Interim Final Rule Transitions Certain Satellites from the U.S. Munitions List to the Commerce Control List

Companion interim final rules issued by the departments of State and Commerce in mid-May 2014, pursuant to President Barack Obama’s Export Control Reform initiative, will move most commercial, scientific and civil satellites and related parts and components from Category XV of the USML to the CCL. The items moving to BIS’ jurisdiction include commercial satellites that do not contain classified parts, certain remote sensing satellites, various spacecraft parts, components and equipment and most radiation-hardened microelectric microcircuits. The updated regulations also allow, in some cases, the transferred satellites to incorporate USML parts and components while remaining under BIS licensing authority. The State Department has requested public comment on its proposed ITAR amendments reflecting this transition.

Read press releases from the State Department and BIS, and see the Federal Register Notice for additional information.

Magnitsky Sanctions Designations

In late May 2014, OFAC, in concert with the State Department, imposed sanctions on 12 Russian individuals under the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 (the “Act”). The Act targets for sanctions: (1) individuals involved in the detention, abuse, and/or death of Russian auditor Sergei Magnitsky; (2) participants in the criminal conspiracy Magnitsky uncovered; and (3) those who perpetrate gross human rights violations against persons seeking to expose illegal activity by the Russian government or seeking to promote, exercise or obtain human rights. Ten of the 12 sanctioned targets were involved in the detention, abuse or death of Magnitsky or in the criminal conspiracy he uncovered, while the remaining two were designated for gross human rights violations. Persons on this list are ineligible to receive visas or to be admitted into the United States. Their property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked and U.S. persons may not engage in transactions involving such blocked property or property interests. Read the Treasury Department press release, the SDN designations and the State Department press release.

Issuance of Central African Republic-Related Executive Order and Designation

President Obama issued an Executive Order in mid-May 2014 blocking the property and interests in property of five individuals with ties to the Central African Republic (CAR) and permitting sanctions against additional individuals and entities who threaten CAR’s peace, stability and security or who target civilians through acts of violence. OFAC responded by adding the five CAR-connected individuals to its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List. Read OFAC’s coverageand the Executive Order.