U.S. Sanctions Laws: Dangers Ahead For Foreign Companies (Part II)

by Williams Mullen

Williams Mullen

The following is Part II of this article.

C.  Secondary Sanctions – Requirements On Non-U.S. Parties That Have No Contacts With the U.S.  OFAC also has adopted sanctions that specifically apply to non-U.S. companies and individuals, even if such parties do not fit within the definition of “U.S. person” and even if they have no contacts whatsoever with the United States.  These are commonly referred to as “secondary sanctions” or “extraterritorial sanctions.”  While only used in limited instances prior to 2016, after enactment of CAATSA and other recent events the incidence of secondary sanctions has been increasing and is set to expand even further in the coming year.

The term “secondary sanctions” is a broad term that covers a wide array of restrictions on foreign companies.  These are typically imposed under an existing U.S. sanctions program to bring additional leverage on the country that is the target of the sanctions.  The most typical secondary sanctions prohibit non-U.S. companies from engaging in business activities that benefit a sanctioned country, such as purchasing oil from Iran or selling luxury goods to N. Korea.  But they can also be applied to restrict foreign parties from engaging in many other types of business transactions as discussed further below.  The legal implications of secondary sanctions are significant, as they impose U.S. restrictions on non-U.S. parties with absolutely no contacts with or presence in the U.S.   

The most recognized secondary sanctions are under the Iran sanctions program.  Prior to entering the Iran nuclear accord in July 14, 2015 (the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action”), the U.S. had imposed a number of secondary sanctions on non-U.S. persons for dealing with Iran to apply pressure on Iran in the nuclear negotiations.   These included restrictions on non-U.S. companies engaging in certain transactions with Iran involving: (i) insurance; (ii) petroleum products; (iii) shipping;[i] (iv) trade in gold and certain other precious metals; (v) trade in metals and industrial materials;[ii] (vi) trade in software for integrating industrial processes; (vi) transactions involving the Iranian automobile industry;[iii] and (vii) certain financial and banking activities.[iv]  Clearly restrictions on dealing in basic industrial commodities such as coal, oil, metals and software were aimed at crippling the Iranian economy.

Once the JCPOA was implemented in January 2016 many of the U.S. secondary sanctions on Iran were lifted or waived.[v]  However when President Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA on May 8, 2018, these secondary sanctions “snapped back” and the U.S. re-imposed a wide array of secondary sanctions on Iran subject to 90-day and 180-day wind down periods.  At the time of this writing, the U.S. just completed the process of re-imposing the secondary sanctions across a wide array of industries in Iran including involving: (i) U.S. dollar banknotes; (ii) gold and precious metals; (iii) graphite, raw and semi-finished metals, coal, and software for integrating industrial processes; (iv) dealing in Iranian rial and sovereign debt; (v) the Iranian automotive sector ; (vi) ports and shipping; (vii) the petroleum industry; (viii) transactions by foreign financial institutions and (ix) insurance. [vi] As part of this, the U.S. listed over 700 Iranian persons, entities, aircraft and vessels on the SDN List, and has prohibited foreign countries from purchasing Iranian crude oil.  Under these actions, non-U.S. parties that engage in these prohibited activities involving Iran will be subject to a number of potential consequences including a “menu” of additional sanctions discussed below.  

In announcing the re-imposition of the Iran secondary sanctions, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin stated: “Treasury’s imposition of unprecedented financial pressure on Iran should make clear to the Iranian regime that they will face mounting financial isolation and economic stagnation until they fundamentally change their destabilizing behavior.”

Similarly during the past three years the U.S. has imposed a number of secondary sanctions involving N. Korea.  In 2016 and 2017 Presidents Obama and Trump issued a series of Executive Orders that authorized an array of secondary sanctions on foreign companies that engage in transactions with N. Korea and foreign financial institutions that finance trade with N. Korea to apply pressure on the N. Korean regime in the nuclear negotiations.[vii]  These included, for example, the authority to designate for sanctions any person (including foreign companies) that engage in at least one significant importation from or exportation to N. Korea of any goods, services or technologies.  Following these Executive Orders the U.S. then designated numerous private companies based in China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Panama and other countries for sanctions for engaging in transactions with N. Korea.  This included trading companies,[viii] oil companies,[ix] transportation companies[x] and financial intermediaries.[xi]   The U.S. placed a high priority on foreign financial institutions in the effort to cut off financial transactions with N. Korea.  In addition, OFAC even designated individual shipping vessels on the SDN List.[xii]  (These designations of non-Korean companies were in addition to designations of N. Korean companies, government organizations and individuals.)  The purpose was simple: to isolate the N. Korean regime and cut it off from the rest of the world economy.

Thus through the imposition of secondary sanctions the U.S. announced to the world that non-U.S. companies can choose to do business with the U.S., or countries targeted for sanctions, but not both. 

Prior to 2017 the use of secondary sanctions such as described for Iran and N. Korea were limited.  However CAATSA, enacted in August 2017, specifically addresses secondary sanctions - providing not just increased authorization for secondary sanctions but also requiring the President to impose them in certain situations. 

D._Assisting Others In Violating Sanctions Laws.  A fourth category in which non-U.S. parties can be subject to U.S. sanctions is assisting others in sanctions violations.  This covers a number of restrictions including providing material assistance and support to sanctioned parties and knowingly facilitating significant transactions with such parties.  This is perhaps the broadest category of potential liability and presents the greatest level of risk for foreign companies. 

The rule here is simple – if you provide assistance to a party that is designated for sanctions, you run the risk of being designated for sanctions yourself.  It is important to note that these restrictions apply not just to entering transactions with a rogue regime such as Iran or N. Korea – but also entering transactions with individual parties that are designated for sanctions, including parties listed on the SDN List in many cases.  In addition, there is no definition of “material assistance” - and many types of business transactions can theoretically fit within this term.  Thus merely entering significant business transactions with certain parties designated for sanctions opens a foreign company up to potential sanctions liability as well. 

This became clearly evident under OFAC’s Russian “oligarch” sanctions designations in April 2018.[xiii]  In these designations, the sanctions were not just aimed at the 38 Russian parties that were added to the SDN List but also other U.S. and foreign companies that conducted business with such parties.  Thus when the SDN listings of the Russian oligarchs and their companies were announced, other companies (including non-U.S. companies) quickly ceased conducting business with the designated parties out of fear of being designated as SDN’s themselves.  This issue was addressed in the Treasury Department’s April 6, 2018 press release accompanying the new sanctions:  “Additionally, non-U.S. persons could face sanctions for knowingly facilitating significant transactions for or on behalf of the individuals or entities blocked today.”  

Many of the secondary sanctions are aimed at parties that provide direct support to a sanctioned regime.  However they are also aimed at parties that play a secondary or tertiary role in dealing with sanctioned parties – in targeting the shipping companies, insurance companies, financial intermediaries and business advisors that provide services to support transactions with sanctioned parties.  This is a subset of secondary sanctions - broadening the net from those who are primary actors to those in the background that provide an indirect level of support. 

Once again under OFAC’s 50% rule, these risks arise not just in entering transactions with parties that are listed as SDNs, but also with companies that are owned 50% or more by SDNs.  So the complex web of sanctions restrictions extends even farther.

Many of the parties that provide “assistance and support” may not have a direct business relationship with the sanctions regime, and may not even know that there is any sanctions involvement (for example they might not recognize that SDNs own the stock of a company with which they are dealing).  This creates perhaps the greatest risk for foreign companies – when they are not aware of any sanctions involvement in the transaction.

The legal authority for imposing sanctions on persons that provide “material support” to sanctions parties or who “knowingly facilitate” significant transactions with sanctioned parties arises from a number of sources.  First, many of the recent Executive Orders issued in connection with various sanctions programs authorize sanctions not just on the party that is the primary target of the sanctions, but also on others who aid and assist such parties.  For example, Executive Order 13662 (one of the three Executive Orders used to authorize the April 2018 designations of the Russian “oligarchs”) authorizes the President to impose sanctions on the targeted Russian parties, and also on any other person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury and State:

“To have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; 


To be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.”  [xiv]  

This language was drafted quite broadly to capture a wide array of activities.

In addition, CAATSA provides legal authority for sanctions on foreign parties that “knowingly … facilitate a significant transaction” with parties designated for sanctions under certain of the sanctions programs, and actually requires  the President to impose them in certain instances.   For example, §228 of CAATSA provides that the President shall impose sanctions on foreign persons if the President determines that the person knowingly “facilitates a significant transaction or transactions, including deceptive or structured transactions, for or on behalf of … any person subject to sanctions imposed by the U.S. with respect to the Russian Federation, or any child, spouse, parent or sibling” of such party.  Similarly §226 of CAATSA amended §5 of the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014 (“UFSA”) to impose mandatory sanctions on foreign financial institutions if Treasury determines that they knowingly facilitate significant financial transactions on behalf of any Russian person who is listed on the SDN List pursuant to the UFSA or Executive Orders 13660, 13661, 13662, 13685 or any other Executive Order addressing the crisis in Ukraine.

Other examples of potential liability for foreign companies providing assistance to sanctioned parties include under OFAC’s Foreign Sanctions Evaders List[xv] and the State Department’s Section 231 List.[xvi]

The exact restrictions on providing “material support” and “facilitation” vary under the different sanctions programs, and sometimes within the same program.  Thus one must look at the specific legal authority behind a particular sanctions designation to assess if restrictions also apply to providing support or facilitation to the sanctioned party. 

These legal authorities provide a number of qualifiers which must be satisfied in order for a violation to occur.  For support and assistance, the support must be “material” – hence insignificant transactions might be excluded.  Similarly under §228 of CAATSA a person must “knowingly” facilitate a “significant” transaction.[xvii]  Thus there are some limitations on these provisions, however they are still quite broad and provide significant discretion to U.S. regulatory officials.

The following are examples of parties that have been designated by OFAC for sanctions solely because they provided some form of material support or assistance to the primary target of the sanctions:

  • Designation of the Russian port service agency Profinet Pte. Ltd. that provides port loading, bunkering and departure arrangements for vessels calling at various Russian ports.  The designation was for providing port loading services for vessels listed on the SDN List (including Chon Myong 1 and Rye Song Gang 1).  Profinet’s Director General Vasili Kolchanov was also designated.  (August 15, 2018)
  • Designation of the Russian bank Agrosoyuz Commercial Bank for knowingly conducting or facilitating a significant transactions on behalf of Han Jang Su, the Moscow-based chief representative of N. Korean Foreign Trade Bank.  Ri Jong Won, the Moscow-based deputy representative of Foreign Trade Bank, was also personally designated.  (August 3, 2018)
  • Designation of Velmur Management Pte. Ltd., a Singapore company, for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material or technological support for another SDN (Transatlantic Partners Pte. Ltd.).  On the same day the U.S. Justice Department filed a complaint against Velmure Management in the U.S. District Court For the District of Columbia for money laundering violations. (August 22, 2017)
  • Designation of Lebanon-based Nasco Polymers and UAE-based Sonex Investments for chartering vessels and serving as consignee for Syrian Company Oil Transport – which is the port authority for the ports of Baniyas and Tartus in Syria; Also designation of Adnan Al-Ali  for providing financial, material or technological support and serving as advisor to Abar Petroleum (which was designated as an SDN). (September 6, 2018)
  • Designation of Russian born South African Vladlen Amtchentsev pursuant to Executive Order 13722 for having acted on behalf of and advised another SDN (Velmur Management Pte. Ltd.) in evasion of the N. Korean sanctions. (November 19, 2018)
  • Designation of the Chinese entity Equipment Development Department and its director Li Shangfu for engaging in significant transactions with persons on the CAATSA Section 231 List of Specified Persons (“LSP”). (September 20, 2018)

To date, parties designated for sanctions for providing material support or assistance to parties on the SDN List generally appear to have engaged in egregious activities to assist other parties in circumventing sanctions requirements.

The U.S. effort to curtail “material assistance and support” has targeted entire industries such as the worldwide shipping industry.  For example OFAC has issued numerous shipping industry advisories warning foreign companies to avoid providing support for shipments to sanctioned countries or parties or face U.S. penalties.  In one recent release OFAC stated:

“Treasury reminds the shipping industry, including flag states, ship owners and operators, crew members and captains, insurance companies, brokers, oil companies, ports, classification service providers, and others of the significant risks posed by N. Korea’s shipping practices. [xviii]

Thus if you are operating a foreign shipping company, insurance company, cargo inspection company, port facility or freight forwarder, OFAC wants you to verify that your customers are not engaging in activities that evade U.S. sanctions.  Similarly, if your company sells any other types of products, services, software or other resources, OFAC wants you to verify that these will not be sold to parties that are evading U.S. sanctions. 

Another major industry focus has been on foreign financial institutions.  For example, Executive Order 13810 related to the N. Korea sanctions provides specific authorization to the Secretary of the Treasury to impose secondary sanctions on foreign financial institutions if the institution has:

“(i) knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant transaction on behalf of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to Executive Order 13551 of August 30, 2010, Executive Order 13687 of January 2, 2015, Executive Order 13722 of March 15, 2016, or this order, or of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to Executive Order 13382 in connection with North Korea-related activities; or

(ii) knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant transaction in connection with trade with North Korea.”[xix]

The U.S. is effectively saying: if the foreign banks do not comply with U.S. sanctions laws, they can be cut off from dollar-based transactions and the U.S. financial system – a death sentence for most international financial institutions.

Thus in this fourth category of requirements for foreign companies - if your company knowingly facilitates significant transactions with parties subject to sanctions, or provides material support and assistance for such parties, this opens the door to your company being designated for sanctions as well.  While the transactions must meet certain thresholds such as being “material,” “knowing” and/or  “significant,” the authority is still quite broad.  It is not clear how far the U.S. will go in enforcing these restrictions – but the legal authority is now in place for it to do so.

The above is not necessarily an exhaustive list of all areas of potential sanctions liability for foreign companies – others may also exist either under current authorities or new ones adopted in the future. 

E._Penalties For Violations of Secondary Sanctions.   If a non-U.S. party violates U.S. secondary sanctions it becomes subject to a number of significant consequences.  The exact penalties for such violations will depend on the legal authority behind the secondary sanction in question.  In most cases the most significant consequence is that the foreign company runs the risk of being placed on the SDN List.  In addition, in certain instances the President has the option to impose other sanctions under a “menu” of options such as denial of the target party’s right to obtain U.S. visas, to obtain access to U.S. government sponsored export financing, to receive export licenses and to sell goods and services to the U.S. Government.[xx]

The penalties for secondary sanctions are technically different from those under civil enforcement actions or criminal prosecution for sanctions violations.  Civil enforcement actions would typically be used for a direct sanctions violation, especially if the respondent had sufficient contacts in the U.S. (such as the B Whale Corporation cases discussed In Section 2.A. above) or assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction.  However the U.S. Government could certainly pursue multiple remedies to bring maximum leverage on the target party and has done so on multiple occasions.  For example, following OFAC’s designation of Tan Wee Beng on the SDN List on October 5, 2018 for financing shipments of goods to N. Korea, he was indicted in the Southern District of New York for sanctions evasions and money laundering.[xxi]  Similarly, following Velmur Management Pte. Ltd.’s designation to the SDN List referenced above, the U.S. Justice Department simultaneously filed a complaint against Velmure Management for money laundering violations.[xxii]  There are additional examples of simultaneous sanctions designations and law enforcement actions,[xxiii] and these will most likely continue in the future.  

It is not clear how aggressive the U.S. will be in enforcing secondary sanctions, either alone or in conjunctions with conventional law enforcement actions.  The U.S. is still in the early stages in the use of this practice and details are still evolving.  However due to the importance of the sanctions programs to the U.S. Government, it will likely take secondary sanctions very seriously.  World events are moving quickly – we will likely find out very soon.

3.   Steps To Mitigate Risk.     Foreign companies face growing challenges – and legal risks - under the U.S. sanctions laws.  In response, many are taking heightened precautions in dealing with these laws in their business activities.  Questions for foreign companies to consider in addressing these risks include: 

(i)   Is your company engaged in transactions with U.S. parties, U.S. products, U.S. technologies or U.S. software or does your company have a presence in the U.S.?

(ii)  Is your company doing business in countries subject to the U.S. sanctions laws, such as Iran, N. Korea, Cuba, Syria, Russia, Ukraine and Venezuela?  Are there secondary sanctions involving those countries that affect your company?

(iii)   If your company is doing business in countries subject to U.S. sanctions laws, are you conducting a heightened level of due diligence review in such transactions to understand the applicable legal requirements and parties with whom you are dealing?

(iv)  Is your company engaged in transactions with persons or entities listed as an SDN or other OFAC restricted party lists?

(v)   Is your company engaged in transactions with entities that are owned 50% or more by parties listed on the SDN List?

(vi)   Does your company own shares in companies that are listed on the SDN List or their subsidiaries?  Are officers and/or directors of your company, subsidiaries or joint ventures SDNs?  Does your company have shareholders that are SDNs?     

(vii)   Are SDNs investors in your investment, private equity or real estate funds or partnerships? 

(viii)  Does your company have contacts with the U.S. financial system and if so are these sufficient to subject your company to U.S. sanctions jurisdiction? 

(ix)   Is your company engaged in transactions that could be viewed as providing material support or assistance to SDNs or knowingly facilitating “significant” transactions with such parties?

There are a variety of compliance practices that foreign companies can use to address these issues and help reduce potential liabilities and we can advise further on these.

            Sanctions laws have become a major focal point for the United States in dealing with some of its most important foreign policy issues. As a result, OFAC takes enforcement of these laws extremely seriously.  Companies should use care to understand these requirements so they do not get caught in the cross-fire.

February 21, 2019



Balkans-Related Sanctions ​

​Belarus Sanctions ​

​Burundi Sanctions  ​

​Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 (CAATSA)

​Central African Republic Sanctions  ​

​Counter Narcotics Trafficking Sanctions

​Counter Terrorism Sanctions

​Cuba Sanctions  ​

​Cyber-Related Sanctions ​

​Democratic Republic of the Congo-Related Sanctions  ​

​Foreign Interference in a United States Election Sanctions 

​Global Magnitsky Sanctions

​Iran Sanctions  ​

​Iraq-Related Sanctions  ​

​Lebanon-Related Sanctions ​

​Libya Sanctions   ​

Magnitsky Sanctions ​

​Nicaragua-Related Sanctions ​

​Non-Proliferation Sanctions ​

​North Korea Sanctions   ​

​Rough Diamond Trade Controls ​

​Somalia Sanctions ​

​Sudan and Darfur Sanctions  ​

​South Sudan-Related Sanctions ​

​Syria Sanctions ​

​Transnational Criminal Organizations  ​

​Ukraine-/Russia-Related Sanctions  ​

​Venezuela-Related Sanctions  ​

​Yemen-Related Sanctions ​

​Zimbabwe Sanctions



Examples of recent sanctions requirements include[xxiv]:

  • Iran – Restrictions on U.S. persons entering most types of business and financial transactions with Iran, the Government of Iran and persons in Iran with limited exceptions; certain secondary sanctions apply to non-U.S. parties;
  • Russia/Ukraine – Multiple restrictions on U.S. persons including (i) restrictions on entering transactions with designated Russian and Ukrainian government officials and private parties; (ii) a complete trade and investment ban for the Crimea region of Ukraine; (iii) restrictions on entering certain transactions with targeted Russian companies in specific industry sectors including energy, banking and defense;[xxv] (iv) restrictions on entering transactions with certain Russian “oligarchs” and companies in which they have ownership interests of 50% or more; and (v) restrictions on entering transactions with Russian individuals and entities that have been designated for sanctions for cybersecurity violations, election meddling, corruption and other activities;  certain secondary sanctions apply to non-U.S. parties;
  • Syria, Cuba, N. Korea – For U.S. persons, comprehensive sanctions similar to Iran sanctions program; certain secondary sanctions may apply in certain instances to foreign parties;
  • Venezuela - Restrictions on entering certain transactions with  the Government of Venezuela, Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., other designated Venezuelan parties and transactions involving cryptocurrency issued by the Government of Venezuela; 

Chinese Banks, Trading and Shipping Companies – In addition to restrictions on dealing with N. Korean parties, the N. Korean sanctions program imposes restrictions on U.S. and foreign parties in dealing with designated Chinese and other non-U.S. banks,

[i] These include restrictions on certain transactions regarding Iran’s shipping, shipbuilding and port operation sectors.

[ii] These include graphite, raw or semi-finished metals such as aluminum and steel, and coal.

[iii] These include restrictions on certain activities including the sale, supply or transportation of certain goods/services used in connection with Iran’s automotive sector and associated services.

[iv] These include: (i) transactions with specified Iranian financial institutions and other major Iranian companies; (ii) transactions involving the Iranian rial or maintaining funds or accounts outside of Iran denominated in Iranian rial; (iii) providing U.S. bank notes to the Government of Iran; (iv) purchase, subscription to or facilitation of the issuance of Iranian sovereign debt and government bonds; and (v) financial messaging services.

[v] Generally the U.S. secondary sanctions under U.S. nuclear sanctions were lifted however certain sanctions remained in place under human rights, terrorist and weapons of mass destruction sanctions.

[vi] After the 90-day wind down period ended on August 6, 2018 the U.S. government re-imposed the following sanctions: (i) Sanctions on the purchase or acquisition of U.S. dollar banknotes by the Government of Iran; (ii) Sanctions on Iran’s trade in gold or precious metals; (iii) Sanctions on the direct or indirect sale, supply, or transfer to or from Iran of graphite, raw, or semi-finished metals such as aluminum and steel, coal, and software for integrating industrial processes; (iv) Sanctions on significant transactions related to the purchase or sale of Iranian rials, or the maintenance of significant funds or accounts outside the territory of Iran denominated in the Iranian rial; (v). Sanctions on the purchase, subscription to, or facilitation of the issuance of Iranian sovereign debt; and (vi) Sanctions on Iran’s automotive sector.  Following the 180-day wind-down period ending on November 4, 2018, the U.S. government re-imposed the following sanctions that were lifted pursuant to the JCPOA, including sanctions on associated services related to the activities below: (i) Sanctions on Iran’s port operators, and shipping and shipbuilding sectors, including on the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), South Shipping Line Iran, and their affiliates; (ii) Sanctions on petroleum-related transactions with, among others, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO), and National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), including the purchase of petroleum, petroleum products, or petrochemical products from Iran; (iii) Sanctions on transactions by foreign financial institutions with the Central Bank of Iran and designated Iranian financial institutions under Section 1245 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA); (iv) Sanctions on the provision of specialized financial messaging services to the Central Bank of Iran and Iranian financial institutions described in Section 104(c)(2)(E)(ii) of the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions and Divestment Act of 2010 (CISADA);

(v) Sanctions on the provision of underwriting services, insurance, or reinsurance; and (vi) Sanctions on Iran’s energy sector.

[vii] On March 15, 2016 President Obama issued Executive Order 13722 which authorized a broad array of N. Korean sanctions including, among other provisions, the blocking of assets of any party (including non-Korean companies) that traded with N. Korea in certain industrial products including metal, graphite, coal and software where the revenues benefited the N. Korean Government.  Similarly on September 20, 2017 President Trump issued Executive Order 13810 which authorized sanctions on foreign companies which have engaged in “at least one significant importation from or exportation to North Korea of any goods, services or technology.”  Executive Order 13810 also authorized the imposition of sanctions on foreign financial institutions that “knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant transaction in connection with trade with N. Korea” or “knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant transaction on behalf of” certain persons who have been designated for sanctions.

[viii] See, eg., Beijing Chengxing Trading Co., Ltd. and Dandong Jinxiang Trade Co., Ltd, added to the SDN List on January 24, 2018.

[ix] See, eg., Yuk Tung Energy Private Limited and Kingley Won International Co., Ltd., added to the SDN List on February 23, 2018 and Independent Petroleum Company, added to the SDN List in 2017.

[x] See, eg., Chang An Shipping & Technology and Chonmyong Shipping Co., added to the SDN List on February 23, 2018.

[xi] See, eg., Jong Man Bok, representative of Ryonbong Bank in Dandong, China and Ri Tok Jin, representative of Ryonbong in Ji’an, China, added to the SDN List on January 24, 2018.

[xii] See, eg., Hua Fu (Panama-flagged), Oriental Treasure (Comoros-flagged) and Dong Feng 6 (Tanzania-flagged), added to SDN List on February 23, 2018.

[xiii] See discussion of these sanctions designations in Section 2.B. above.

[xiv] See also Executive Order 13661 (Russia/Ukraine), Executive Order 13582 (Syria), Executive Order 13772 (N. Korea) and Executive Order 13810 (N. Korea) which contain similar provisions.

[xv] The OFAC Foreign Sanctions Evader’s List (“FDE List”) is a list of foreign individuals and entities determined to have violated, attempted to violate, conspired to violate, or caused a violation of U.S. sanctions on Syria or Iran pursuant to Executive Order 13608.  The FSE List also lists foreign persons who have facilitated deceptive transactions for or on behalf of persons subject to U.S. sanctions.  The FSE List is not part of the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List, however parties on the FSE List may also appear on the SDN List. 

[xvi] Under Section 231 of CAATSA the U.S. State Department issued guidance (the “Section 231 List”) identifying Russian entities determined to be part of or operating on behalf of Russia’s defense and intelligence sectors.  This section provides further that any parties (including non-U.S. parties) that knowingly engage in “significant transactions” with parties on the Section 231 List could be subject to retaliatory sanctions imposed by the U.S.  On September 20, 2018 the State Department imposed retaliatory sanctions on the Chinese entity Equipment Development Department and its director, Li Shangfu, for engaging in “significant transactions” with the Russian entity Rosoboronexport which was listed on the Section 231 List.  The sanctions imposed included listing such parties on the SDN List, prohibition of transactions with the U.S financial system, a visa ban and denial of export licenses.

[xvii] OFAC has provided limited guidance regarding what constitutes a “significant transaction” – see eg., OFAC FAQ 545.

[xviii]  See Treasury Department Press Release August 15, 2018.  

[xix] Under Section 4(b) sanctions may be imposed to: (i) prohibit the opening and prohibit or impose strict conditions on the maintenance of correspondent accounts or payable-through accounts in the United States; or

(ii) block all property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person of such foreign financial institution, and provide that such property and interests in property may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in.

[xx] For example, Executive Order 13846, which is the authority for the re-imposition of the Iran sanctions in 2018, provides a number of consequences for violation of the Iran secondary sanctions, including the following:

•   Under §1 companies that have “materially assisted, sponsored or provided financial, material or technological support for, or goods and services in support of” parties involved in certain financial or energy transactions in Iran  are subject to asset freezes and being placed on the SDN List.  Similarly a party that “knowingly provides significant financial, material, technological, or other support to, or goods or services in support of” certain parties involved in the energy, shipping and port industries in Iran are subject to being placed on the SDN List.

•   Under §2 if a foreign financial institution “knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant financial transaction” identified in § 2 Treasury may prohibit the opening, and prohibit and impose strict conditions on the maintaining in the U.S., of a correspondent account or a payable-through account by such foreign financial institution.

•   Under §3 persons who “knowingly engage in significant transactions” involving the automotive, petroleum and petrochemical sectors in Iran can be subject to any of the sanctions listed in §§ 4 or 5 of the Executive Order including denial of visas and the right to enter the U.S., denial of export credit by the U.S. Export-Import Bank, denial of export licensees, denial of the right to sell products or services to U.S. government agencies and other options.

[xxi] See Justice Department press release at: https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/manhattan-united-states-attorney-announces-charges-against-owner-and-director-singapore

[xxii] See Justice Department release: https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/pr/united-states-files-complaints-forfeit-more-11-million-companies-allegedly-laundered

[xxiii] For example, following the designation of 24 Russian individuals and entities for election interference and cybersecurity actions on March 13, 2018, Special Prosecutor Robert Muller, III also issued indictments for many of such parties for their efforts to disrupt U.S. elections.  Similarly, in the well-known sanctions enforcement case involving the Chinese company ZTE Corporation, in addition to simultaneous investigations by OFAC, BIS and the Justice Department, BIS designated ZTE on the Entity List which precluded companies from supplying products, technologies and software that are subject to the EAR to ZTE.   

[xxiv] This is not a complete list of the U.S. sanctions programs nor the requirements under such programs; a list of the OFAC sanctions programs in effect on the date of this article is in Exhibit A.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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  • Company Name
  • Company Industry
  • Title
  • Country

Other Information: We also collect other information you may voluntarily provide. This may include content you provide for publication. We may also receive your communications with others through our Website and Services (such as contacting an author through our Website) or communications directly with us (such as through email, feedback or other forms or social media). If you are a subscribed user, we will also collect your user preferences, such as the types of articles you would like to read.

Information from third parties (such as, from your employer or LinkedIn): We may also receive information about you from third party sources. For example, your employer may provide your information to us, such as in connection with an article submitted by your employer for publication. If you choose to use LinkedIn to subscribe to our Website and Services, we also collect information related to your LinkedIn account and profile.

Your interactions with our Website and Services: As is true of most websites, we gather certain information automatically. This information includes IP addresses, browser type, Internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp and clickstream data. We use this information to analyze trends, to administer the Website and our Services, to improve the content and performance of our Website and Services, and to track users' movements around the site. We may also link this automatically-collected data to personal information, for example, to inform authors about who has read their articles. Some of this data is collected through information sent by your web browser. We also use cookies and other tracking technologies to collect this information. To learn more about cookies and other tracking technologies that JD Supra may use on our Website and Services please see our "Cookies Guide" page.

How do we use this information?

We use the information and data we collect principally in order to provide our Website and Services. More specifically, we may use your personal information to:

  • Operate our Website and Services and publish content;
  • Distribute content to you in accordance with your preferences as well as to provide other notifications to you (for example, updates about our policies and terms);
  • Measure readership and usage of the Website and Services;
  • Communicate with you regarding your questions and requests;
  • Authenticate users and to provide for the safety and security of our Website and Services;
  • Conduct research and similar activities to improve our Website and Services; and
  • Comply with our legal and regulatory responsibilities and to enforce our rights.

How is your information shared?

  • Content and other public information (such as an author profile) is shared on our Website and Services, including via email digests and social media feeds, and is accessible to the general public.
  • If you choose to use our Website and Services to communicate directly with a company or individual, such communication may be shared accordingly.
  • Readership information is provided to publishing law firms and authors of content to give them insight into their readership and to help them to improve their content.
  • Our Website may offer you the opportunity to share information through our Website, such as through Facebook's "Like" or Twitter's "Tweet" button. We offer this functionality to help generate interest in our Website and content and to permit you to recommend content to your contacts. You should be aware that sharing through such functionality may result in information being collected by the applicable social media network and possibly being made publicly available (for example, through a search engine). Any such information collection would be subject to such third party social media network's privacy policy.
  • Your information may also be shared to parties who support our business, such as professional advisors as well as web-hosting providers, analytics providers and other information technology providers.
  • Any court, governmental authority, law enforcement agency or other third party where we believe disclosure is necessary to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation, or otherwise to protect our rights, the rights of any third party or individuals' personal safety, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or safety issues.
  • To our affiliated entities and in connection with the sale, assignment or other transfer of our company or our business.

How We Protect Your Information

JD Supra takes reasonable and appropriate precautions to insure that user information is protected from loss, misuse and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. You should keep in mind that no Internet transmission is ever 100% secure or error-free. Where you use log-in credentials (usernames, passwords) on our Website, please remember that it is your responsibility to safeguard them. If you believe that your log-in credentials have been compromised, please contact us at privacy@jdsupra.com.

Children's Information

Our Website and Services are not directed at children under the age of 16 and we do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of 16 through our Website and/or Services. If you have reason to believe that a child under the age of 16 has provided personal information to us, please contact us, and we will endeavor to delete that information from our databases.

Links to Other Websites

Our Website and Services may contain links to other websites. The operators of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using our Website or Services and click a link to another site, you will leave our Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We are not responsible for the data collection and use practices of such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of our Website and Services and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Information for EU and Swiss Residents

JD Supra's principal place of business is in the United States. By subscribing to our website, you expressly consent to your information being processed in the United States.

  • Our Legal Basis for Processing: Generally, we rely on our legitimate interests in order to process your personal information. For example, we rely on this legal ground if we use your personal information to manage your Registration Data and administer our relationship with you; to deliver our Website and Services; understand and improve our Website and Services; report reader analytics to our authors; to personalize your experience on our Website and Services; and where necessary to protect or defend our or another's rights or property, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, safety or privacy issues. Please see Article 6(1)(f) of the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") In addition, there may be other situations where other grounds for processing may exist, such as where processing is a result of legal requirements (GDPR Article 6(1)(c)) or for reasons of public interest (GDPR Article 6(1)(e)). Please see the "Your Rights" section of this Privacy Policy immediately below for more information about how you may request that we limit or refrain from processing your personal information.
  • Your Rights
    • Right of Access/Portability: You can ask to review details about the information we hold about you and how that information has been used and disclosed. Note that we may request to verify your identification before fulfilling your request. You can also request that your personal information is provided to you in a commonly used electronic format so that you can share it with other organizations.
    • Right to Correct Information: You may ask that we make corrections to any information we hold, if you believe such correction to be necessary.
    • Right to Restrict Our Processing or Erasure of Information: You also have the right in certain circumstances to ask us to restrict processing of your personal information or to erase your personal information. Where you have consented to our use of your personal information, you can withdraw your consent at any time.

You can make a request to exercise any of these rights by emailing us at privacy@jdsupra.com or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

You can also manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard.

We will make all practical efforts to respect your wishes. There may be times, however, where we are not able to fulfill your request, for example, if applicable law prohibits our compliance. Please note that JD Supra does not use "automatic decision making" or "profiling" as those terms are defined in the GDPR.

  • Timeframe for retaining your personal information: We will retain your personal information in a form that identifies you only for as long as it serves the purpose(s) for which it was initially collected as stated in this Privacy Policy, or subsequently authorized. We may continue processing your personal information for longer periods, but only for the time and to the extent such processing reasonably serves the purposes of archiving in the public interest, journalism, literature and art, scientific or historical research and statistical analysis, and subject to the protection of this Privacy Policy. For example, if you are an author, your personal information may continue to be published in connection with your article indefinitely. When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, we will either delete or anonymize it, or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible.
  • Onward Transfer to Third Parties: As noted in the "How We Share Your Data" Section above, JD Supra may share your information with third parties. When JD Supra discloses your personal information to third parties, we have ensured that such third parties have either certified under the EU-U.S. or Swiss Privacy Shield Framework and will process all personal data received from EU member states/Switzerland in reliance on the applicable Privacy Shield Framework or that they have been subjected to strict contractual provisions in their contract with us to guarantee an adequate level of data protection for your data.

California Privacy Rights

Pursuant to Section 1798.83 of the California Civil Code, our customers who are California residents have the right to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

You can make a request for this information by emailing us at privacy@jdsupra.com or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

Some browsers have incorporated a Do Not Track (DNT) feature. These features, when turned on, send a signal that you prefer that the website you are visiting not collect and use data regarding your online searching and browsing activities. As there is not yet a common understanding on how to interpret the DNT signal, we currently do not respond to DNT signals on our site.

Access/Correct/Update/Delete Personal Information

For non-EU/Swiss residents, if you would like to know what personal information we have about you, you can send an e-mail to privacy@jdsupra.com. We will be in contact with you (by mail or otherwise) to verify your identity and provide you the information you request. We will respond within 30 days to your request for access to your personal information. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why. If you would like to correct or update your personal information, you can manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard. If you would like to delete your account or remove your information from our Website and Services, send an e-mail to privacy@jdsupra.com.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our Privacy Policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use our Website and Services following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site, your dealings with our Website or Services, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: privacy@jdsupra.com.

JD Supra Cookie Guide

As with many websites, JD Supra's website (located at www.jdsupra.com) (our "Website") and our services (such as our email article digests)(our "Services") use a standard technology called a "cookie" and other similar technologies (such as, pixels and web beacons), which are small data files that are transferred to your computer when you use our Website and Services. These technologies automatically identify your browser whenever you interact with our Website and Services.

How We Use Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to:

  1. Improve the user experience on our Website and Services;
  2. Store the authorization token that users receive when they login to the private areas of our Website. This token is specific to a user's login session and requires a valid username and password to obtain. It is required to access the user's profile information, subscriptions, and analytics;
  3. Track anonymous site usage; and
  4. Permit connectivity with social media networks to permit content sharing.

There are different types of cookies and other technologies used our Website, notably:

  • "Session cookies" - These cookies only last as long as your online session, and disappear from your computer or device when you close your browser (like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Safari).
  • "Persistent cookies" - These cookies stay on your computer or device after your browser has been closed and last for a time specified in the cookie. We use persistent cookies when we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example, we use them to remember your preferences for the next time you visit.
  • "Web Beacons/Pixels" - Some of our web pages and emails may also contain small electronic images known as web beacons, clear GIFs or single-pixel GIFs. These images are placed on a web page or email and typically work in conjunction with cookies to collect data. We use these images to identify our users and user behavior, such as counting the number of users who have visited a web page or acted upon one of our email digests.

JD Supra Cookies. We place our own cookies on your computer to track certain information about you while you are using our Website and Services. For example, we place a session cookie on your computer each time you visit our Website. We use these cookies to allow you to log-in to your subscriber account. In addition, through these cookies we are able to collect information about how you use the Website, including what browser you may be using, your IP address, and the URL address you came from upon visiting our Website and the URL you next visit (even if those URLs are not on our Website). We also utilize email web beacons to monitor whether our emails are being delivered and read. We also use these tools to help deliver reader analytics to our authors to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

Analytics/Performance Cookies. JD Supra also uses the following analytic tools to help us analyze the performance of our Website and Services as well as how visitors use our Website and Services:

  • HubSpot - For more information about HubSpot cookies, please visit legal.hubspot.com/privacy-policy.
  • New Relic - For more information on New Relic cookies, please visit www.newrelic.com/privacy.
  • Google Analytics - For more information on Google Analytics cookies, visit www.google.com/policies. To opt-out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout. This will allow you to download and install a Google Analytics cookie-free web browser.

Facebook, Twitter and other Social Network Cookies. Our content pages allow you to share content appearing on our Website and Services to your social media accounts through the "Like," "Tweet," or similar buttons displayed on such pages. To accomplish this Service, we embed code that such third party social networks provide and that we do not control. These buttons know that you are logged in to your social network account and therefore such social networks could also know that you are viewing the JD Supra Website.

Controlling and Deleting Cookies

If you would like to change how a browser uses cookies, including blocking or deleting cookies from the JD Supra Website and Services you can do so by changing the settings in your web browser. To control cookies, most browsers allow you to either accept or reject all cookies, only accept certain types of cookies, or prompt you every time a site wishes to save a cookie. It's also easy to delete cookies that are already saved on your device by a browser.

The processes for controlling and deleting cookies vary depending on which browser you use. To find out how to do so with a particular browser, you can use your browser's "Help" function or alternatively, you can visit http://www.aboutcookies.org which explains, step-by-step, how to control and delete cookies in most browsers.

Updates to This Policy

We may update this cookie policy and our Privacy Policy from time-to-time, particularly as technology changes. You can always check this page for the latest version. We may also notify you of changes to our privacy policy by email.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about how we use cookies and other tracking technologies, please contact us at: privacy@jdsupra.com.

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