these apparent violations, and that the apparent violations constitute a non-egregious case.

OFAC’s web notice is included below.

ENFORCEMENT INFORMATION FOR AUGUST 10, 2017

Information concerning the civil penalties process can be found in the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) regulations governing each sanctions program; the Reporting, Procedures, and Penalties Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 501; and the Economic Sanctions Enforcement Guidelines, 31 C.F.R. part 501, app. A. These references, as well as recent final civil penalties and enforcement information, can be found on OFAC’s website.

ENTITIES – 31 CFR 501.805(d)(1)(i)

IPSA International Services, Inc. Settles Potential Civil Liability for Apparent Violations of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations: IPSA International Services, Inc. (IPSA), Phoenix, Arizona, has agreed to pay $259,200 to settle its potential civil liability for 72 apparent violations of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 560 (ITSR). [FN/1] The apparent violations involve, on 44 separate occasions, IPSA’s importation of Iranian-origin services into the United States in apparent violation of § 560.201 of the ITSR, and on 28 separate occasions, IPSA’s engagement in transactions or dealings related to Iranian-origin services by approving and facilitating its foreign subsidiaries’ payments to providers of Iranian- origin services in apparent violation of §§ 560.206 and 560.208 of the ITSR.

OFAC determined that IPSA did not voluntarily disclose the apparent violations, and that the apparent violations constitute a non-egregious case. The total transaction value of the apparent violations was $290,784. The statutory maximum civil penalty amount in this case was $18,000,000, and the base civil penalty amount was $720,000.

IPSA is a global business investigative and regulatory risk mitigation firm that provides due diligence services for various countries and their citizenship by investment programs. In March 2012, IPSA entered into an engagement letter and fee agreement with a third country with respect to its citizenship by investment program (“Contract No. 1”). In October 2012, IPSA’s subsidiary in Vancouver, Canada (“IPSA Canada”) entered into a similar contract with a government-owned financial institution in a separate third country (“Contract No. 2”). While the majority of the applicants to both of these programs were nationals from countries not subject to OFAC sanctions, some were Iranian nationals. Since most of the information about Iranian applicants could not be checked or verified by sources outside Iran, IPSA Canada and IPSA’s subsidiary in Dubai, United Arab Emirates subsequently hired subcontractors to conduct the necessary due diligence in Iran, and those subcontractors in turn hired third parties to validate information that could only be obtained or verified within Iran. Although it was IPSA’s foreign subsidiaries that managed and performed both Contract No. 1 and Contract No. 2, with regard to Contract No. 1, IPSA appears to have imported Iranian-origin services into the United States because the foreign subsidiaries conducted the due diligence in Iran on behalf of and for the benefit of IPSA. With regard to Contract No. 2, IPSA also appears to have engaged in transactions or dealings related to Iranian-origin services and facilitated the foreign subsidiaries’ engagement in such transactions or dealings because IPSA reviewed, approved, and initiated the foreign subsidiaries’ payments to providers of the Iranian-origin services.

The settlement amount reflects OFAC’s consideration of the following facts and circumstances, pursuant to the General Factors under OFAC’s Economic Sanctions Enforcement Guidelines, 31 C.F.R. part 501, app. A. OFAC considered the following to be aggravating factors: (1) IPSA failed to exercise a minimal degree of caution or care when it imported background investigation services of Iranian origin into the United States and when it reviewed, approved, and initiated its foreign subsidiaries’ payments to providers of Iranian-origin services, and the frequency and duration of the apparent violations constitute a pattern or practice of conduct; (2) at least one of IPSA’s senior management knew or had reason to know that it was importing and/or engaging in transactions or dealings related to services of Iranian origin; (3) the transactions giving rise to the apparent violations resulted in economic benefits to Iran, and the conduct underlying the apparent violations is not eligible for OFAC authorization under existing licensing policy [FN/2]; (4) IPSA is a commercially sophisticated company operating internationally with experience in U.S. sanctions; and (5) IPSA’s OFAC compliance program was ineffective in that it did not recognize or react to the risks presented by engaging in transactions that involved Iranian-origin background investigation services.

OFAC considered the following to be mitigating factors: (1) IPSA has no prior OFAC sanctions history in the five years preceding the earliest date of the transactions giving rise to the apparent violations; (2) IPSA undertook significant remedial measures by taking swift action to cease the prohibited activities, conducting an investigation to discover the causes and extent of the apparent violations, and adopting new internal controls and procedures to prevent reoccurrence of the apparent violations; and (3) IPSA substantially cooperated with OFAC’s investigation by conducting an internal look-back investigation for potential sanctions violations and submitting an investigation report to OFAC without receiving an administrative subpoena, promptly providing detailed additional information and documentation in a well-organized manner in response to OFAC’s multiple requests for information, and entering into a statute of limitations tolling agreement.

For more information regarding OFAC regulations, please go here.

DHS/CBP Updates Harmonized Tariff Schedule in the Automated Export System

October 16th, 2017 by Danielle McClellan

(Source: census@subscriptions.census.gov)

Effective immediately, all recent additions to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (“HTS”) are now available for use in the Automated Export System (“AES”). There were no additions to the Schedule B.

The ACE AESDirect program has been updated with these new HTS codes.

The full 2017 Schedule B and HTS tables are available for downloading here and the current list of HTS codes that are not valid for AES can be found here.

For further information or questions, contact the U.S. Census Bureau’s International Trade Indicator Micro Analysis Branch. Telephone: (800) 549-0595, select option 2 for International Trade Indicator Micro Analysis Branch.

ACE System Experiences Technical Issues

October 16th, 2017 by Danielle McClellan

By: Ashleigh Foor

On August 2, 2017, trade filers experienced technical issues using the ACE System. Users were advised to retransmit any messages (manifest, entry and summary) transmitted between 07:00 ET and 09:00 ET that did not receive a response or received an error message.

Because of the ACE system issues, CBP allowed an extra day without penalty on a national basis for any late filed entry summaries and payments that were due August 2, 2017.

At around 21:00 ET August 2, 2017, the ACE System was restored for ACE Portal functionality, as well as all ACE EDI message processing for all modes of transportation of Manifest (including Truck), ACE Cargo Release, ACE Entry Summary and ABI Queries. Statement processing and other Automated Commercial System (ACS) applications were not impacted by the ACE issue.

As of 11:30 ET August 3, 2017, the ACE System continued to be stable and processes operating normally.

More Information: https://apps.cbp.gov/csms/viewmssg.asp?Recid=22853&page=&srch_argv=17-000451&srchtype=all&btype=&sortby=&sby=

BIS Implements Updates to Improve SNAP-R for License Application Submissions

October 16th, 2017 by Danielle McClellan

By: Ashleigh Foor

Per the request of the export controls industry, BIS has designed new updates for the Single Network Application Process-Redesign (SNAP-R), BIS’s electronic system for the submission of license applications, commodity classification requests, License Exception AGR notifications, and License Exception STA eligibility requests. This will be the first in a series of updates meant to make SNAP­-­R more user-friendly and efficient. Additional updates will be implemented in the future.

Included in the new updates is the introduction of security questions. Before this update, SNAP-R users would have to request assistance from SNAP-R account administrators or BIS to reset login IDs and passwords and to receive a reminder of their company identification number (CIN). Starting now, all new SNAP-R registrants will be required to provide answers to four of ten security questions as part of the registration process. Moving forward, the security questions put into place will identify and help users retrieve information on their own. Existing users will be prompted to choose security questions and answers at their next login.

Other changes include:

  • Work Item Reference Numbers: SNAP-R account holders are no longer limited to the previously required format (i.e., AAA####) for Work Item reference numbers.
  • Line Item Value Calculation: When listing the information for an export item on a license application, SNAP-R account holders can now choose to calculate the value of the item by multiplying the unit value by the quantity of items or to enter the total price of the item independent of the item’s quantity and unit value.

Other SNAP-R Features: Did you know that SNAP-R:

  • Can be used on browsers other than Internet Explorer®?
  • Has a spell check function?
  • Allows a previously created Work Item (e.g., a license application) to be used again when preparing a new Work Item for submission?

The SNAP-R manual has been revised and updated to incorporate the changes above as well as to clarify the tools available to SNAP-R system users. (https://www.bis.doc.gov/snap-r-updates)

Repeal of Pratt & Whitney Canada Corporation’s Statutory Debarment

October 16th, 2017 by Danielle McClellan

By: Ashleigh Foor

As of July 12, 2017, the statutory debarment of Pratt & Whitney Canada Corporation has been lifted and the company reinstated, according to the Department’s authorities under the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

In June 2012, Pratt & Whitney Canada Corporation plead guilty to violating the AECA (US District Court, District of Connecticut, 12-CR-146-WWE), making the company statutorily debarred in accordance with section 120.1 of the ITAR with certain exceptions, pursuant to section 127.7(b). Section 38(g)(4) of the AECA, 22 U.S.C. 2778(g)(4) prohibits any party that has violated the AECA from issuing export licenses or other approvals for the export of defense articles or services. The notice debarring Pratt & Whitney Canada Corporation in all its locations was published in the Federal Register July 6, 2012.

According to section 127.7 of the ITAR, a statutory debarment may be repealed once appropriate US agencies concur that the violating company has taken appropriate steps to alleviate any law enforcement concerns. The Department of State consulted with other US agencies and concluded that Pratt & Whitney Canada Corporation has appropriately addressed the causes of violations and mitigated any law enforcement concerns.

Effective July 12, 2017, the statutory debarment is removed and Pratt & Whitney Canada Corporation may now participate in any activities subject to the ITAR , in accordance with section 38(g)(4) of the AECA and sections 127.7(b) and 127.11(b) of the ITAR.

CSE Global Limited and CSE TransTel Pte. Ltd. Pay Settlement for Apparent Violations Involving Iranian Companies

October 16th, 2017 by Danielle McClellan

By: Ashleigh Foor

A solely-owned subsidiary of CSE Global Limited (an international technology group), CSE TransTel Pte. Ltd., appears to have violated § 1705 (a) of IEEPA and § 560.203 of the ITSR and has agreed to pay a $12,027,066 settlement for the apparent 104 violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act 1 (IEEPA) and the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 560 (ITSR). The apparent violations occurred on or around June 4, 2012 through March 27, 2013 when TransTel appears to have involved at least six different financial institutions in the unauthorized exportation or re-exportation of services from the United States to Iran, a prohibition of § 560.204 of the ITSR.

OFAC concluded that TransTel did not voluntarily make known these apparent violations, which OFAC found to be grounds for a serious case. The maximum and base civil monetary penalty for the apparent violations was $38,181,161.

TransTel first signed contracts with and received purchase orders from Iranian companies starting August 25, 2010 through November 5, 2011. The purchase orders were for multiple energy projects taking place in Iran and/or Iranian territory. In order to carry out the orders to deliver and install telecommunications equipment, TransTel hired several Iranian companies to deliver these goods and services on its behalf.

Preceding these interactions with Iranian companies, CSE Global and TransTel opened separate Singapore bank accounts (the “Bank”). Then-Managing Director and CSE Global’s then-Group Chief Executive Officer signed and sent a letter titled “Sanctions – Letter of Undertaking” to the Bank with the following statement: “In consideration of [the Bank] agreeing to continue providing banking services in Singapore to our company, we, CSE TransTel Pte. Ltd … hereby undertake not to route any transactions related to Iran through [the Bank], whether in Singapore or elsewhere.”  The Bank continued to provide financial services to the company after receiving the Letter of Undertaking and around June 2012, less than two months after the Letter of Undertaking was delivered, TransTel began transferring USD funds related to its Iranian business.

On or around the dates of June 4, 2012 to March 27, 2013 Transtel appears to have violated § 1705 (a) of IEEPA and/or § 560.203 of the ITSR when it initiated 104 USD wire transfers totaling more than $11,111,000 involving Iran. Transfers from the Bank went to several different third-party contacts including Iranian vendors. There was never any mention of Iran, the Iranian projects, or any Iranian parties on documentations involved in these transactions.

The settlement amount reflects OFAC’s consideration of the following facts and circumstances, pursuant to the General Factors under OFAC’s Economic Sanctions Enforcement Guidelines, 31 C.F.R. part 501, app. A. OFAC considered the following to be aggravating factors:

(1) TransTel willfully and recklessly caused apparent violations of U.S. economic sanctions by engaging in, and systematically obfuscating, conduct it knew to be prohibited, including by materially misrepresenting to its bank that it would not route Iran-related business through the bank’s branch in Singapore or elsewhere, and by engaging in a pattern or practice that lasted for 10 months;

(2) TransTel’s then-senior management had actual knowledge of – and played an active role in – the conduct underlying the apparent violations;

(3) TransTel’s actions conveyed significant economic benefit to Iran and/or persons on OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons by processing dozens of transactions through the U.S. financial system that totaled $11,111,812 and benefited Iran’s oil, gas, and power industries; and

(4) TransTel is a commercially sophisticated company that engages in business in multiple countries.

 

OFAC considered the following to be mitigating factors:

(1) TransTel has not received a penalty notice, Finding of Violation, or cautionary letter from OFAC in the five years preceding the date of the earliest transaction giving rise to the apparent violations;

(2) TransTel and CSE Global have undertaken remedial steps to ensure compliance with U.S. sanctions programs; and

(3) TransTel and CSE Global provided substantial cooperation during the course of OFAC’s investigation, including by submitting detailed information to OFAC in an organized manner, and responding to several inquiries in a complete and timely fashion.

This enforcement action reflects compliance obligations for all companies that conduct business in OFAC-sanctioned jurisdictions or process transactions through or related in any way to the United States. Prior to signing agreement letters, representatives should be certain they and their company are willing and able to abide by rules set forth.

Treasury Fingers Countries Enforcing the Arab League Boycott of Israel

October 16th, 2017 by Danielle McClellan

Editorial By: John Black

Note:  I love this list.  It gives me a chance to say tertiary.   As my career winds down its things like this that I will miss.

N.B.:  I don’t remember ever seeing anybody write an editorial piece about Treasury publishing this list, probably for good reason.  If I don’t do this now, nobody ever will. 

Once again the Treasury Department has published its list of countries that more or less enforce certain aspects of the Arab League Boycott of Israel. Or, as Treasury clearly states, they are countries “which may require participation in, or cooperation with, an international boycott (within the meaning of section 999(b)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986).”

You see, way back whenever, the US Congress decided it doesn’t like US persons cooperating with the secondary and tertiary elements of the Arab Boycott of Israel so it told the Treasury Department to put something in the tax code so that US person who illegally cooperate can’t claim foreign tax credits. Congress also told the Commerce Department to put something in its export control regulations so the Commerce rules make such cooperation illegal without telling anybody which countries it applies to.

You see, Congress and the US Government don’t want to have actual rules that say Arab League Boycott of Israel to make it clear that US person can’t cooperate with the unmentionable boycott on the unmentionable close ally of the United States.  Because, what the wizards* in Washington figured out is, if they don’t write little known rules that ban cooperation with the “Arab Boycott of Israel,” nobody will know that US foreign policy in many ways has long favored Israel over the Arab League.

(*Sorry, I did not mean to disparage indirectly the Washington Wizards NBA basketball team but this raises an important issue.  Years ago the Washington Bullets NBA team decided to change their name to the Washington Wizards. I always knew that they dropped the Bullets name to reduce violent crime in the capital city (how is that working?)  But, after wondering for years why the Washington team chose “Wizards,” I just now realized it is because most of the people in Congress and the US Government are wizards—either, if you are old like me, the type of wizards who wear pointy hats and robes with stars on them and have a magic wand or, if you are not old, those in Harry Potter movies; or, if you ask Congress, the type of wizards who are generally highly adept at what they do.  Now that’s another life knowledge breakthrough thanks to export regs.)

Treasury noted that this list is “based on currently available information,” which, I personally found to be a great relief because if the list had been based on only information available prior to 1975, it would have looked quite different.  And who knows what the list would have looked like if it were based on information that is not currently available—We could have ended up with Mexico and China on the list, seriously.

FYI, this paragraph contains information that is important:  Treasury listed these countries:

  • Iraq
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Syria
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Yemen

The Commerce Department traditionally does not publish a similar list of countries for its antiboycott rules in Part 760 of the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”).  EAR 760 prohibits a US person from cooperating with (or agreeing to do so) the secondary and tertiary elements of the Arab League boycott of Israel.  Instead of ever mentioning the Arab League or Israel, Commerce and the EAR brandish the terms “boycotting countries” and “boycotted countries” to adeptly hide the US pro-Israel foreign policy bias.

A reasonable person might assume that since the Commerce and Treasury rules have the same objective and are implemented by the same US Government, the Commerce Department considers its rules are applicable to the same countries as Treasury.

Editorial Note: I am not saying that the EAR rules are limited to the list of countries Treasury published. I am merely pointing out what a reasonable person might assume.

Useful Information:  In any event, when you do a risk based assessment of your EAR compliance issues and, based on that, decide how to allocate your limited compliance resources, it may be cost-effective to focus your EAR antiboycott rules compliance on the countries on the Treasury list.  And while you are doing risk assessments and deciding how to cost-effectively allocate your limited resources for EAR compliance, you may decide to allocate only a small portion of your total EAR compliance resources to compliance with the EAR antiboycott rules.  That is because antiboycott EAR fines are frequently well under $100k.  I recommend you allocate most of your EAR compliance resources to focus on compliance with the standard EAR export controls where it is not unusual for Commerce (along with OFAC) to impose fines of hundreds of millions of dollars, or in the case of ZTE, $1 billion and membership on an export denial list.

Federal Register: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-08-02/pdf/2017-16290.pdf

OFAC: Specially Designated Nationals List Update

August 3rd, 2017 by Danielle McClellan

The following individuals have been added to OFAC’s SDN List (Venezuela-related Designations):

ALBISINNI SERRANO, Rocco, Miranda, Guarico, Venezuela; DOB 06 Mar 1982; Gender Male; Cedula No. 15481927 (Venezuela); President of Venezuela’s National Center for Foreign Commerce (CENCOEX); Former Vice Minister of the State and Socialist Economy of Venezuela’s Ministry of Economy and Finance; Current or Former Principal Director of Venezuela’s National Development Fund (FONDEN) (individual) [VENEZUELA].

FLEMING CABRERA, Alejandro Antonio, Caracas, Capital District, Venezuela; DOB 03 Oct 1973; Gender Male; Cedula No. 11953485 (Venezuela); Vice Minister for Europe of Venezuela’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Former Vice Minister for North America of Venezuela’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Former President of Venezuela’s National Center for Foreign Commerce (CENCOEX); Former President for Suministros Venezolanos Industriales, C.A. (SUVINCA) of Venezuela’s Ministry of Commerce; Former Ambassador of Venezuela to Luxembourg and Chief Ambassador of the Venezuelan Mission to the European Union (individual) [VENEZUELA].

GARCIA DUQUE, Franklin Horacio (Latin: GARCÍA DUQUE, Franklin Horacio), Miranda, Venezuela; DOB 19 Aug 1963; citizen Venezuela; Gender Male; Cedula No. 9125430 (Venezuela); Former National Director of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Police; Former Commander of the West Integral Strategic Defense Region of Venezuela’s National Armed Forces (individual) [VENEZUELA].

JAUA MILANO, Elias Jose (Latin: JAUA MILANO, Elías José), Miranda, Venezuela; DOB 16 Dec 1969; POB Caucagua, Miranda, Venezuela; citizen Venezuela; Gender Male; Cedula No. 10096662 (Venezuela); Head of Venezuela’s Presidential Commission for the Constituent Assembly; Venezuela’s Minister of Education; Venezuela’s Sectoral Vice President of Social Development and the Revolution of Missions; Former Executive Vice President of Venezuela (individual) [VENEZUELA].

LUCENA RAMIREZ, Tibisay (Latin: LUCENA RAMÍREZ, Tibisay), El Recreo, Libertador, Capital District, Venezuela; DOB 26 Apr 1959; POB Barquisimeto, Lara, Venezuela; citizen Venezuela; Gender Female; Cedula No. 5224732 (Venezuela); Passport 3802006 (Venezuela); President of Venezuela’s National Electoral Council; President of Venezuela’s National Board of Elections (individual) [VENEZUELA].

MALPICA FLORES, Carlos Erik, Naguanagua, Carabobo, Venezuela; DOB 17 Sep 1972; Gender Male; Cedula No. 11810943; Former National Treasurer of Venezuela; Former Vice President of Finance for Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA); Former Presidential Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs (individual) [VENEZUELA].

PEREZ AMPUEDA, Carlos Alfredo (Latin: PÉREZ AMPUEDA, Carlos Alfredo), Caracas, Capital District, Venezuela; DOB 13 Dec 1966; citizen Venezuela; Gender Male; Cedula No. 9871452 (Venezuela); National Director of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Police; Former Commander of Carabobo Zone for Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Guard (individual) [VENEZUELA].

REVEROL TORRES, Nestor Luis (Latin: REVEROL TORRES, Néstor Luis), Zulia, Venezuela; El Valle, Libertador, Caracas, Capital District, Venezuela; DOB 28 Oct 1964; citizen Venezuela; Gender Male; Cedula No. 7844507 (Venezuela); Passport A0186449 (Venezuela); Venezuela’s Minister of Interior, Justice, and Peace; Former Commander General of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Guard; Former Director of Venezuela’s Anti-Narcotics Agency (individual) [VENEZUELA].

RIVERO MARCANO, Sergio Jose (Latin: RIVERO MARCANO, Sergio José), Caracas, Captial District, Venezuela; DOB 08 Nov 1964; citizen Venezuela; Gender Male; Cedula No. 6893454 (Venezuela); Commander General of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Guard; Former Commander of the East Integral Strategic Defense Region of Venezuela’s National Armed Forces (individual) [VENEZUELA].

SAAB HALABI, Tarek William, Anzoategui, Venezuela; DOB 10 Sep 1962; citizen Venezuela; Gender Male; Cedula No. 8459301 (Venezuela); Passport 5532000 (Venezuela); Venezuela’s Ombudsman; President of Venezuela’s Republican Moral Council (individual) [VENEZUELA].

SUAREZ CHOURIO, Jesus Rafael (Latin: SUÁREZ CHOURIO, Jesús Rafael), Aragua, Venezuela; Caracas, Venezuela; DOB 19 Jul 1962; citizen Venezuela; Gender Male; Cedula No. 9195336 (Venezuela); General Commander of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Army; Former Commander of Venezuela’s Central Integral Strategic Defense Region of Venezuela’s National Armed Forces; Former Commander of Venezuela’s Aragua Integrated Defense Zone of Venezuela’s National Armed Forces; Former Leader of the Venezuelan President’s Protection and Security Unit (individual) [VENEZUELA].

VARELA RANGEL, Maria Iris (Latin: VARELA RANGEL, María Iris), Caracas, Capital District, Venezuela; DOB 09 Mar 1967; POB San Cristobal, Tachira, Venezuela; citizen Venezuela; Gender Female; Cedula No. 9242760 (Venezuela); Passport 8882000 (Venezuela); Member of Venezuela’s Presidential Commission for the Constituent Assembly; Venezuela’s Former Minister of the Penitentiary Service (individual) [VENEZUELA].

ZERPA DELGADO, Simon Alejandro (Latin: ZERPA DELGADO, Simón Alejandro), Sucre, Miranda, Venezuela; DOB 28 Aug 1983; Gender Male; Cedula No. 16544324 (Venezuela); Vice President of Finance for Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) ; President of Venezuela’s Economic and Social Development Bank (BANDES); President of Venezuela’s National Development Fund (FONDEN); Vice Minister of Investment for Development  of Venezuela’s Ministry of Economy and Finance; Principal Director of Venezuela’s Foreign Trade Bank (BANCOEX); Principal Director of Venezuela’s National Telephone Company (CANTV); Current or Former Presidential Commissioner to the Joint Chinese Venezuelan Fund; Current or Former Principal Board Member of Venezuela’s National Electric Corporation (CORPOELEC); Former Executive Secretary of Venezuela’s National Development Fund (FONDEN) (individual) [VENEZUELA].

Details: https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20170726.aspx

Revisions to EAR Parts 742, 744, 772, & 774

August 3rd, 2017 by Danielle McClellan

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to reflect changes to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) Annex that were agreed to by MTCR member countries back in October 2016.

Changes:

§ 742.5 (Missile technology)

  • In § 742.5 (Missile technology), this final rule revises the first sentence of paragraph (a)(2), which describes the definition of ‘‘missiles.’’ The term ‘‘missiles’’ is a defined term in § 772.1, but for ease of reference the first sentence of this paragraph (a)(2) restates the definition.

Conforming Change to § 742.5(a)(2)

  • This final rule makes conforming changes in paragraph (a)(2) of § 742.5, by replacing the term ‘‘ballistic missile systems’’ with the term ‘‘ballistic missiles’’ (MTCR Annex Change, Category I: Item 1.A.1., Luxembourg 2016 TEM), and by replacing the term ‘‘cruise missile systems’’ with the term ‘‘cruise missiles.’’ (MTCR Annex Change, Category I: Item 1.A.2., Luxembourg 2016 TEM).
  • This final rule also makes a conforming change by replacing the term ‘‘unmanned air vehicles’’ with the term ‘‘unmanned aerial vehicles.’’ (Conforming Change to MTCR Annex). Substantively, there is no difference between the old and revised terms, but this final rule makes these conforming changes to ensure consistent use of the terminology throughout the EAR. These conforming changes are described in more detail in the next three paragraphs, describing the changes that this final rule makes to the EAR definitions of ‘‘missiles’’ and ‘‘unmanned aerial vehicles.’’

Conforming Change to § 744.3

  • This final rule makes conforming changes in § 744.3 by changing the term ‘‘ballistic missile systems’’ to ‘‘ballistic missiles’’ (MTCR Annex Change, Category I: Item 1.A.1., Luxembourg 2016 TEM), and changing the term ‘‘cruise missile systems’’ to ‘‘cruise missiles.’’ (MTCR Annex Change, Category I: Item 1.A.2., Luxembourg 2016 TEM). These conforming changes are described in more detail in the next two paragraphs describing the changes that this final rule makes to the EAR definitions of ‘‘missiles’’ and ‘‘unmanned aerial vehicles.’’
  •  In addition, this final rule makes conforming changes in § 744.3 by replacing the term ‘‘unmanned air vehicles’’ with ‘‘unmanned aerial vehicles’’ wherever this term appears in this section. (Conforming Change to MTCR Annex). Substantively, there is no difference between the old and revised terms, but this final rule makes these conforming changes to ensure consistent use of the terminology throughout the EAR.
  • Lastly, this final rule removes the first reference to ‘‘and’’ in the section heading for the parenthetical phrase providing an illustrative list of examples of rocket systems. This ‘‘and’’ is removed because it is not needed to convey the meaning of the list of examples of rocket systems. These conforming changes are clarifications and will not change any scope of control. These changes are not expected to have any impact on the number of license applications received by BIS.

Changes and Conforming Amendments in § 772.1 (Definitions of Terms as Used in the Export Administration Regulations (EAR))

  • In § 772.1, this final rule amends the definition of the term ‘‘missiles.’’ (MTCR Annex Change, Category I: Item 1.A.1., Luxembourg 2016 TEM). Under the definition of ‘‘missiles,’’ this final rule revises the term ‘‘ballistic missile systems’’ by removing the word ‘‘systems’’ and adding an ‘‘s’’ to ‘‘missile.’’
  • This final rule revises the definition of ‘‘missiles’’ to reflect changes in the description of complete rocket systems in the MTCR Annex. The final rule revises the term ‘‘ballistic missile systems’’ by removing the word ‘‘systems,’’ thus referring only to the flight vehicle.
  • This final rule makes this change to conform to the other items in the illustrative list of ‘‘missiles,’’ and to clarify that a missile is covered under these entries that use this control text, regardless of whether it is part of a larger system (e.g., a system including the flight vehicle and ground support equipment such as launch, recovery, and flight control equipment). This final rule also makes conforming changes to the same terms used in ECCNs 2B018 and 5A101, as described below.
  • This final rule also makes a conforming change in the ECCNs for the use of the term ‘‘unmanned air vehicles,’’ which this final rule replaces with ‘‘unmanned aerial vehicles.’’ (Conforming Change to MTCR Annex). Substantively, there is no difference between the two formulations of the term, but this final rule makes these conforming changes to ensure consistent use of the terminology throughout the EAR.
  •  Lastly, this final rule removes the last sentence of the definition and adds it as a note to the definition. This clarifying change is made because the sentence is more appropriately included as a note to the definition. These changes correspond with the U.S. interpretation of the controls, and will not change any scope of control. These changes are not expected to have any impact on the number of license applications received by BIS.

Revised Term for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

  • In addition, in § 772.1, this final rule amends the definition of the revised term, ‘‘unmanned aerial vehicle.’’ (MTCR Annex Change, Category I: Item 1.A.2., Luxembourg 2016 TEM). Under the definition of ‘‘unmanned aerial vehicle,’’ this final rule revises the term ‘‘cruise missile systems’’ by removing the word ‘‘systems’’ and adding an ‘‘s’’ to ‘‘missile.’’
  • The definition of ‘‘unmanned aerial vehicles’’ has been updated to reflect changes in the description of unmanned aerial vehicles in the MTCR Annex. The term ‘‘Cruise missile systems’’ has been changed by removing the word ‘‘systems,’’ thus referring only to the flight vehicle. This change both conforms to the other items in the illustrative list of unmanned aerial vehicles, and clarifies that an unmanned aerial vehicle is covered under these entries that use this control text, regardless of whether or not it is part of a larger system (e.g., a system including the flight vehicle and ground support equipment such as launch, recovery, and flight control equipment).
  • This final rule also makes conforming changes to similar text used in ECCNs 2B018 and 5A101 described below. These changes correspond with the U.S. interpretation of the controls, and will not change any scope of control. These changes are not expected to have any impact on the number of license applications received by BIS.updated to reflect changes in the description of unmanned aerial vehicles in the MTCR Annex. The term ‘‘Cruise missile systems’’ has been changed by removing the word ‘‘systems,’’ thus referring only to the flight vehicle. This change both conforms to the other items in the illustrative list of unmanned aerial vehicles, and clarifies that an unmanned aerial vehicle is covered under these entries that use this control text, regardless of whether or not it is part of a larger system (e.g., a system including the flight vehicle and ground support equipment such as launch, recovery, and flight control equipment).
  • This final rule also makes conforming changes to similar text used in ECCNs 2B018 and 5A101 described below. These changes correspond with the U.S. interpretation of the controls, and will not change any scope of control. These changes are not expected to have any impact on the number of license applications received by BIS.

Amendments to the Commerce Control List (CCL)

ECCN 1C107

  • This final rule amends ECCN 1C107 by revising the introductory text of paragraph d. and adding a paragraph d.3 in the List of Items Controlled section.
  • This final rule also adds a Note and a Technical Note to ECCN 1C107.d.3 to clarify the scope of paragraph d.3. (MTCR Annex Change, Category II: Item 6.C.6., Busan 2016 Plenary). Specifically, in the introductory text of ECCN 1C107.d, this final rule removes the phrase ‘‘silicon carbide materials’’ and adds in its place the phrase ‘‘high-temperature materials.’’ This change is made because of the addition of certain bulk machinable ceramic composite materials that this final rule adds to ECCN 1C107 under new ‘‘items’’ paragraph d.3. Ultra High Temperature Ceramic Composites (UHTCC) are materials that combine Ultra High Temperature Ceramics (UHTC) with fiber reinforcement. The UHTCs can be used in environments that exhibit extremes in temperature, chemical reactivity, and erosive attack. The combination of the UHTC and fiber reinforcement can mitigate some of the traditional drawbacks associated with ceramics, including a tendency to fracture. Typical end uses for these composites are leading edges for hypersonic vehicles, nose tips for re- entry vehicles, rocket motor throat inserts, jet vanes, and control surfaces, which this final rule adds as examples in the new control text.
  • This final rule also adds a note to 1C107.d.3 to make clear that the UHTC materials that do not have fiber reinforcement are not caught under this control. Additionally, this final rule adds a technical note to 1C107.d to provide examples of UHTCs which are included. This change is expected to result in an increase of 1– 3 applications received annually by BIS. This very small increase is because this material is not widely used or exported, but specific to the end uses described in the control text.

ECCN 1C111

  • This final rule amends ECCN 1C111 by revising paragraphs b.2 in the List of Items Controlled section to add a CAS (Chemical Abstract Service) Number. 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 this ‘‘items’’ paragraph of 1C111.
  • This final rule revises paragraph b.2 to add the CAS Number (CAS 69102–90–5) after the material ‘‘Hydroxy-terminated polybutadiene (including hydroxyl- terminated polybutadiene) (HTPB).’’ (MTCR Annex Change, Category II: Item 4.C.5.b., Busan 2016 Plenary). This change is not expected to have any impact on the number of license applications received by BIS.

ECCN 2B018

  • This final rule amends ECCN 2B018 by revising the ‘‘MT’’ paragraph in the table in the License Requirements section by revising the term ‘‘ballistic missile systems’’ to remove the term ‘‘systems’’ and add an ‘‘s’’ to the term ‘‘missile.’’ (MTCR Annex Change, Category I: Item 1.A.1., Luxembourg 2016 TEM).
  • In addition, in the same ‘‘MT’’ paragraph, this final rule revises the term ‘‘cruise missile systems’’ to remove the term ‘‘systems’’ and add an ‘‘s’’ to the term ‘‘missile.’’ (MTCR Annex Change, Category I: Item 1.A.2., Luxembourg 2016 TEM).
  • Lastly, this final rule makes conforming changes in the same ‘‘MT’’ paragraph by replacing the term ‘‘unmanned air vehicles’’ with ‘‘unmanned aerial vehicles’’ wherever this term appears in this section. (Conforming Change to MTCR Annex). Substantively, there is no difference between the old and revised terms, but this final rule makes these conforming changes to ensure consistent use of the terminology throughout the EAR. These are conforming changes for the changes described above to the definitions of ‘‘missiles’’ and ‘‘unmanned aerial vehicles.’’ This is a clarification and will not change any scope of control. This change is not expected to have any impact on the number of license applications received by BIS.

ECCN 2B109

  • This final rule amends ECCN 2B109 by revising the list of examples included in the second technical note. This final rule expands the list of examples to include interstages, because interstages can also be manufactured using the flow forming machines described in ECCN 2B109. (MTCR Annex Change, Category II: Item 3.B.3., Busan 2016 Plenary). This change is not expected to have any impact on the number of license applications received by BIS, because this is only a change to the list of examples of products that can be made by this type of machine, and it does not change the scope of control.

ECCN 5A101

  • This final rule amends the heading of ECCN 5A101 by revising the term ‘‘ballistic missile systems’’ to remove the word ‘‘systems’’ and add an ‘‘s’’ to ‘‘missile.’’ (MTCR Annex Change, Category I: Item 1.A.1., Luxembourg 2016 TEM).
  • The final rule revises the heading by revising the term ‘‘cruise missile systems’’ to remove the word ‘‘systems’’ and add an ‘‘s’’ after ‘‘missile.’’ (MTCR Annex Change, Category I: Item 1.A.2., Luxembourg 2016 TEM). These are conforming changes for the changes described above to the definitions of ‘‘missiles’’ and ‘‘unmanned aerial vehicles.’’
  • In addition, this final rule revises the heading of ECCN 5A101 to create a separate parenthetical phrase for the illustrative list of examples that are unmanned aerial vehicles. This final rule does this by removing the examples of ‘‘cruise missiles, target drones, and reconnaissance drones’’ from the list of examples that followed the terms ‘‘unmanned aerial vehicle or rocket systems’’ in the heading and adding those examples immediately after the term unmanned aerial vehicle. This final rule retains the rest of the examples from the parenthetical that follows the term ‘‘rocket systems,’’ which will make it clearer that this parenthetical list is an illustrative list of ‘‘rocket systems.’’ (Conforming Change to MTCR Annex). These are clarifications and will not change any scope of control. These changes are not expected to have any impact on the number of license applications received by BIS.

ECCN 7A103

  • This final rule amends ECCN 7A103 by adding a definition for ‘‘inertial measurement equipment and systems’’ for purposes of ECCN 7A103. In addition, this final rule revises ‘‘items’’ paragraph a and adds Note 3 in the List of Items Controlled section. (MTCR Annex Change, Category II: Item 9.A.6., Luxembourg 2016 TEM).
  • This final rule makes these changes to remove the ambiguous term ‘‘other equipment.’’ Instead, the locally defined term ‘‘inertial measurement equipment or systems’’ that the final rule adds to ECCN 7A103, along with an illustrative list of such equipment and systems, clarifies which types of equipment containing the specified accelerometers or gyros are caught by this entry.
  • This final rule also removes the phrase ‘‘and systems incorporating such equipment’’ because this phrase has been removed from the MTCR Annex. The changes this final rule makes to ECCN 7A103 to increase the clarity of the control should make the control more precise and rule out items not strictly used for navigation purposes. This change is expected to result in a decrease of 3 to 5 license applications received annually by BIS.
  • Lastly, this final rule updates and amends ECCN 7A103 by removing Related Controls paragraph (2), which is no longer accurate after changes were made to the EAR to correspond with changes made to USML Category XII (especially for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) ) that became effective December 31, 2016 (See October 12, 2016, (81 FR 70320) final rule). In addition, this paragraph (2) can be removed because the USML Order of Review and CCL Order of Review will provide sufficient guidance on where items that are subject to the ITAR are classified under the USML and where items that are subject to the EAR are classified in either the ‘‘600 series’’ or in other ECCNs in Category 7 of the CCL.
  • Lastly, as a conforming change to the removal of paragraph (2), this final rule redesignates Related Controls paragraph (3) as new Related Controls paragraph (2).

ECCNs 9A101, 9E101, and 9E102

  • This final rule amends ECCN 9E101 by revising the Related Controls paragraph in the List of Items Controlled section to make a conforming change for the use of the term ‘‘unmanned air vehicles,’’ which this final rule changes to ‘‘unmanned aerial vehicles.’’
  • In addition, this final rule amends ECCN 9E101 and 9E102 by revising the headings of these two ECCNs to make conforming changes for the use of the term ‘‘unmanned air vehicles,’’ which this final rule changes to ‘‘unmanned aerial vehicles.’’ Substantively, there is not a difference in the two formulations of the term, but for consistency with how the term is used in other parts of the EAR, this final rule makes these conforming changes. (Conforming Change to MTCR Annex). This is a clarification and will not change any scope of control. These changes are not expected to have any impact on the number of license applications received by BIS.

New ECCN 9B104 and Related Conforming Amendments to 9D101, 9E001, and 9E002

  • This final rule adds new ECCN 9B104 to control certain aerothermodynamic test facilities. The facilities controlled under this new ECCN 9B104 are those that are usable for rockets, missiles, or unmanned aerial vehicles capable of achieving a ‘‘range’’ equal to or greater than 300 km and their subsystems, and having an electrical power supply equal to or greater than 5 MW or a gas supply total pressure equal to or greater than 3 MPa.
  • This final rule adds this new ECCN 9B104 to complement the controls that already exist for aerodynamic test facilities in order to fully cover the types of ground test facilities necessary to reproduce the flight environments that occur during the reentry phase. Plasma arc jet and plasma wind tunnel facilities simulate the atmospheric reentry thermal effects due to high velocity around the vehicles and are key to the qualification of vehicle thermal protection subsystems. This final rule includes values for electrical power supply and gas supply total pressure in new ECCN 9B104 to exclude commercial systems of a similar nature from this new ECCN.

Related Definition as part of new ECCN 9B104 to define the term ‘‘aerothermodynamic test facilities’’

  • This definition specifies that these facilities include plasma arc jet facilities and plasma wind tunnels for the study of thermal and mechanical effects of airflow on objects. (MTCR Annex Change, Category II: Item 15.B.6., Luxembourg 2016 TEM). As a conforming change to the addition of ECCN 9B104, this final rule adds 9B104 to the heading of ECCN 9D101 and revises the ‘‘MT’’ paragraph in the table in the License Requirements section of ECCNs 9E001 and 9E002 to add 9B104. The headings of ECCNs 9E001 and 9E002 do not need to be revised to add technology for 9B104, because those two technology ECCNs apply to 9B ECCNs, except for those specifically excluded in the ECCN headings. These changes are expected to result in an increase of no more than 1 application received annually by BIS, because such systems and their software and technology are exported infrequently.

ECCN 9D104

  • This final rule amends ECCN 9D104 by adding a note to the List of Items Controlled section. This note clarifies that ECCN 9D104 also includes specific software for the conversion of manned aircraft to an unmanned aerial vehicle. (MTCR Annex Change, Category II: Item 1.D.2., Luxembourg 2016 TEM). This change is expected to result in an increase of 1 to 2 applications received annually by BIS, because, although this software was already controlled here, the note will clarify the scope of ECCN 9D104.

Savings Clause : 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 July 7, 2017, 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 August 7, 2017. Any such items not actually exported or reexported before midnight, on August 7, 2017, require a license in accordance with this rule.

Federal Register: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-07-07/pdf/2017-14312.pdf

House Budget Committee Proposes Moving BIS to State

August 3rd, 2017 by Danielle McClellan

(Source: U.S. House Budget Committee Report)

The following is an excerpt (pages 49-50) from the U.S. House Budget Committee, Building a Better America: A Plan for Fiscal Responsibility.

Building a Better America recommends a different path for the Department of Commerce.

Our budget supports the recent Presidential directives established by the Trump Administration to combat the regulatory burden placed on manufacturers and streamline the permitting review and approval processes. The Memorandum on Streamlining Permitting and Reducing Regulatory Burdens for Domestic Manufacturing (“Memorandum on Manufacturing”) provides for stakeholder engagement and feedback from the nation’s domestic manufacturers, in an effort to highlight unnecessary regulatory burdens and other administrative policies, practices, and procedures that inhibit economic growth and job creation. Our budget makes the following recommendations:

* Eliminate Corporate Welfare Programs in the Department of Commerce. Subsidies to businesses distort the economy, impose unfair burdens on taxpayers, and are especially problematic given the federal government’s fiscal situation. Programs under consideration for elimination could include the following:

  • The Hollings Manufacturing Extension Program. This program subsidizes a network of nonprofit extension centers that provide technical, financial, and marketing services for small and medium-size businesses. The private market generally provides these services. The program, which was supposed to be self-supporting, derives two-thirds of its funding from non-Federal sources.
  • The International Trade Administration [ITA]. This Department of Commerce agency provides trade-promotion services for U.S. companies. The fees it charges for its services do not cover the costs. Businesses can obtain similar services from state and local governments and the private market. Congress should eliminate the ITA or require it to charge for the full cost of these “Trade Promotion Authority” services.
  • The National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. This program, previously known as the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia, provides federal grants to support research for commercial technology and manufacturing. As stated in the Heritage Foundation’s The Budget Book: “Businesses should not receive taxpayer subsidies; these long-lived and unnecessary subsidies increase federal spending and distort the marketplace. Corporate welfare to politically connected corporations should end.”

 

* Eliminate Overlap and Consolidate Necessary Department of Commerce Functions Into Other Departments. Since its establishment in 1903, the Commerce Department has expanded in size and scope to include many activities better suited at other agencies. The Department of Commerce and its various agencies and programs are rife with waste, abuse, and duplication. This budget recommends the following dissolution, delegation of authority, and consolidation measures:

  • Consolidate National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration functions into the Department of the Interior;
  • Establish the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as an independent agency;
  • Eliminate the International Trade Administration; o Delegate trade enforcement activities to the International Trade Commission;
  • Consolidate the Bureau of Industry and Security into the Department of State;
  • Eliminate the Economic Development Administration;
  • Consolidate trade adjustment activities within the Department of Labor, which has a duplicate program;
  • Consolidate the Minority Business Development Agency into the Small Business Administration;
  • Consolidate the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Technical Information Services within the National Science Foundation; o Consolidate the National Telecommunication and Information Administration into the Federal Communications Commission as an independent agency; and
  • Consolidate the United States Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis into the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.