In response to criticism that sanctions are hampering the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has released new guidance to encourage those interested in humanitarian trade involving jurisdictions sanctioned by the United States to “avail themselves of longstanding exemptions, exceptions, and authorizations” pertaining to that
OFAC Limits Cuba “U-Turn” Payments and Remittances
On September 9, 2019, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) published amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (the “Cuba Sanctions”) to limit “U-turn” transactions and remittances.
“U-turn” transaction is a reference to a Cuba Sanctions authorization (31 CFR § 515.584(d)) for banking institutions subject to U.S. jurisdiction to process…
Trump Administration Follows Through on Plans to Tighten Cuban Sanctions
On June 4, 2019, the Trump Administration formally implemented its previously announced intent to tighten its Cuban sanctions program. Specifically, on April 17, 2019 the Administration had announced that in response to Cuba’s alleged role in “destabilizing” activities throughout Latin America, particularly in Venezuela and Nicaragua, it would terminate aspects of the relaxations, primarily related…
OFAC Enforcement Action: Do You Know What Your Subsidiaries Are Doing?
On February 14, 2019, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced it had assessed a civil monetary penalty of over $5.5 million dollars against AppliChem GmbH (AppliChem) of Darmstadt, Germany (a company that manufactures chemicals and reagents for the pharmaceutical and chemical industries) for 304 violations of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R.
White House Hints It May Allow Lawsuits Over Cuban-Confiscated Properties
On January 16, 2019, the Trump administration signaled a possible major shift in its policy toward Cuba by announcing it was considering allowing the suspension of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act to lapse, thereby opening the floodgates to litigation over property confiscated by Fidel…
OFAC Updates its Cuba FAQs Regarding President Trump’s Policy Pivot
On July 25, OFAC updated its Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) on President Trump’s Cuba Announcement. The revised FAQs generally maintain the same tone and reiterate certain aspects of the new U.S.-Cuba policy.
However, as we develop below, there is an important subtle change: OFAC has included explicit language stating that existing specific licenses…
President Trump Announces New Cuba Restrictions; U.S. Senate Passes New Iran and Russia Sanctions
New U.S. sanctions were announced last week on Cuba, Russia, and Iran, though none of the new restrictions has an immediate effect.
After weeks of internal deliberations, President Trump on June 16 partially fulfilled a campaign pledge by announcing a limited re-implementation of sanctions on Cuba. The new Cuba measures will only take effect after…