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On 16 May 2022, the Biden administration announced the relaxing of certain limited Cuban sanctions and other regulatory changes to expand communication, travel, and commerce between the United States and Cuba. Following this, on 9 June 2022, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations to implement some of the elements of the President’s foreign policy to increase support for the Cuban people.

On May 26, 2022, the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security issued a final rule updating the scope of License Exceptions Authorized Cybersecurity Exports Encryption Commodities, Software, and Technology related to cybersecurity items in response to public comments on the interim final rule related to cybersecurity items published on 21 October 2021. The interim final rule established a new control on certain cybersecurity items for National Security and Anti-terrorism reasons and created License Exception ACE in Section 740.22 of the Export Administration Regulations, which authorizes exports of identified cybersecurity items to most destinations except in certain circumstances.

The IRS did not follow notice-and-comment procedures when it issued Notice 2007-83. A theme underlying a number of court decisions since the Supreme Court’s decision in Mayo Foundation is that the Administrative Procedure Act does apply to the IRS – just like it applies to every other administrative agency. The IRS appears to be slowly coming to recognize this reality, but for many, many years, the agency acted as if the APA did not apply to its actions. The Sixth Circuit’s recent decision in Mann Construction, Inc. v. United States illustrates the importance of the IRS’ prior failures in this regard, in this case in the context of listed transactions.

Baker McKenzie’s Sanctions Blog published the alert titled Canada Introduces Ban on the Provision of 28 Services to the Russian Oil, Gas and Chemical Industries, Including Technical, Management, Accounting, and Advertising Services on 10 June 2022. Read the article via the link here. Please also visit our Sanctions Blog for the most recent updates.

In the wake of last month’s collapse of the TerraUSD token, a broad array of regulators and government officials have attempted to introduce a legal framework around stablecoins. Last week, Senators Lummis and Gillibrand introduced a bill into the US Congress that would, among other things set requirements for the amount of backing assets stablecoin issuers would be required to hold.

On May 16, 2022, the US Departments of State and Treasury and the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a joint advisory alert to the public about attempts by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (“DPRK” a.k.a. North Korea) and DPRK information technology (“IT”) workers posing as non-DPRK nationals to obtain employment outside of North Korea. The Advisory provides guidance to help prevent inadvertent recruitment, hiring, and facilitation of North Korean IT workers, as the hiring or support of DPRK IT workers may create business risks that range from theft of data, intellectual property, and funds, to sanctions-related risks under both US and United Nations authorities.