3 European countries create “Instex” to avoid US sanctions against Iran.

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As you are aware, after taking office, President Trump pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by then-President Obama. Negating the deal also resulted in the imposition of banking sanctions Iran.

In order to continue doing business with Iran, European leaders from Britain, France and Germany created a new company called the “Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges” or Instex for short.

The Instex corporation was registered in France as a “special-purpose vehicle” on Thursday and will be run by a German banker.

As expected, the State Department issued a statement saying “entities that continue to engage in sanctionable activity involving Iran risk severe consequences that could include losing access to the U.S. financial system and the ability to do business with the United States or U.S. companies”.

It will be interesting to see whether any companies take this risk and will post any Instex as it becomes available.

If you have any questions about the Iran sanctions or want to ensure your company is in compliance with export controls, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

ZTE pays $1 billion fine, $400k into escrow soon.

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According to CNN Money, ZTE has paid the $1 billion dollar fine and will place an additional $400,000 into escrow soon.

This current payment of $1 billion is on top of the $1 billion ZTE paid last year.

Check back for more ZTE developments.

Check out my other ZTE-related blog posts:

In-depth details of the ZTE deal.

Senate passes amendment to undo Trump’s ZTE deal.

Deal reached between the US and ZTE.

ZTE facing $1.7 billion penalty?

The real reason Trump is working to reverse the 7 year ZTE ban? To help U.S. companies!

CNBC reports the US and ZTE are working on alternatives to the denial order issued against ZTE back in April of this year.

ZTE estimated to lose $3.1 billion due to US sanctions (Bloomberg).

Deal reached to allow ZTE to purchase U.S. hardware and software?

ZTE may need to change management and board in order to access US suppliers.

ZTE report to the HKEX on the impact of the US denial order: “major operating activities of the Company have ceased”.

ZTE and Huawei banned for sale to US military personnel.

ZTE banned from purchasing US technology for 7 years.

Sudan joins the UN’s Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

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Credit: Wikipedia 

In October 2017, the US revoked certain sanctions against Sudan and the Sudanese government. These sanctions include those put in place by then-President Clinton (Executive Order 13067) and then-President Bush (Eexecutive Order 13412). However, OFAC sanctions related to the conflict in Darfur: EO 13400, EO 13067.

Following the removal of sanctions, the Sudanese government has made efforts to increase foreign investment – with the Sudanese state minister touring Germany, Bahrain and other countries in December 2017.

In a move to further increase foreign investment to Sudan, on Tuesday, April 3rd, Sudan joined the network of countries that agree to enforce and recognize other nation’s arbitral awards. By joining this network, the Sudanese government hopes to increase confidence of foreign investors – especially in Sudan’s oil and gas sector.

Nations that sign the UN Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awardshe Signatories to the New York Convention agree to recognize arbitration agreements and enforce awards issued in other countries party to the rules. This agreement is viewed as the basis for international arbitration and allows a way for companies to settle commercial disputes.

The removal of 20 years of trade and financial sanctions will allow U.S. citizens and companies to now do business in Sudan, including deals with their government. However, U.S. citizens and companies are still probibited from conducting business with parties on the OFAC list.

If you or your company is planning to invest in Sudan, contact our offices, we can verify compliance with the most recent OFAC list and assist your company in taking all efforts to maintain export compliance – David Hsu, 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.