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Orfeh Vahabzadeh

Orfeh is an associate in the Firm's international trade practice in Washington, DC, advising companies on export controls, sanctions, and supply chain compliance. She advises US and multinational companies on trade compliance programs, risk assessments, licensing, review of proposed transactions, and enforcement matters.

On 23 August 2023, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued the first Determination Pursuant to Section 1(a)(i) of Executive Order 14014, which extends the application of section 1(a)(i) of EO 14014 to the jet fuel sector of the Burmese economy. On the same day, OFAC also published two related Frequently Asked Questions: FAQ 1132 and FAQ 1133.

On 11 May 2023, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) issued a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ), which calls into question the use of “springing rights,” a broadly used instrument to expedite financings while complying with mandatory filing requirements. The FAQ addresses the timing for when a filing must be made for a transaction triggering a mandatory filing. Since implementation of the mandatory filing requirements, transaction parties have used springing or deferred rights to allow financings to proceed while those rights triggering a CFIUS filing are deferred or held in abeyance until after CFIUS clearance.

Baker McKenzie’s Sanctions Blog published the alert titled BIS, DOJ and OFAC publish compliance note warning public of Russian evasions of export controls and sanctions on 10 March 2023. Read the article via the link here. Please also visit our Sanctions Blog for the most recent updates.

On 28 October 2022, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security issued a first round of FAQs regarding the advanced computing and semiconductor manufacturing Interim Final Rule, published on 13 October 2022 (87 Fed. Reg. 62,186) and amending the Export Administration Regulations. The FAQs clarify that that the new restrictions on exports and reexports to China also apply to Hong Kong.

On 20 October 2022, the US Treasury Department released the first Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States Enforcement and Penalty Guidelines. The Guidelines provide visibility into factors CFIUS considers when assessing violations of CFIUS laws and regulations, and determining potential penalties. The Guidelines are applied by the Monitoring and Enforcement office, which is part of the US Treasury Department’s Office of Investment Security.

Following initial announcements last year, on 20 July 2022 the US Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) published two Open General Licenses (OGLs) permitting certain reexports and retransfers to certain parties under the International Trade in Arms Regulations. The OGLs, which are part of a DDTC pilot program, will be valid for one year, effective from 1 August 2022 through 31 July 2023.

US federal government agencies charged with implementing President Biden’s February 24, 2021 Executive Order 14017 continue to assess supply chain risks and vulnerabilities by issuing public requests for comment. Among other things, the Supply Chain EO directs the heads of several federal agencies to conduct a one-year review to examine supply chains for potential vulnerabilities in a number of sectors.