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International Regulatory Enforcement

Where the New Normal Could Be the Old Normal: Addressing Corruption Concerns Relating to Brazil’s Political Turmoil
Brazil has taken a number of steps in its journey to improve its anti-corruption laws and business culture, on the heels of Operation Car Wash. But that journey has not been smooth, nor is it complete. In this alert, we summarize some recent developments that have not been reported extensively outside Brazil or in English, but may nonetheless pose corruption risks or impact compliance programs of companies based or operating in Brazil.
Commerce Simplifies—but Expands—the Foreign Direct Product Rule for Huawei
On Monday, August 17, the Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) took new action directed at Huawei and its Entity List‑designated affiliates by not only letting the Temporary General License ("TGL") expire and adding an additional 38 Huawei affiliates to the Entity List, but also further revising the foreign direct product rule as applied to Huawei. This latest action by BIS adds to existing restrictions to prohibit the transfer to Huawei of any foreign‑produced item that is either: (a) the direct product of specified software or technology subject to the EAR; or (b) produced by a plant or major component of a plant that is, itself, the direct product of specified U.S.‑origin software or technology.
FCPA Opinion Procedure Release 20-01 – Much Ado About Nothing?
The U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) posted its first Opinion Procedure Release (“OPR”)[1] since 2014 on Friday, August 14, 2020. While this release will be of interest to the anti-corruption compliance user community and practitioners, it further demonstrates the limited utility of most OPRs to the general public, and the inherent limitations of the process for companies and individuals making formal opinion requests to the Department.
Nine Things You Need to Know About the Trump Administration Sanctions Against TikTok and WeChat
On Thursday, August 6, 2020, the Trump Administration took long-rumored action against the popular social media apps, TikTok and WeChat, in the forms of two executive orders. The orders largely prohibit persons or property subject to U.S. jurisdiction from transactions with the China-based owners of the apps, escalating tensions between U.S. and China and causing wide speculation on their scope and impacts. Because these two executive orders have many provisions requiring interpretation and guidance, we seek to answer nine frequently asked questions about this latest executive action by the Trump Administration.
At last…the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) is getting real!
Dreamed of by some for a long time, the creation of the EPPO marks a dramatic shift in the fight against crimes affecting the EU’s budget and an important step towards creating a common criminal justice area in the European Union as a whole. Following the July 27th decision of the European Council, this dream of some (and possibly the nightmare of others) is becoming a reality.
U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Final Rule Suspending Certain Preferential License Exceptions for Hong Kong
In the latest development in the continuing evolution of U.S.-China economic relations, the U.S. Department of Commerce on July 30, 2020 issued its Final Rule suspending the availability of all License Exceptions for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“SAR”) that provide differential treatment as compared to those available to the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”). The Final Rule formalizes the Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security’s (“BIS”) June 30, 2020 announcement that License Exceptions are no longer available to the extent they provided the Hong Kong SAR differential treatment as compared to the PRC.
UK and EU Financial Sanctions Regimes Likely to Diverge Post-Brexit
The looming end of the Brexit transition period will have practical implications for the UK’s financial sanctions regimes. This is because financial sanctions that apply in the UK today are derived from EU regulations. These will cease to apply after 31 December 2020.
U.S. Corporate Regulation Increases Amidst U.S.-China Tensions
As diplomatic tensions between Washington and Beijing rise, there is a corresponding increase in U.S. and Chinese regulation of corporate economic activity between the two nations.
Foreign Investment Control in France: New Derogatory Regime Applicable to Foreign Investment in French Public Companies
Recent reforms on foreign investments control in France have contributed to a substantial evolution of its regime and, in particular, to strengthening its implementation. While Decree No. 2018-1057 of November 29, 2018 initially eased the prior authorization procedure for investment by introducing a preliminary written request to the French Ministry of Economy and Finance (the “Ministry”) for both the French target company and the foreign investor, strengthening of the foreign investments control in France has been intensified.
Anti-Money Laundering Lessons to be Learnt from the Commerzbank Fine
With the hefty £37.8 million fine imposed on Commerzbank AG’s London branch last month (and an accompanying strong deterrent message for the market more generally), the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have signalled their intention to continue to come down hard on firms’ breaches of anti-money laundering obligations.
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