The Daily Bugle Weekly Highlights: Week 16 (15 – 19 Apr 2019)

Every Monday we post the highlights out of last week’s FCC Export/Import Daily Update (“The Daily Bugle”). Send out every business day to approximately 6,500 readers of changes to defense and high-tech trade laws and regulations, The Daily Bugle is a free daily newsletter from Full Circle Compliance, edited by James E. Bartlett III, Alexander P. Bosch, Vincent J.A. Goossen, and Alex Witt.

We check the following sources daily: Federal Register, Congressional Record, Commerce/AES, Commerce/BIS, DHS/CBP, DOE/NRC, DOJ/ATF, DoD/DSS, DoD/DTSA, FAR/DFARS, State/DDTC, Treasury/OFAC, White House, and similar websites of Australia, Canada, U.K., and other countries and international organizations.  Due to space limitations, we do not post Arms Sales notifications, Denied Party listings, or Customs AD/CVD items. To subscribe, click here.

Last week’s highlights of The Daily Bugle included in this edition are:

  1. Treasury/OFAC ReachesSettlement Agreements with UniCredit Group Banks in Austria, Germany, and Italy; The Daily Bugle; Monday, 15 Apr 2019, Item #6;
  2. UK OFSI Publishes Sanctions Guidance Regarding Russia, South Sudan; The Daily Bugle; Monday, 15 Apr 2019, Item #7;
  3. New Zealand AnnouncesNew Restrictions on Exports of Certain Semi-Automatic Weapons, Parts, and Magazines; The Daily Bugle; Monday, 15 Apr 2019, Item #8;
  4. EU Publishes Implementing Regulations Concerning CN, Correction Regarding EU Dual-Use Regulation; The Daily Bugle; Tuesday, 16 Apr 2019, Item #7;
  5. DHS/CBP Releases Update Concerning Submitting Section 232 Product Exclusions; The Daily Bugle; Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019, Item #4;
  6. Treasury/OFAC Publishes Update Concerning Venezuela-Related General Licenses, FAQs; The Daily Bugle; Thursday, 18 Apr 2019, Item #5;

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1. Treasury/OFAC Reaches Settlement Agreements with UniCredit Group Banks in Austria, Germany, and Italy

(Source:Treasury/OFAC, 15 Apr 2019.)

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced three separate settlements totaling $611 million with the following UniCredit Group banks: UniCredit Bank AG in Germany, UniCredit Bank Austria AG in Austria, and UniCredit S.p.A. in Italy.  The settlements resolve OFAC’s investigations into apparent violations of a number of U.S. sanctions programs, including those related to weapons of mass destruction proliferation, global terrorism, and the following countries: Burma, Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan, and Syria.

Between January 2007 and December 2011, UniCredit Bank AG processed over 2,000 payments totaling over $500 million through financial institutions in the United States in apparent violation of multiple U.S. sanctions programs.  During this time period, UniCredit operated U.S. dollar accounts on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and several companies owned by or otherwise affiliated with IRISL, and managed the accounts of those companies in a manner that obscured the interest or involvement of IRISL in transactions sent to or through U.S. intermediaries.  For a number of years up to and including 2011 (UniCredit Bank AG) and 2012 (UniCredit Bank Austria AG and UniCredit S.p.A.), all three banks processed payments to or through the United States in a manner that did not disclose underlying sanctioned persons or countries to U.S. financial institutions which were acting as financial intermediaries.

OFAC determined that the apparent violations largely constituted egregious cases and that the banks did not voluntarily self-disclose the apparent violations.

For more information, please visit the following web notice​and settlements agreements: UniCredit Bank AG​,UniCredit Bank Austria AG​,UniCredit S.p.A.​

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2. UK OFSI Publishes Sanctions Guidance Regarding Russia, South Sudan

(Source:UK OFSI, 15 Apr 2019.)

The UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) has published guidance, which assists people in implementing and complying with the South Sudan (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. It covers the prohibitions and requirements imposed by the regulations. It also provides guidance on best practice for:

– Complying with the prohibitions and requirements

– Enforcing them

– Circumstances where they do not apply

This guidance should be read alongside more detailed sanctions guidance published by the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI).

In addition, it created a webpagethat provides guidance on the UK’s sanctions regime on Russia, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

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3. New Zealand Announces New Restrictions on Exports of Certain Semi-Automatic Weapons, Parts, and Magazines

(Source:New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade, 15 Apr 2019.)

Following the entry into force of the Arms (Prohibited Firearms, Magazines, and Parts) Amendment Act on 12 April 2019, the policy around the export of these prohibited items has been reassessed and aligned with the new Act. These changes are to ensure that such items that are prohibited in New Zealand are not exported to other countries where they would pose a similar risk. It will also no longer be permissible for items that are banned here to be imported solely for the purpose of re-export.

Two new criteria (numbers 13. and 17.)  have been added to the Criteria for the Assessment of Export Applications.

Although applications for exports of items prohibited in New Zealand are likely to be declined by the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade, there are some exceptions:

Transitional exceptions until the end of the amnesty period:  

– Stock being returned by dealers to suppliers

– Items which are currently held at the border being returned to the supplier

– Personal exports by people relocating overseas or possessing overseas citizenship.

Transitional exception until 31 December 2020:

– Exports of certain items (magazines and parts) by existing manufacturing businesses and suppliers as defined by Transitional Regulation 28F

Permanent exceptions:

– Exports by a person approved to hold prohibited items under the Arms Act, including dealers, collectors, approved pest controllers and entertainment industry permit holders

– Exports by a person to whom the prohibited item has special significance as an heirloom or a memento, in personal circumstances such as moving overseas

– Exports by the New Zealand Defense Force, Police or other government agencies when disposing of weapons.

Approval of items permitted for export under the above exceptions is not automatic. Applications would still need to be considered against the full Assessment Criteria.

Items which have already received a permit for export are unaffected by these changes.

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4. EU Publishes Implementing Regulations Concerning CN, Correction Regarding EU Dual-Use Regulation

(Source:Official Journal of the European Union, 16 Apr 2019.)  

 

Regulations

*Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/612of 9 April 2019 concerning the classification of certain goods in the Combined Nomenclature (CN)

* Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/613of 9 April 2019 concerning the classification of certain goods in the Combined Nomenclature (CN)

Decisions

* Council Decision (CFSP) 2019/615of 15 April 2019 on Union support for activities leading up to the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties  to the Treaty on  the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)

Corrigenda

*Corrigendum to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/1922of 10 October 2018 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items (OJ L 319, 14.12.2018)

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5. DHS/CBP Releases Update Concerning Submitting Secion 232 Product Exclusions

(Source:CSMS# 19-000194, 17 Apr 2019.)

BACKGROUND

On March 19 and September 11, 2018, the Department of Commerce (DOC) published in the Federal Register (FR) the process for parties to submit requests for exclusions from Presidential Proclamations 9704 and 9705 on Adjusting Imports of Steel and Aluminum into the United States under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. See 83 FR 12106 and 83 FR 46026.

IMPORTER OF RECORD INFORMATION

Upon receipt of the approved product exclusion from the DOC, for the importer of record listed in the approved exclusion, please provide that company’s name, address and importer of record number, and the associated product exclusion number, to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at Traderemedy@cbp.dhs.gov. For approved quota exclusions, send a cc: of the information to HQQuota@cbp.dhs.gov. If submitting multiple exclusion numbers, consolidate into one email submission. 

CBP needs this information in order to activate the approved product exclusion number in ACE, so that entries can be filed with this product exclusion number. You must provide this information to CBP before the filer submits the exclusion number with entries to CBP. For quota exclusions, CBP must activate the product exclusion number before any quota exemption can be processed, and goods subject to the quota exemption can be released.

CBP activates approved product exclusion numbers in ACE on a weekly basis. CBP, in most circumstances, will activate by close of business Thursday of every week any product exclusion numbers with corresponding importer information submitted by close of business Monday to traderemedy@cbp.dhs.gov. Any entry filer can check whether a product exclusion number has been activated by submitting the exclusion number on an entry summary line.

Do not submit any product exclusion information to CBP until the Department of Commerce approves the product exclusion.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR FILING PRODUCT EXCLUSION NUMBERS

Instructions on submitting entries to CBP of steel and aluminum products granted exclusions by DOC from the Presidential Proclamations are as follows:

Importers and filers importing products granted an exclusion should submit the product exclusion number based on the last six digits of the product exclusion docket number at Regulations.gov. The product exclusion number should be submitted in the Importer Additional Declaration Field (54 record) of the entry summary data, based on the following format:

For excluded steel mill articles = STLXXXXXX

For excluded aluminum articles = ALUXXXXXX

XXXXXX represent the last six digits of the Regulations.gov docket number; do not include spaces or special characters, such as hyphens.

Example: If a steel exclusion is granted under product exclusion docket number BIS-2018-0009-9002, the importer/filer should submit the exclusion number STL099002 (i.e. STL plus the last six digits of the docket number).

Please refer to the Importer’s Additional Declaration Detail (Input 54-Record) of the CBP and Trade Automated Interfaces Requirements (CATAIR) Manual for further guidance. The CATAIR document can be found here.

Only products from importer(s) designated in the product exclusion approved by the DOC are eligible for the exclusion from the Section 232 measures.

Steel importers are reminded to submit mill certificates with their import data as required by 19 CFR 141.89.

Do not submit the corresponding Chapter 99 HTS number for the Section 232 duties when the product exclusion number is submitted.

UPDATE: SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS ON SUBMITTING PRODUCT EXCLUSIONS ON EXCLUSIONS GRANTED BY DOC WITH EXPIRED HTS CLASSIFICATION

Instructions on submitting entries to CBP with expired HTS classification (HTS classification which are replaced in the HTSUS by new HTS classification(s)) are as follows:

If the HTS classification associated with an approved exclusion expires, CBP will add the corresponding new HTS classifications to the ACE exclusion data for those exclusions. Importers and filers will be able to file the exclusion number on applicable entries classified under the new HTS classification(s). Importers and filers can continue to file post summary corrections to request retroactive refunds on any applicable entries originally filed with the expired HTS classification.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Duty exclusions granted by DOC are retroactive on imports to the date the request for exclusion was accepted (date received) by the Department of Commerce. See Presidential Proclamations 9776 and 9777, August 29, 2018.

To request an administrative refund for previous imports of duty-excluded products granted by DOC, importers may file a PSC and provide the product exclusion number in the Importer Additional Declaration Field. If the entry has already liquidated, importers may protest the liquidation. 

Once products are excluded from the Section 232 measures, importers may claim Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) or African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) duty preferences on GSP and AGOA-eligible goods. If importers did not receive GSP or AGOA duty preferences on previous imports, and those imports are now covered by a retroactive duty exclusion, importers may request a refund of the duties subject to GSP or AGOA preferences through a PSC.

For more information about submitting Post Summary Corrections, see Section 11 of the ACE Entry Summary Business Rules and Process Document. The ACE Entry Summary Business Rules and Process Document can be found here.

For more information, please refer to the March 19 and September 11, 2018 FR notices on requesting product exclusions. Questions related to Section 232 entry filing requirements should be emailed to traderemedy@cbp.dhs.gov. For questions related to quota product exclusions filing requirements, email the Quota and Agriculture Branch, HQQuota@cbp.dhs.gov.

Questions from the importing community concerning ACE entry rejections involving product exclusion numbers should be referred to their CBP Client Representative.

This memo is located on CBP.GOV website by selecting 

Trade/Programs and Administration/Trade Remedies/Section 232

  – Related CSMS No. 18-000663, 18-000606, 18-000424

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6. Treasury/OFAC Publishes Update Concerning Venezuela-Related General Licenses, FAQs

(Source:Treasury/OFAC, 17 Apr 2019.)

Today, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is designating Banco Central de Venezuela, or the Central Bank of Venezuela, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13850, as amended by E.O. 13857, for operating in the financial sector of the Venezuelan economy.  Additionally, OFAC designated Iliana Josefa Ruzza Terán, pursuant to E.O. 13692, as amended, who is determined to be a current or former official of the Government of Venezuela.

OFAC is amending:

  • General License 3D– “Authorizing Transactions Related to, Provision of Financing for, and Other Dealings in Certain Bonds”;
  • General License 4A– “Authorizing New Debt Transactions and Transactions involving Certain Banks Related to the Exportation or Reexportation of Agricultural Commodities, Medicine, Medical Devices or Replacement Parts and Components”;
  • General License 9C– “Authorizing Transactions Related to Dealings in Certain Securities”;
  • General License 15– “Authorizing Transactions Involving Certain Banks Prohibited by Executive Order 13850 for Certain Entities”; and
  • General License 16– “Authorizing Maintenance of U.S. Person Accounts and Noncommercial, Personal Remittances involving Certain Banks.”

OFAC is also issuing the following two new Venezuela-related general licenses in connection with this designation:

  • General License 19– “Authorizing Certain Activities Necessary to the Wind Down of Operations or Existing Contracts Involving Central Bank of Venezuela”; and
  • General License 20– “Authorizing Official Activities of Certain International Organizations Involving Central Bank of Venezuela.”

Lastly, OFAC is issuing one FAQ​related to today’s actions.