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Paul E. Amberg

Paul Amberg is a partner in Baker McKenzie’s Madrid office, where he handles international trade and compliance issues. He advises multinational companies on export controls, trade sanctions, antiboycott rules, customs laws, anticorruption laws, and commercial law matters.

On 8 August 2023, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued the OFAC Compliance Communique: Guidance for the Provision of Humanitarian Assistance to Syria. The guidance responds to specific questions that OFAC received from the non-governmental organization (NGO) community and the general public related to the provision of humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people. In addition, OFAC amended Frequently Asked Question 937 related to the Syria NGO general license.

On 5 January 2023, President Biden signed the Protecting American Intellectual Property Act into law. This law seeks to deter the theft of US intellectual property by non-US actors by threatening to impose economic sanctions on those engaged in trade secrets theft. This law adds to existing measures available under US law, such as criminal prosecution, civil lawsuits, and/or designation to a US restricted parties list such as the Entity List (maintained by the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security).

In a judgment of 10 January 2023, the Dutch Supreme Court confirmed that the applicable standard of proof for “intentional” violations of EU sanctions under Dutch law is generally low. The judgment confirmed that, although the intent of the accused with regard to the constituent elements of the relevant sanctions prohibition must be sufficiently proven to establish an intentional violation, intent does not need to be proven as to the unlawfulness of the conduct.

On 16 December 2022, the US Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls issued a proposed rule that would treat two additional types of transactions as activities that are not exports, reexports, retransfers, or temporary imports (“controlled events”) (and, thus, not require authorization) under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

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.