Russia and Belarus Sanctions Update – March 17, 2022

Key Takeaways:

  • U.S., UK, and EU impose additional sanctions in response to Russia’s continued escalation of conflict in Ukraine
  • U.S. imposes sanctions on human rights violators and senior Russian defense officials
  • UK sanctions over 370 Russian individuals, including 51 oligarchs and their family members
  • EU imposes investment and trade restrictions and sanctions Russian oligarchs, propagandists, state-owned entities, and defense sector entities

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On March 15,… More

Russia and Belarus Sanctions Update – March 15, 2022

Key Takeaways:

  • New Executive Order prohibits certain imports and exports, and authorizes the Department of the Treasury to impose significant restrictions on U.S. investment in Russia
  • Additional wave of sanctions targeting Russian “elites” close to President Vladimir Putin
  • OFAC guidance clarifies that Russia-related sanctions prohibitions apply to cryptocurrency transactions

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On March 11, 2022, President Biden signed a new Russia-related Executive Order,… More

Russia and Belarus Sanctions Update – March 11, 2022

Key Takeaways:

  • The Biden administration announces ban on import of Russian energy commodities and prohibition on new investment in the Russian energy sector
  • New General License provides wind-down period until April 22, 2022 for certain energy imports from Russia pursuant to agreements entered into before March 8, 2022
  • EU and UK expand their sanctions programs against Russia and Belarus, including additional sanctions on oligarchs
  • FinCEN issued an alert to all financial institutions to be vigilant against efforts to evade the expansive sanctions and other restrictions imposed in connection with the invasion of Ukraine

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I.… More

New U.S Legislation Would Require Forced Labor Audits

On February 3, Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced the Slave-Free Business Certification Act of 2022.  The legislation aims to provide U.S. policymakers with greater assurances that companies are taking concrete steps to eradicate forced labor where their supply chains directly involve workers’ inputs, but would also significantly increase their due diligence burdens.  Pursuant to the legislation, covered business enterprises would be required to conduct independent audits of their “direct” supply chains to determine if they involve forced labor.… More

Russia and Belarus Sanctions Update – March 7, 2022: U.S. Sanctions, Export Restrictions Escalate as Conflict in Ukraine Continues

Key Takeaways:

  • U.S. imposes additional sanctions on Russian elites, along with their family members, companies, and personal vehicles
  • Actions targeting the defense sector and Russian government-affiliated media outlets signal the expansion of U.S. sanctions to new industries
  • SWIFT access to be denied to seven Russian banks on March 12, 2022
  • New export controls target Belarus and further restrict export of items that use encryption to Russia and Belarus

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I.… More

Russia Sanctions Update – February 28, 2022: U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Central Bank of Russia, Ministry of Finance, and Sovereign Wealth Funds; Switzerland and Monaco Impose Unprecedented Sanctions

Key Takeaways:

  • New Directive 4 prohibits transactions with Russian Central Bank, National Wealth Fund, and Ministry of Finance
  • Full blocking sanctions on Russian Direct Investment Fund and affiliates
  • Multi-lateral response to Russia’s invasion continues with unprecedented imposition of sanctions by Switzerland and Monaco

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On February 28, 2022, the U.S. government announced new sanctions on the Central Bank of Russia,… More

Review of Sanctions and Export Controls Imposed in Response to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Key Takeaways:

  • The initial wave of sanctions targeted Russian banks and the financial industry plus individual “inner circle” elites, with more sanctions likely to follow in the coming weeks as events unfold.
  • Broad restrictions on debt and equity transactions with certain entities in the Russian financial, energy, and infrastructure sectors.
  • Expanded export controls, including foreign-direct product rule restrictions, new license requirements, and Entity List designations impact a wide range of exports to Russia.…
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Possible International Trade Consequences of Further Escalation of Conflict in Ukraine

Key Takeaways:

  • The U.S., EU, and UK are coordinating a significant sanctions and export controls package to be implemented if Russia takes further action in Ukraine.
  • Restrictions are likely to target key Russian industries including finance, energy, and defense and would be far more severe and far-reaching than past sanctions.
  • New export controls could include restrictions on foreign-produced items made using U.S.-origin technology or software,…
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Proposed Legislation in New York Aims to Set New Standards for Worker Rights and Environmental Sustainability in Fashion Industry

On January 7, New York State Senator Alessandra Biaggi (D) and Assemblywoman Anna R. Kelles (D) introduced the Fashion Sustainability Act into the New York State Legislature.  If passed and signed into law, the Act would create significant reporting requirements related to environmental sustainability, social development (in particular worker rights), and ethical business (ESG) standards for retailers and manufacturers.  In all, the legislation would include enforcement “teeth” in the form of monetary and reputational penalties for industry non-compliance.… More

Ending Forced Labor in Xinjiang: A New Standard for Importers & Corporate Due Diligence

Overview

On December 23, 2021, President Biden signed into law a landmark piece of legislation that prohibits the importation of goods from an entire region due to the high risk of severe forced labor abuses there. The legislation – the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (H.R. 6256) – has been a congressional work in progress for several years and comes after multiple iterations failed to advance.

The Act was passed with overwhelming support from both Republicans and Democrats,… More