On February 12, 2018, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued two new Venezuela-related frequently asked questions (FAQs) providing additional guidance on how late payments will be treated for purposes of the prohibitions on dealing in “new debt” of the Government of Venezuela and of state-owned entities. Most notably, the new guidance prohibits acceptance of late payments on post-sanctions debt of Government of Venezuela entities if those payments are received outside the applicable 30- or 90-day limit under Executive Order 13808, even if the failure to pay was not consented to by the lender and violates the underlying agreement. This guidance likely also has implications for the similar prohibitions on dealings in “new debt” under Russian sectoral sanctions. Continue Reading OFAC Issues Guidance on Payments under Venezuelan “New Debt”; Likely to Affect Russian Sectoral Sanctions as Well
On January 18, 2018, the European Commission launched a call for proposals on regulatory cooperation activities envisaged by the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (“CETA”). (See our previous post for further details on the provisional application of CETA). The Commission is seeking views from all interested parties on the scope of issues for potential regulatory cooperation in order to prepare for the first meeting of the RCF, tentatively scheduled to take place in mid-2018. Continue Reading European Commission’s Call for Proposals on Regulatory Cooperation under CETA
The Treasury Department today released the much-anticipated list of “the most significant senior foreign political figures and oligarchs in the Russian Federation” required by Section 241 of CAATSA. As we have long advised, the list has no immediate legal impact, and it appears that at least in the short to medium term it is unlikely to affect U.S. sanctions policy. The list is a mechanical compilation of 210 names using objective criteria and, at least in its unclassified version, provides little basis to single individuals out for sanctions.
Click here, to read the full alert.
This trade summary provides an overview of WTO dispute settlement decisions and panel activities, and EU decisions and measures on commercial policy, customs policy and external relations, for the fourth quarter of 2017.
On December 14, 2017, Cleary Gottlieb partner Paul Marquardt led a presentation titled, “Developments in U.S. Sanctions Against Iran, Russia, and Venezuela” as part of PLI’s Coping With U.S. Export Controls and Sanctions 2017 conference.
To view the full presentation, click here.
For additional information regarding the conference, please visit the event’s website.
In parallel with the entry into force of Regulation 2017/2321 amending EU anti-dumping and subsidy rules (see here for further details), the Commission released its first country report on December 20, 2017. Unsurprisingly, the Commission has chosen China as the subject of this first report. In the accompanying Q&A document, the Commission stresses that this choice “merely reflects the fact that investigations and measures against China account for the largest proportion of the EU’s anti-dumping investigations and trade defense measures”.
On December 12, 2017, the European Parliament and Council signed the new regulation (EU) 2017/2321 amending the current anti-dumping methodology. This follows the Council’s approval, with amendments, on December 4, 2017. The final text of the regulation was published today in the Official Journal. It will enter into force tomorrow (December 20, 2017). (See our previous posts for further detail on the new anti-dumping methodology and the political agreement on the new methodology.) Continue Reading EU’s New Anti-dumping Methodology Enters Into Force
In preparation for its independent trade remedy framework, the UK government has launched a Call for Evidence on November 28, 2017 to identify UK businesses that produce goods currently subject to EU anti-dumping or anti-subsidy measures. Currently, all trade remedy activities applying in the UK (for example investigations, decisions, and monitoring) are undertaken by the European Commission under the EU’s common commercial policy. Post-Brexit, the UK plans to operate its own trade remedy regime through the “UK Trade Remedies Authority”. (See here for our previous post on the trade and customs bills establishing these powers.) Continue Reading UK Government Seeks Views from Businesses on Maintaining Existing Trade Remedy Measures Post-Brexit
In November 2017, the UK Government took its first legislative steps in preparation for its post-Brexit trade regime. On November 7, the Trade Bill was introduced for a first reading in the House of Commons. Separate from the imminent trade deal it must strike with the EU (once progress on Brexit withdrawal negotiations are deemed satisfactory by all parties concerned), the UK is now sketching out its own international trade powers that will allow it to shape its relationships with partners worldwide.
Subsequently, on November 20, the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill (the “Customs Bill”) was introduced for a first reading in the House of Commons. The core elements of these two bills are described below. Continue Reading UK Government Prepares for Post-Brexit Trade and Customs Regimes in Two New Bills
On October 17, 2017, the UK Government published legislative proposals that would give it greater powers to intervene in mergers that raise national security considerations or involve national infrastructure. In the short-term, any transaction involving a party active in the manufacture or design of products for military use or in the “advanced technology” sector could face review on public interest grounds where the target’s UK turnover exceeded £1 million. In the longer-term, an even wider set of transactions – including bare asset sales and investments in new projects – could be scrutinised on national security grounds and be subject to mandatory notification to the UK Government before being allowed to proceed.
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