Understanding the U.S. Anti-Boycott Provisions

Mainbrace | June 2017 (No. 3)

George T. Boggs and Stefanos A. Roulakis

Question: I have to certify that my subsidiary that owns a vessel is not on the Arab League’s boycott blacklist. Can I do that?

Answer: If you are subject to the U.S. anti-boycott rules, the answer is “no,” but your subsidiary can provide the certification for itself. This is discussed more fully below.

A frequent issue that vessels and cargo bound for ports in the Middle East encounter is compliance with U.S. anti-boycott provisions. The issue may also arise in connection with restrictions in charter agreements for vessels. These provisions provide that a U.S. person engaged in almost any type of commerce cannot comply with or support an unsanctioned foreign boycott. These anti-boycott provisions were promulgated in response to the Arab League’s boycott of Israel, which remains the primary focus of the U.S. anti-boycott regulations. To avoid penalties, persons that trade with or in countries with a non-sanctioned boycott, such as the Arab League’s boycott of Israel, should familiarize themselves with the requirements of U.S. law.

Continue reading “Understanding the U.S. Anti-Boycott Provisions”

U.S. Export Controls Pose Risks for Offshore Energy Companies’ Return in Iran

Mainbrace | June 2016 (No. 3)

Matthew J. Thomas

In March, Blank Rome co-hosted a breakfast seminar in Dubai with Fichte & Co Legal Consultancy to discuss with local shipping and energy professionals the real risks and opportunities presented by the rollback of international sanctions on Iran. We were awed by the warm reception we received, the huge turnout (well over 250 clients and friends), and by the insightful questions and contributions of those who joined us. Continue reading “U.S. Export Controls Pose Risks for Offshore Energy Companies’ Return in Iran”

New China-Liberia Maritime Bilateral: Savings on Port Fees Just One Element of Broader Trade Cooperation

Mainbrace | June 2016 (No. 3)

Matthew J. Thomas

In a November 2015 state visit in Beijing, the leaders of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Liberia signed a historic bilateral maritime agreement offering significant benefits to Liberian ship- owners. Headlines on the bilateral highlighted the immediate economic impact of the agreement: a 28 percent discount on tonnage dues in Chinese ports, putting Liberian ships on parity with Chinese vessels, and potentially saving $75,000 to $150,000 in annual port costs for capesize, VLCC, and large container vessels. Less well-understood, however, are the reasons behind this new alliance, and where the relationship appears to be headed in the future. Continue reading “New China-Liberia Maritime Bilateral: Savings on Port Fees Just One Element of Broader Trade Cooperation”

DOJ Announces FCPA Pilot Program in an Effort to Incentivize Companies to Self-Report Misconduct

Mainbrace | June 2016 (No. 3)

Shawn M. Wright, Carlos F. Ortiz, Steven J. Roman, Ariel S. Glasner, and Mayling C. Blanco

 

 

 

On April 5, 2016, the chief of the Fraud Section for the U.S. Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) Criminal Division issued a memorandum related to the DOJ’s prosecution of violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). The memorandum highlighted the DOJ’s efforts to intensify its prosecution of FCPA violations by (1) increasing the Fraud Unit’s stable of prosecutors devoted to FCPA issues by 50 percent and creating teams of special FBI agents focused solely on FCPA matters, and (2) strengthening the DOJ’s collaboration with its foreign counterparts in order to combat bribery schemes worldwide. The memorandum also announced the start of a one-year pilot program designed to incentivize companies to voluntarily self-disclose FCPA-related misconduct. Continue reading “DOJ Announces FCPA Pilot Program in an Effort to Incentivize Companies to Self-Report Misconduct”

Mulling Sanctions: Will the 45th President Limit Trade with Iran and Cuba?

Mainbrace | March 2016 (No. 2)

Stefanos N. Roulakis

The election of the 45th President of the United States could have a drastic impact on the global maritime industry. There are few issues that changed for the maritime industry in the last year of the Obama administration as much as trade sanctions against Iran and Cuba. Continue reading “Mulling Sanctions: Will the 45th President Limit Trade with Iran and Cuba?”

Risk-Management Tools for Maritime Companies

Mainbrace | March 2016 (No. 2)

Compliance Review Program

Blank Rome Maritime has developed a flexible, fixed-fee Compliance Review Program to help maritime companies mitigate the escalating risks in the maritime regulatory environment. The program provides concrete, practical guidance tailored to your operations to strengthen your regulatory compliance systems and minimize the risk of your company becoming an enforcement statistic. To learn how the Compliance Review Program can help your company, please visit www.blankrome.com/  compliancereviewprogram.

Maritime Cybersecurity Review Program

Blank Rome provides a comprehensive solution for protecting your company’s property and reputation from the unprecedented cybersecurity challenges present in today’s global digital economy. Our multidisciplinary team of leading cybersecurity and data privacy professionals advises clients on the potential consequences of cybersecurity threats and how to implement comprehensive measures for mitigating cyber risks, prepare customized strategy and action plans, and provide ongoing support and maintenance to promote cybersecurity awareness. Blank Rome’s maritime cybersecurity team has the capability to address cybersecurity issues associated with both land-based systems and systems onboard ships, including the implementation of the BIMCO Guidelines on Cyber Security Onboard Ships. To learn how the Maritime Cybersecurity Review Program can help your company, please visit www.blankrome.com/cybersecurity or contact Kate B. Belmont (KBelmont@BlankRome.com, 212.885.5075) or Steven L. Caponi (Caponi@BlankRome.com, 302.425.6408).

Trade Sanctions And Export Compliance Review Program

Blank Rome’s Trade Sanctions and Export Compliance Review Program ensures that companies in the maritime, transportation, offshore, and commodities fields do not fall afoul of U.S. trade law requirements. U.S. requirements for trading with Iran, Cuba, Russia, Syria, and other hotspots change rapidly, and U.S. limits on banking and financial services, and restrictions on exports of U.S. goods, software, and technology, impact our shipping and energy clients daily. Our team will review and update our clients’ internal policies and procedures for complying with these rules on a fixed-fee basis. When needed, our trade team brings extensive experience in compliance audits and planning, investigations and enforcement matters, and government relations, tailored to provide practical and businesslike solutions for shipping, trading, and energy clients worldwide. To learn how the Trade Sanctions and Export Compliance Review Program can help your company, please visit www.blankromemaritime.com or contact Matthew J. Thomas (MThomas@BlankRome.com, 202.772.5971).

January 16th Marked Changes in U.S. Sanctions on Iran

Matthew J. Thomas, Jonathan K. Waldron, and Dana S. Merkel

Action Item: January 16, 2016, marked Implementation Day under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”), an agreement between Iran and the EU3+3 nations (the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, China, and the United States) to ease international trade sanctions in exchange for constraints on Iran’s nuclear capabilities. As of January 16, the United States lifted a number of nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, particularly the so-called “secondary sanctions” related to non-U.S. persons. With limited exceptions, U.S. persons and companies continue to be broadly prohibited from engaging in transactions with Iran, but a limited exception has been implemented to permit foreign subsidiaries of U.S. entities to do business with Iran in some circumstances. Continue reading “January 16th Marked Changes in U.S. Sanctions on Iran”