In the Netherlands, the Dutch Supreme Court ruled in a case about the transit of military goods without an export license. In May 2020 the European Union published the ninth issue of the Partner-to-Partner Newsletter aimed at keeping the export control community abreast of the developments under three main topical areas of the EU export control outreach programmes. In the US, the US government is investigating if mobile crane imports into the US threaten to impair national security. The US government also published the global maritime sanctions advisory: ‘Guidance to Address Illicit Shipping and Sanctions Evasion Practices’. And, the Huawei-saga continues. This, and more, in the newsletter.
Huawei: the saga continues
On 5 May 2020 guest writer Lauren Murton wrote an article for BenninkAmar Advocaten about the story of Chinese telecom firm Huawei’s trade law and IP violations. On 15 May 2020 the United States (“US”) Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) announced plans to protect US national security by restricting Huawei’s ability to use US software and technology to design and manufacture its semiconductors abroad. A press release of the US Department of Commerce states that this announcement cuts off Huawei’s efforts to undermine US export controls. According to news agency Global Times, China is ready to take a series of counter measures against US plans to block shipments of semiconductors to Huawei, including putting US companies on an ‘unreliable entity list’ and launching investigations and imposing restrictions on US companies such as Apple, a source close to the Chinese government told the Global Times (see news article of 16 May 2020).
US: Import of Mobile Cranes & Export Control of Academic Knowledge
On 6 May 2020 the US Department of Commerce announced that it would initiate an investigation into whether the quantities or circumstances of mobile crane imports into the US threaten to impair the national security. This decision follows a petition filed by The Manitowoc Company (“Manitowoc”), on 19 December 2019. Manitowoc requested that the US Department of Commerce would launch an investigation into mobile crane imports under the US Trade Expansion Act (1962), as amended. The investigation will be conducted by the Department’s Bureau of Industry & Security and will provide the opportunity for public comment once the rule is posted in the Federal Register of the US.
In 2018, 1.2 million foreign students studied at universities in the US. According to the US Government Accountability Office (“GAO”), there is a risk these foreign students may ‘export’ sensitive knowledge that they gain, to their home countries. The US Department of State and the US Department of Commerce shared guidance with exporters, including universities, to help them comply with export control regulations and safeguard controlled technologies and data that may be shipped overseas or shared with foreign nationals in the US. However, GOA found that this guidance didn’t address issues most relevant to universities. Therefore, on 12 May 2020, GOA published four recommendations to improve this guidance.
US: Global Maritime Sanctions Advisory
On 14 May 2020 the Department of Treasury, the Department of State and the US Coast Guard published the global maritime sanctions advisory: ‘Guidance to Address Illicit Shipping and Sanctions Evasion Practices’. With this global advisory the US wants to alert the maritime industry, and those active in the energy and metals sectors, to deceptive shipping practices used to evade sanctions, with a focus on Syria, Iran and North Korea. The advisory includes a detailed set of best practices for private industry to consider adopting to mitigate exposure to sanctions risk.
On 7 May 2020 the European Union (“EU”) published the ninth issue of the Partner-to-Partner (“P2P”) Newsletter aimed at keeping the export control community abreast of the developments under the three main topical areas of the EU export control outreach programmes:
- dual-use export controls;
- arms controls and
- Arms Trade Treaty implementation.
This issue of the EU P2P Newsletter covers the period from April 2019 to October 2019, and was first published in May 2020, on the website of the EU.
On 7 May 2020 the European Commission (“EC”) published an ambitious and multifaceted Action Plan, which sets out concrete measures that the EC will take over the next year to better enforce, supervise and coordinate the EU’s rules on combating money laundering and terrorist financing. The aim of this approach is to shut down any remaining loopholes and remove any weak links in the EU’s rules.
On 12 May 2020 the EC published detailed guidance on how coronavirus-related humanitarian aid can be sent to countries and areas around the world that are subject to European sanctions. This May 2020-guidance note on Syria was the first in a series of comprehensive Q&A’s, which aims to give guidance on how to comply with EU sanctions when providing humanitarian aid (in particular medical assistance) to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
On 18 May 2020 the EU adopted a decision extending the restrictive measures framework against cyber-attacks, which threaten the EU or its member states, for one more year, until 18 May 2021. The EU will therefore keep its ability to impose targeted restrictive measures on entities or persons who are involved in cyber-attacks which cause a significant impact, and constitute an external threat to the EU or its member states. These restrictive measures can also be imposed in response to cyber-attacks against third states or international organisations where such measures are considered necessary to achieve the objectives of the Common Foreign and Security Policy.
Dutch Supreme Court: transit of air freight carriers without export license
On 28 January 2020 the Attorney General of the Dutch Supreme Court wrote a conclusion in a case about the transit of military goods without an export license (see BenninkAmar, The Netherlands Update: First Quarter 2020, dated 16 April 2020). On 21 April 2020 the Dutch Supreme Court ruled in this case and answered the legal question if a professional air freight carrier deliberately transited military goods from South Africa through the Netherlands, to Ecuador, without a Dutch export license. The military goods in this case were parts for military jet fighters. The legal person responsible for the transit of these goods wasn’t in the possession of an export license. According to the Supreme Court, the lower courts in this case didn’t provide enough evidence, that there was criminal intent on the side of the suspect. Hence, the Dutch Supreme Court ruled that there was no criminal intent and referred the case back to the Court of Appeal.
If you want more information about one of the topics of this newsletter, such as the possible US import restrictions for mobile cranes, the global maritime sanctions advisory of the US, the EC Action Plan or the ruling of the Dutch Supreme Court, you can contact BenninkAmar Advocaten at: firstname.lastname@example.org.