On September 14, 2016, the President announced his intention to terminate the national emergency with respect to Burma, the effect of which will be to end the current U.S. sanctions program against that country as overseen by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). This decision will be legally effective when the President issues a new Executive Order terminating that national emergency and revoking the Burma Executive Orders. At that time, the sanctions imposed under OFAC’s Burmese Sanctions Regulations will no longer be in effect, and OFAC will formally remove the Burmese Sanctions Regulations from the Code of Federal Regulations and take other administrative actions as necessary.
The ending of the Burma Sanctions Regulations is not surprising, as the U.S. has been relaxing that sanctions program over the past several years as part of the gradual normalization of relations between the two countries.
- Until the Executive Order terminating the program is issued, life sciences companies should comply with the current restrictions in the Burma Sanctions Regulations. Life sciences companies should not ‘jump the gun’ on this repeal
- Certain Burmese individuals or groups could still be subject to U.S. sanctions even after the Burmese Sanctions Regulations are repealed. Life sciences companies should screen all of their clients, customers, distributors, agents, suppliers, and other third parties against OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals to ensure compliance with U.S. export controls.
- Once the Burmese Sanctions Regulations are officially terminated, life sciences companies should update their export compliance program accordingly.
- Termination of the Burmese Sanctions Regulations will be undertaken by OFAC, and life sciences companies should be mindful that other U.S. federal government agencies and departments may retain more targeted export control restrictions that may implicate Burma or Burmese businesses.
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