2018年9月20日,美国财政部海外资产控制办公室(“OFAC”)基于2017年通过的《以制裁反击美国敌人法案》(即CAATSA)将中央军委装备发展部及该部负责人李尚福列入“特殊指定国民”名单(“SDN名单”)。制裁所依据的事实是从俄罗斯采购战斗机。这一离奇的措施反映了美国现政府采取了相较以往更为广泛的制裁措施。

On September 20, 2018, the US Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) placed Li Shangfu and the Equipment Development Department of China, referenced as the 装备发展部, on the list of Specially Designated Nationals (“SDN List”) pursuant to the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act of 2017, known at CAATSA. The basis for sanction was the purchase of military aircraft from Russia. This extraordinary measure reflects the broad use of sanctions by the current US Administration.

鉴于美国政府频繁地将制裁手段作为“利剑”,近期关于这些制裁措施将达到何种深度,以及制裁会造成哪些影响出现了越来越多的讨论。美国政府几乎每天都会宣布针对与朝鲜、伊朗和俄罗斯的交易实施的新的限制措施。中国公司需要对这类发展态势加以注意。美国制裁措施将对个人,以及包括中国公司在内的各国公司在全球范围内产生负面影响。

Because the US Administration is using sanctions so frequently as a sword, there has been increasing dialogue about how far the sanctions reach and what they mean. Almost daily, the US Government is announcing new restrictions on business with North Korea, Iran, and Russia. Chinese companies need to pay attention to these developments. US sanctions can impact individuals and companies worldwide – including Chinese companies.

大多数美国制裁为“主要制裁”,通常仅要求美国人遵守(美国公民和合法永久居民、根据美国法律设立的实体,以及位于美国的其他组织)。例如,OFAC在SDN名单中列出了受到美国政府制裁的实体。美国人禁止与该等实体,以及该等实体持股达百分之五十的任何实体进行任何形式的交易。

Most US sanctions – so-called “primary sanctions” – generally require compliance by US persons only (United States citizens and lawful permanent residents, entities organized under United States law, and others physically located in the United States). For example, OFAC maintains the SDN list of entities (including individuals, organizations, and vessels) that have been sanctioned by the US Government. US persons are prohibited from having dealings of any kind with these entities and with any entity owned 50 percent or more by these entities.[1]

然而,被称为“次级制裁”的美国制裁措施则要求非美国人遵守(包括中国个人和公司),并且适用于和美国并无实际联系的行动(包括发生在中国境内的行为)。这些制裁措施并不直接规制非美国人,而是禁止美国人与参与受制裁行为的非美国人开展交易,由此禁止非美国人进入美国市场。例如,美国财政部有权禁止经查与SDN名单上的实体进行过重大金融交易的非美国金融机构进入美国金融系统。制裁手段将通过禁止美国金融机构为受制裁的非美国金融机构在美国开设或保有代理账户实现。

But some US sanctions – so-called “secondary sanctions” – require compliance by non-US persons (including Chinese individuals and companies) and applies to activity that has no connection to the United States (including activity that takes place in China). These sanctions do not regulate non-US persons directly. The sanctions impose prohibitions on US persons that deal with non-US persons, who engage in sanctioned activities. In so doing, they block the non-US person’s access to the US market. As an example of this kind of sanction, the US Treasury has the power to block access to the US financial system for non-US financial institutions found to have engaged in significant financial transactions with certain parties on the SDN List.[2] This is accomplished by prohibiting a US financial institution from opening or maintaining a correspondent account in the United States for the non-US financial institution that is subject to sanction.

近些年来,美国政府多次针对中国公司实施次级制裁措施,尤其是和伊朗及朝鲜有商业往来的中国公司。在一些案例中,受制裁的实体已被禁止进入美国金融市场。例如:

  • 2012年7月,美国财政部制裁了一家中资银行(昆仑银行),理由是该银行向超过六家涉及伊朗大规模杀伤性武器计划和国际恐怖主义的伊朗银行提供金融服务;以及
  • 2017年11月,美国财政部制裁了另一家中资银行(丹东银行),理由是该银行向为朝鲜核导武器计划提供资金的公司提供银行服务。

In recent years, the US Government has used US secondary sanctions to target Chinese companies, particularly those companies that do business with Iran and North Korea. In some cases, the sanctioned entities have been cut off from the US financial market. For example:

  • In July 2012, the US Treasury sanctioned a Chinese bank, the Bank of Kunlun, for providing financial services to more than six Iranian banks that were involved with Iran’s WMD programs or international terrorism;[3] and
  • In November 2017, the US Treasury sanctioned a Chinese bank, the Bank of Dandong, for having provided banking services to companies involved in financing North Korea’s ballistic and nuclear weapons program.[4]

美国政府也将其他案例中受制裁的实体列入SDN名单。这意味着这些实体将被禁止与美国人进行商业交易(通过冻结这些实体由美国人占有或控制的,或位于美国境内的全部资产实现制裁)。例如:

  • 2017年6月,美国财政部制裁了两名中国公民和一家中国船务公司——大连宇联船务有限公司,理由是其与朝鲜核导项目存在财务联系。
  • 2017年8月,美国财政部制裁了三家中国煤炭公司:丹东至诚金属材料有限公司、金猴集团国际控股有限公司和丹东天富贸易有限公司。这些公司在2013至2016年间从朝鲜进口了价值超过五亿美元的煤炭。
  • 2017年8月,美国财政部制裁了一家中国公司——丹东富地贸易有限公司,理由是其被控从朝鲜进口稀有金属。
  • 2017年8月,美国财政部制裁了一家设立于中国大陆和香港的银行明正国际贸易,声称该银行向一家朝鲜外汇银行提供金融服务。

In other cases, the US Government has placed the sanctioned entities on the SDN List. This means that the entities are generally blocked from doing business with US persons (via the means of freezing any property of the entities that is in the possession or control of US persons or within the United States). For example:

  • In June 2017, the US Treasury sanctioned two Chinese citizens and a Chinese shipping company, Dalian Global Unity Shipping, for their financial ties to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.[5]
  • In August 2017, the US Treasury sanctioned three Chinese coal companies: Dandong Zhicheng Metallic Materials Co., Ltd., JinHou International Holding Co., Ltd., and Dandong Tianfu Trade Co. These companies imported over $500 million of coal from North Korea between 2013 and 2016.[6]
  • In August 2017, the US Treasury sanctioned Dandong Rich Earth Trading, a Chinese firm charged with importing rare metals from North Korea.[7]
  • In August 2017, the US Treasury sanctioned Mingzheng International Trading, a China and Hong Kong-based bank that allegedly provided financial services for a North Korean foreign exchange bank.[8]

预计美国次级制裁在将来并不会减轻,特别是针对同伊朗、俄罗斯或者朝鲜有商业往来的中国公司。 Navigating US secondary sanctions will not become easier in the future. This is especially true if Chinese companies do business with Iran, Russia, or North Korea. 美国政府最近宣布了一系列有关伊朗的次级制裁措施。例如,任何国籍(包括中国)的个人和公司若从事下列行为,将受到美国制裁:

  • 在明知的情况下从事向伊朗销售、供应或转让将被用于伊朗汽车行业的重要货物或服务有关的重大交易;
  • 在明知的情况下向已被确定涉及伊朗能源、航运或造船业的人员,位于伊朗的港口运营商或已被列于SDN名单上的伊朗人员提供重大支持;以及
  • 自2018年11月5日起,在明知的情况下从事有关自伊朗购买、并购、销售、运输或营销石油或石油产品的重大交易。

With respect to Iran, the US Government recently announced a number of secondary sanctions. For example, individuals and companies of any nationality (including Chinese) will be subject to US sanctions if they:

  • knowingly engage in a significant transaction for the sale, supply, or transfer to Iran of significant goods or services used in connection with Iran’s automotive sector;[9]
  • knowingly provide significant support to a person determined to be part of Iran’s energy, shipping, or shipbuilding sectors, a port operator in Iran, or certain Iranian persons included on the SDN List;[10] and
  • as of November 5, 2018, knowingly engage in a significant transaction for the purchase, acquisition, sale, transport, or marketing of petroleum or petroleum products from Iran.[11]

在对俄制裁方面,美国国会近期授权对在明知的情况下从事一系列涉及俄罗斯或与俄相关项目的非美国人进行处罚。例如,美国政府现要求对为因俄罗斯有关项目而被列入SDN名单的人员的重大交易提供帮助的非美国人进行制裁。美国政府也会对代表SDN名单上的人员从事国防和能源相关交易的非美国金融机构实施制裁。

With respect to Russia, the US Congress recently authorized the imposition of penalties on non-US persons for knowingly engaging in a variety of activities involving Russia or Russia-related projects.[12] For example, the US Government is now required to impose sanctions on non-US persons who facilitate a significant transaction with persons placed on the SDN List in connection with Russia-related sanctions. The US Government may also impose sanctions on non-US financial institutions that engage in certain defense and energy-related transactions on behalf of certain persons on the SDN List.

在对朝制裁方面,美国政府最近对涉及向朝鲜进出口任何货物、服务或技术的重大行为的任何人员(包括中国人)采取了制裁措施。美国政府最近也对被发现于2017年9月21日以后,在明知的情况下从事对朝贸易或为重大对朝贸易提供帮助的非美国金融机构进行了制裁。

With respect to North Korea, the US Government recently imposed sanctions on any person (which includes Chinese persons) to have engaged in at least one significant importation from or exportation to North Korea of any goods, services, or technology.[13] The US Government also recently imposed sanctions on any non-US financial institution found to have, after September 21, 2017, knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant transaction in connection with trade with North Korea.[14]

并非所有与SDN名单上的实体开展的交易均将招致完全禁止的制裁后果。当然,大多数这类交易将存在次级制裁的风险,但不是全部。重要的是要了解这些制裁措施何时或如何产生影响。为了确保遵守美国次级制裁相关要求,我们建议中国公司对所有潜在交易合作伙伴进行尽职调查,以确保其未被列于SDN名单,特别是针对有关伊朗、朝鲜或俄罗斯的交易。另外,我们建议中国公司在合同层面上约定有关美国制裁的要求。例如,中国公司可以要求交易对手声明其或其董事、高管和员工目前均非美国制裁目标或已受到美国制裁。

Not every transaction with SDN entities results in an absolute bar to transacting with them. Many of these transactions of course do have a secondary sanctions risk, but not all. It is important to understand how and when the sanctions are applied. To ensure compliance with US secondary sanctions, we recommend that Chinese companies perform due diligence on all prospective business partners to make sure they have not been placed on the SDN List, especially if the transaction in question is related to Iran, North Korea, or Russia. In addition, we recommend that Chinese companies address US sanctions contractually. For example, companies can require that a counterparty represent that neither it nor its directors, officers, and employees are currently a designated target or otherwise a subject of US sanctions.