by Jeremy Paner
The U.S. Department of the Treasury recently announced a finding that North Korea is a jurisdiction of “primary money laundering concern” pursuant to its Section 311 authority, codified at 31 U.S.C. 5318A. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) also released a notice of proposed rulemaking, which would impose the strongest available “special measure” to address the money laundering risks from North Korea. This action may be misinterpreted as inconsequential because of the separate Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) prohibitions against North Korea. However, it likely signals the beginning of increased domestic and international scrutiny of China’s role in providing North Korea access to the international financial system. The notice of finding sets forth the U.S. government’s position that North Korea accesses the international financial system through its network of China-based cover companies. Continue reading
by Jeremy Paner
Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced additional “countries of concern” under the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015. Individuals who traveled to Libya, Somalia, or Yemen since March 1, 2011 are now ineligible to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. In December 2015, the United States Congress stripped waiver eligibility for both travelers to and dual-nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria. This disqualification will also be applicable to travelers to and dual-nationals of any other country later designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.
The Visa Waiver Program generally permits citizens and nationals of 28 participating countries to travel to the United States without obtaining a visa. Participant countries include close U.S. allies such as Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Travelers who have been in countries of concern since March 1, 2011, and individuals such as German-Iranian dual-nationals, should carefully consider the new visa requirements prior to scheduling travel to the United States. Continue reading