The Daily Bugle Weekly Highlights: Week 42 (14 – 18 Oct 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 7,500 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, and Alexander 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. Dutch Government and Other EU Member States Suspends Arms Exports to Turkey Over Syria Op; The Daily Bugle; Monday, 14 October 2019, Item #5;
  2. President Issues Executive Order Concerning Syria Sanctions and OFAC Issues General Licenses; The Daily Bugle; Tuesday, 15 October 2019, Item #5;
  3. EU Adopts Sanctions Regime Concerning Nicaragua; The Daily Bugle; Tuesday, 15 October 2019, Item #6;
  4. Justice: “Turkish Bank Charged in Manhattan Federal Court for Its Participation in a Multibillion-Dollar Iranian Sanctions Evasion Scheme; The Daily Bugle; Wednesday, 16 October 2019, Item #3;
  5. DHS/CBP Announces Updated Drawback: Harmonized Tariff (HTSUS) Classification Descriptions for Certain Substitution Claims; The Daily Bugle; Friday, 18 October 2019, Item #4

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1. Dutch Government and Other EU Member States Suspends Arms Exports to Turkey Over Syria Op

(Source: Rijksoverheid, 14 Oct 2019.) [Unofficial Translation by A. Witt, Senior Associate, Full Circle Compliance.]

On 11 October 2019, in response to the Turkish invasion of northern Syria, the Dutch Cabinet decided to tighten the Dutch arms export policy towards Turkey. Until further notice, all new licence applications for the export of military goods to Turkey will be put on hold and no new licences will be issued. Other EU member states, such as France, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Belgium, have also tightened their national arms export policies.

Questions

For any questions about the Dutch arms export policy, you can contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, via e-mail, with dvb-wapenexport@minbuza.nl.

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2. President Issues Executive Order Concerning Syria Sanctions and OFAC Issues General Licenses

 (Source: Treasury/OFAC, 14 Oct 2019.)

Today, the President issued a new Executive Order Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Syria​.

 In addition, OFAC has issued Syria-related General License 1, “Official Business of the United States Government,” General License 2, “Authorizing Certain Activities Necessary to the Wind Down of Operations or Existing Contracts Involving the Ministry of National Defence or the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of the Government of Turkey,” and General License 3, “Authorizing Official Activities of Certain International Organizations Involving the Ministry of National Defence or the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of the Government of Turkey.”  Finally, OFAC has added the following names to its list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons.

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3. EU Adopts Sanctions Regime Concerning Nicaragua

(Source: Official Journal of the European Union, 15 Oct 2019.)

The EU is prepared to impose targeted restrictive measures against persons and entities responsible for serious human rights violations or abuses or for the repression of civil society and democratic opposition in Nicaragua, as well as persons and entities whose actions, policies or activities otherwise undermine democracy and the rule of law in Nicaragua, and persons associated with them.

The persons and entities have not been identified yet.

Regulations

* Council Regulation (EU) 2019/1716 of 14 October 2019 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Nicaragua

Decisions

* Council Decision (CFSP) 2019/1720 of 14 October 2019 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Nicaragua

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4. Justice: “Turkish Bank Charged in Manhattan Federal Court for Its Participation in a Multibillion-Dollar Iranian Sanctions Evasion Scheme”

(Source: Justice, 15 Oct 2019.) [Excerpts.]

The Department of Justice announced that TÜRKİYE HALK BANKASI A.S., aka “Halkbank,” was charged today in a six-count indictment with fraud, money laundering, and sanctions offenses related to the bank’s participation in a multibillion-dollar scheme to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran.  The case is assigned to United States District Judge Richard M. Berman.

“Halkbank, a Turkish state-owned bank, allegedly conspired to undermine the United States Iran sanctions regime by illegally giving Iran access to billions of dollars’ worth of funds, all while deceiving U.S. regulators about the scheme,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. “This is one of the most serious Iran sanctions violations we have seen, and no business should profit from evading our laws or risking our national security.”

“The facts that emerged at the full, fair, and public trial of Halkbank’s deputy general manager, which culminated in a jury’s January 2018 guilty verdict against him, illustrated senior Halkbank management’s participation in this brazen scheme to circumvent our nation’s Iran sanctions regime,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman.  “As alleged in today’s indictment, Halkbank’s systemic participation in the illicit movement of billions of dollars’ worth of Iranian oil revenue was designed and executed by senior bank officials.  The bank’s audacious conduct was supported and protected by high-ranking Turkish government officials, some of whom received millions of dollars in bribes to promote and protect the scheme.  Halkbank will now have to answer for its conduct in an American court.” …

Halkbank is charged with (1) conspiracy to defraud the United States, (2) conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), (3) bank fraud, (4) conspiracy to commit bank fraud, (5) money laundering, and (6) conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The Department of Justice has previously charged nine individual defendants, including bank employees, the former Turkish Minister of the Economy, and other participants in the scheme.   See S4 15 Cr. 867 (RMB).  On Oct. 26, 2017, Reza Zarrab pled guilty to the seven counts with which he was charged.  On Jan. 3, 2018, a jury convicted former Halkbank deputy general manager Memet Hakkan Atilla of five of the six counts with which he was charged, following a five-week jury trial.   The remaining individual defendants are fugitives. …

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5. DHS/CBP Announces Updated Drawback: Harmonized Tariff (HTSUS) Classification Descriptions for Certain Substitution Claims

(Source  CSMS, 18 Oct. 2019)

Drawback claimants are reminded of the following when determining the classification and description of the designated imported merchandise:

  – For imported merchandise designated on a claim, the drawback claimant is required to use the classification and description defined in the HTSUS effective on the date of entry regardless if the HTSUS has changed at the time of claim submission.

  – Classifications and descriptions are defined by the United States International Trade Commission. Current and historical HTSUS schedules with descriptions can be found on their website: www.usitc.gov.

Additionally, claimants are notified that the Drawback Basket Provision Indicator (DBPI) report object will henceforth be unavailable in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule reports universe.

For questions regarding this issue please contact OTDRAWBACK@CBP.DHS.gov.

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