Archive | March 2014

President Issues Executive Order Concerning Ukraine

This morning the White House issued an Executive Order blocking property, suspending immigrant and non-immigrant entry into the U.S., and prohibiting donations to those responsible for or complicit in threatening the sovereignty of Ukraine.  The Executive Order is broad in its scope and does not identify any particular individuals or entities that are subject to the sanctions.  The Executive Order was issued pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and other federal laws.

According to the Executive Order, all property and interest in property that are in the U.S. currently or come within the U.S. or possession or control of a U.S. person (including foreign branches) are blocked for any person determined to be “responsible for or complicit in, or have engaged in, directly or indirectly” actions or policies that undermine the democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine; actions or policies that threaten peace, security, stability, sovereignty and the territory of Ukraine; or misappropriate Ukraine state assets.  In addition, property is blocked for those determined to be a “leader of an entity that has, or whose members have” engaged in or materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support, or goods or services in support of such activities.

An entity is broadly defined as “partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation group, sub-group, or other organization.”

The Executive Order also suspends immigrant and non-immigrant entry into the U.S. of those determined to have participated in such activities.

Additionally, donations and other contributions of support to those determined to be involved in such activities are prohibited.

Lastly, the Executive Order prohibits any transaction that evades or attempts to evade or avoid the prohibitions, as well as any conspiracy to evade or avoid the prohibitions.

Noting that the transfer of funds and assets can be done instantaneously, the Executive Order also states that “no prior notice of a listing or determination made” pursuant to Executive Order shall be provided.

In light of this just released Executive Order, companies are urged to immediately review their business relationships in and with Russian and Ukrainian parties and take necessary actions to avoid possible violations of the Executive Order. Clearly, this is a developing situation and companies will need to actively monitor whether further sanctions will be imposed and their business relationships with individuals and entities that are or may be affected by this Executive Order.

For assistance with understanding and complying with this Executive Order, other economic sanctions laws, regulations, and Executive Orders, as well as representation before BIS and OFAC in investigations, civil penalty, and voluntary self-disclosures, please contact Jon P. Yormick, Attorney and Counsellor at Law, jon@yormicklaw.com or by calling +1.866.967.6425 (Toll free in Canada & U.S.), +1.216.928.3474, or Skype at jon.yormick.