President Bush Implements New Burmese Sanctions – President Bush recently issued a proclamation to enact amendments to the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act of 2003 under the Block Burmese Jade Act of 2008. The new sanctions block the importation of Burmese jadeite and rubies and all articles of jewelry that contain jadeite or rubies mined in Burma. In the proclamation, the President directed the Departments of Treasury, State and Homeland Security to take necessary actions to prohibit imports of these items.

Tightening of Iran Sanctions Regime – The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has added several significant entities to its list of Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs), including the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, and the Export Development Bank of Iran (EDBI). OFAC alleges that these and other entities have been assisting the Iranian Government with its nuclear proliferation activities; as a result, the sanctions are imposed to freeze all assets of the designated entities, both current and future, in the United States. OFAC has also eliminated the so-called “U-Turn” exception for transactions involving Iranian banks. Previously, OFAC had permitted US banks to perform certain limited dollarclearing services for transactions between an Iranian entity and a non-US entity denominated in US dollars.

Arms Embargo Imposed on Eritrea – The Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) has imposed an arms embargo on Eritrea. The new embargo comes as a result of a May determination made by the State Department declaring that Eritrea was not fully cooperating with antiterrorism efforts made by the United States. The embargo became effective as of October 1, 2008.

State Department’s North Korea Announcements Do Not Affect Export Rules – President Bush announced in late June that the United States Government is lifting North Korea’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. According to the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), the announcement will have no immediate effects on US exports to North Korea, and that agency will continue to require licenses for exporting or reexporting items to North Korea that are subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).