On April 17, 2024, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) announced that it would not renew an existing authorization for transactions related to oil and gas sector operations in Venezuela, and replaced the existing authorization with a 45-day wind-down period for previously authorized transactions, expiring May 31, 2024. On April 15, 2024, OFAC separately reissued a separate general license, continuing to extend prohibitions to execution on the PdVSA 2020 bond collateral.Continue Reading OFAC Allows Venezuelan Oil and Gas Authorization to Expire and Extends Prohibitions to Execution on PdVSA 2020 Bond Collateral

As the second anniversary of the conflict in Ukraine approaches, the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom continue to focus on and tighten sanctions against Russia, with a particular emphasis on preventing circumvention and evasion of sanctions.  For example, 2023 ended with several significant regulatory developments, including the EU 12th package of sanctions against Russia, discussed in our earlier alert, and new U.S. sanctions-related authority targeting foreign financial institutions (“FFIs”) supporting Russia’s military-industrial base.  This update focuses on the latter development, which is a significant development for FFIs that remain engaged in business involving Russia, even if such business is undertaken outside of U.S. jurisdiction.Continue Reading Impact of Recent U.S. Secondary Sanctions Authority Targeting Foreign Financial Institutions Supporting Russia’s Military-Industrial Base

On 13 November 2023, the UK Government opened a consultation on proposed changes to the National Security and Investment (NSI) regime, less than two years after the regime came into force.

Oliver Dowden MP, the Deputy Prime Minister and formal decision-maker under the regime in his role as Cabinet Secretary, describes the consultation

On October 18, 2023, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued a number of general licenses easing sanctions targeting Venezuela.  The general licenses authorize: (i) U.S. persons to purchase bonds issued by certain Venezuelan government entities prior to August 25, 2017 on the secondary market, (ii) transactions related to oil and gas sector operations in Venezuela for a six-month period, and (iii) transactions with the Venezuelan state-owned gold mining company.[1]  OFAC also issued additional guidance, including Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) relating to these general licenses. Continue Reading OFAC Eases Venezuela Sanctions; Lifts Secondary Market Trading Ban on U.S. Persons

In recent months, U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) leadership reiterated their intention to continue focusing on prosecuting crime by companies and responsible individuals, in particular in areas relating to national security.  To this end, DOJ recently has amended or formalized policies intended to incentivize companies to report criminal misconduct, cooperate in DOJ’s criminal investigations and remediate.[1]  In line with that trend and as previewed last month by the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General,[2] the DOJ officially announced its New Safe Harbor Policy for Voluntary Self-Disclosures Made in Connection with Mergers and Acquisitions (“M&A Safe Harbor”).[3]Continue Reading DOJ New Safe Harbor Policy for Voluntary Self-Disclosures in M&A

Distributors of cattle, cocoa, coffee, oil palm, rubber, soy, wood and derived products will be subject to increased supply chain due diligence

Deforestation and forest degradation are drivers of climate change and biodiversity loss. Between 1990 and 2020, 420 million hectares of forest – an area larger than the European Union – were lost due to deforestation, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported. The EU is responsible for 7-10% of global consumption of deforestation-linked crops and livestock products.Continue Reading EU Approves Ban on Products Linked to Deforestation

The following post was originally included as part of our recently published memorandum “Selected Issues for Boards of Directors in 2023”.

This past year’s Russia-Ukraine conflict sparked a significant transformation of the global economic sanctions landscape, with developments and lessons extending well beyond Russia. 

In 2023, boards of directors should continue to monitor

On December 5, 2022, the maritime services ban targeting Russian-origin crude oil that previously had been announced by an international coalition of countries, including the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom, took effect.  While each coalition member has enacted its own measures to give effect to the ban (as we discussed previously here[1]), the measures enacted by the coalition members are generally consistent and include the same major features, namely, a maritime services ban and associated price cap “safe harbor” or exemption.[2]  Since the effective date of the maritime services ban, Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a decree prohibiting the supply of Russian-origin oil and oil products to certain foreign persons applying the price cap, and OFAC has issued additional guidance relating to the upcoming implementation of the maritime services ban with respect to Russian-origin petroleum products.Continue Reading Recent Developments Regarding the Maritime Services Ban on Russian-Origin Crude Oil and Petroleum Products (with Price Cap “Safe Harbor” or Exemption)

Last week, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the Department of the Treasury adopted a final rule (the “Final Rule”) to implement the beneficial ownership reporting requirements of the Corporate Transparency Act, 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 registered to