On December 30, 2021, the Italian Government extended until the end of 2022 Italy’s emergency foreign direct investments (“FDI”) regime, which enables it to review also acquisitions of controlling stakes by European Economic Area (“EEA”) investors, as well as certain minority investments by non-EEA investors, in any strategic sector.

By contrast, under ordinary rules,  these

In 2022, boards of directors will continue to face a complex and expanding global foreign direct investment landscape that increasingly requires transactions to undergo intensive multijurisdictional FDI reviews and filing and approval processes, alongside merger control reviews and clearances.  This includes longstanding FDI review regimes with which boards of directors may be familiar, such as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, as well as new and recently modified and expanded regimes, particularly in Europe. 
Continue Reading Global FDI Review Landscape Continues to Evolve

On January 5, 2022, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, as Chair of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”), determined that Australia and Canada have established and are effectively utilizing robust processes to analyze foreign investments for national security risks and facilitate coordination with the United States on matters relating to investment security.  As a result, Australia and Canada are and will remain “excepted foreign states” for CFIUS purposes unless and until the U.S. Government deems otherwise.[1]  The United Kingdom and New Zealand, both of which also currently are treated as excepted foreign states,[2] have until February 2023 to fulfill the criteria necessary to remain excepted foreign states.  It is possible that additional countries may be designated in the future as the global foreign direct investment (“FDI”) trend, particularly in U.S. ally countries, continues.

Continue Reading Australia and Canada Remain CFIUS Excepted Foreign States; United Kingdom and New Zealand Have Until February 2023 to Fulfill Criteria Necessary to Keep Designations

Last week, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) of the Department of the Treasury announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) to implement the beneficial ownership reporting requirements of the Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”), part of the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020.  This legislation requires a range of U.S. legal entities, and non-U.S. legal entities

On December 6, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCENrequested public input, through an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (the ANPR), on the potential imposition of nationwide recordkeeping and reporting requirements on persons involved in certain residential and commercial real estate transactions pursuant to its authority under the Bank Secrecy Act (

On December 2, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued a new directive (Directive 1) prohibiting with immediate effect U.S. persons from transacting or participating in the primary and secondary markets of new Belarusian sovereign debt, in any denomination, with a maturity of greater than 90 days.[1]  In coordination with the European Union, United Kingdom, and Canada, OFAC also designated over 30 individuals and entities determined to have contributed to “ongoing attacks on democracy, human rights, and international norms” on the list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (“SDN List”) and issued General License No. 5, authorizing transactions and activities ordinarily incident and necessary to the wind down of transactions involving newly sanctioned Open Joint Stock Company Belarusian Potash Company or Agrorozkvit LLC, or any of their subsidiaries, until April 1, 2022.[2]
Continue Reading OFAC Imposes Sanctions on Belarusian Sovereign Debt, Announces New Designations

On October 15, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued “Sanctions Compliance Guidance for the Virtual Currency Industry” (the “Guidance”).  The Guidance follows recent guidance and advisory letters directed to the virtual currency industry relating to the risk of facilitating ransomware payments[1] and is OFAC’s most comprehensive virtual currency-specific advisory to date.  In particular, the Guidance directly addresses some simpler interpretive questions, discusses sanctions compliance programs and “best practices,” and provides hints about OFAC’s enforcement priorities going forward.
Continue Reading OFAC Issues Sanctions Guidance to Virtual Currency Industry

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS” or the “Committee”) is a U.S. government interagency committee that has the authority to review investments that provide a foreign person with control or, in some cases, certain non-controlling rights over a U.S. business and evaluate the extent to which such transactions raise national security concerns.  For decades following the establishment of CFIUS, the Committee largely only reviewed transactions that parties proactively submitted to CFIUS.  This primarily was due to CFIUS’s limited resources and dedication of such resources to reviewing transactions notified to CFIUS.  In 2018, Congress passed the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (“FIRRMA”), which, among other things, provided CFIUS with additional resources to identify transactions that: (1) could be within the jurisdiction of CFIUS, (2) potentially raise national security concerns, and (3) were not notified to CFIUS (often referred to as “non-notified transactions”).
Continue Reading A Look Behind the CFIUS Non-Notified Process Curtain; How it Works and How to Handle Outreach From CFIUS

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) published a final rule (the “Final Rule”) imposing export controls on additional emerging technologies pursuant to the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (“ECRA”).[1]  We previously wrote about the process to identify and impose export controls on emerging and foundational technologies under the ECRA, as well as the steps taken in furtherance of that process, here and here.
Continue Reading New Biotech Export Controls Expand CFIUS Mandatory Notification Requirements