Economic and Trade Sanctions Updates

Compliance Update: Russia, Belarus and Ukraine Related Sanctions and Export Control Concerns

The purpose of this update is to provide awareness and understanding of recent changes to export control laws, regulations, and sanctions related to Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and their application to Georgetown research and scholarly activities due to the invasion of Ukraine. As of February 21, 2022, the United States (U.S.) government and its allies have implemented a series of restrictive export controls and extensive sanctions against Russia in response to the invasion.

Economic sanctions laws and regulations restrict certain transactions such as financial transactions, e.g., payments to individuals and organizations in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine, and providing goods or services, e.g., research materials, to sanctioned or embargoed countries or to entities or individuals identified on any Restricted Parties lists.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) manages the United States government’s sanctions and embargo programs, as well as the Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) and Blocked Persons lists. SDNs are entities or individuals owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, the governments of target countries. United States persons may be prohibited from conducting certain activities with the listed individuals and entities without prior OFAC authorization. Individuals and organizations who are serving as “suppliers” to Georgetown and all parties to Material Transfer Agreements undergo a restricted party screening to ensure that they are not listed on the SDN or Blocked Persons list.

Comprehensive sanctions have been implemented against Russia and the Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. Most transactions and activities, including those involving persons or entities “ordinarily resident” in these locations are now subject to U.S. government review and authorization. All U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, persons physically located in the U.S. which includes all Georgetown University personnel, and entities incorporated in the U.S. and their foreign branch offices are required to comply with these regulations. Contact exportcontrol@georgetown.edu for additional information and assistance.

The Executive Order issued on February 21st (new window) prohibits both import and export of goods, services, or technology with the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) regions of Ukraine (with a few exceptions for humanitarian support).

In the event you need to ship materials to Russia, Belarus or Ukraine or if you conduct any activities (travel, host visitors, international collaborations, field research) in these countries or other sanctioned countries, you are encouraged to contact exportcontrol@georgetown.edu well in advance to ensure that the University can provide up‐to‐date guidance.

Due in part to these restrictions, FedEx, UPS, and DHL have suspended all shipping services to and from Ukraine and Russia until further notice.

Please note, however, that the U.S. government has a policy of denial in place for most license applications to these countries. To view the entire list of sanctioned countries, please review the OFAC Sanctions Programs and Country Information (new window) page.

The US government has implemented controls to block financial transactions with a significant portion of the Russian financial system. On February 26, the White House announced multilateral plans (new window) to remove select Russian banks from the international SWIFT (new window) messaging system, and to block the Russian Central Bank from making use of its international currency reserves. As a result, it may not be possible for the University to make payments to suppliers whose account are held by one of the restricted institutions.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control also imposed sanctions against key banking groups and individuals in Russia and Belarus (Directive 1A and General Licenses (new window), Belarus Sanctions (new window), and Directive 4 and General License 8A (new window)). University students, staff, and faculty are likely to find that many transactions (payments) relating to tuition, outside sales, IP licenses, sponsored projects, procurements, credit/debit card usage, etc., involving accounts situated in Russia or Belarus are becoming unusually difficult to complete. Any University employee planning to send or receive money to or from Russia or Belarus should consult with exportcontrol@georgetown.edu.

The US government has imposed an export license requirement for many items that previously did not require an export license to Russia, Belarus, and regions of Ukraine. The BIS Final Rule adds new license requirements for all Export Classification Numbers (ECCNs) in Categories 3-9 of the Commerce Control List (CCL), expands existing Russia ‘military end use’ and ‘military end user’ controls and introduces a number of other controls.

BIS also issued another Final Rule adding similar restrictions for Belarus due to the country’s ‘substantial enabling of the Russian Federation’s further invasion of Ukraine.’

The categories of items now requiring an export license include, but are not limited to, computers, semiconductors, microelectronics, telecommunications items, lasers, sensors, navigation equipment, avionics, propulsion, aircraft components, aerospace and maritime technologies, certain services, and any technologies, technical data, information, software, hardware to sustain Russia’s military capabilities.

Executive Order 14065 (new window) imposes a general prohibition on exports and imports to and from the “Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) or Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) regions of Ukraine”. This default prohibition applies to all “goods, services, or technology,” regardless of whether money is changing hands. Travel, shipments, and collaborations involving the Crimea, Donetsk, or Luhansk region must have prior Export Control approval.

Both the investigator and the University can be held responsible for failures to obtain licenses, and both federal agencies and law enforcement may take action against individual investigators and universities, including substantial financial penalties and criminal charges with penalties that can include imprisonment. Sponsors take seriously, and are increasingly vigilant of, failures to disclose activities, sources of support, affiliations, or commitments.

Summary

Members of the GU research and educational communities need to be aware of these significant regulatory changes and work with export control in the Office of Research Oversight when considering or continuing planning activities and collaboration with, or exporting items or data to, individuals and/or organizations in Russia, Belarus, or the Crimea, DNR, or LNR regions of Ukraine.

Please direct questions and requests for review to exportcontrol@georgetown.edu.

Impacted activities include, but not limited to:

  • Exporting or importing items, technology or services
  • Engaging in financial or other transactions or entering into agreements with parties in any of the listed regions
  • Traveling to any of those regions

Export Control will assess the applicable restrictions, summarized above, and explore the potential options for requesting U.S. Government authorization.

Resources

BIS Press Release “Commerce implements sweeping restrictions on exports to Russia in response to further invasion of Ukraine” (new window) – Feb. 24, 2022

BIS Fact Sheet (new window) – Feb. 24, 2022

BIS Final Rule “Implementation of Sanctions Against Russia under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR)” (PDF) (new window) – Effective Feb. 24, 2022

BIS Final Rule “Imposition of Sanctions Against Belarus Under the Export Administration Regulations” (PDF) (new window) – March 3, 2022

OFAC Press Release “U.S. Treasury announces unprecedented & expansive sanctions against Russia, imposing swift and severe economic costs” (new window) – Feb. 24, 2022

Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) Ukraine-/Russia-related Sanctions page (new window) – updated Feb 24, 2022

White House Fact Sheet: Executive Order to Impose Costs for President Putin’s Action to Recognize So-Called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (new window) – Feb. 21, 2022

Executive Order on Blocking Property of Certain Persons and Prohibiting Certain Transactions with Respect to Continued Russian Efforts to Undermine the Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of Ukraine (PDF) (new window) – Feb 21, 2022