Category Archives: Ukraine

December 22, 2015

OFAC Actions Against Russia Increase Certainty for Compliance Programs

by Jeremy Paner

russiaToday, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sent a clear message to Putin: cease hostilities in eastern Ukraine in compliance with the Minsk Agreements, and withdraw from the Crimea region of Ukraine. The designations and identifications sent an equally clear message to U.S. and international businesses: OFAC will facilitate compliance with these sanctions, but do not anticipate a lifting of the Crimea embargo in the near future.

In the press release announcing the designation and identification of 34 individuals and entities under various Ukraine/Russia sanctions authorities, OFAC warns that the targeted sanctions will remain until Russia withdraws to its internationally recognized border, and the embargo on the Crimea region of Ukraine will remain until “Russia ends its occupation of the peninsula.” Businesses should therefore not take steps to re-engage in prohibited trade with the Crimea region or designated Ukrainian/Russian individuals or companies. In fact, U.S. businesses should expect the embargo to last for the foreseeable future.

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May 22, 2015

Ukraine-Related General License No. 9

by Jeremy P. Paner

Today, OFAC issued Ukraine-related General License No. 9 (Exportation of Certain Services and Software Incident to Internet-Based Communication Authorized) and accompanying FAQ 454.

This General License follows similar communications licenses previously issued under the Sudan and Iran sanctions programs. The new FAQ reflects the considerable confusion that still surrounds the Ukraine-related sanctions program’s Sector Sanctions Identification (SSI) List prohibitions. Unlike designees placed on the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List, not all dealings by U.S. persons with SSI List persons are prohibited. U.S. persons are generally prohibited from extending new credit or debt to SSI listed individuals and entities. Therefore, this new General License authorizes exportation of certain services and software to the Crimea-region of the Ukraine, even if the end user is listed on the SSI List.

Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) also published a final rule making additional changes to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) for the Crimea region of Ukraine. Specifically, in §746.6, this final rule revises paragraph (a) (license requirements) to add an additional sentence that allows exports or reexports without a license to the Crimea region of Ukraine and transfers (in-country) within the Crimean region of Ukraine of certain software  that is necessary to enable the exchange of personal communications over the Internet.