Expanded Export Restrictions Target Russia for Ukraine InvasionMarch 14, 2022

The United States and its allies have imposed a variety of financial sanctions and export control restrictions aimed at Russia and Belarus in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. These sanctions affect companies with business in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine, in addition to companies that plan to draw investment from these jurisdictions.

The measures include sanctions on banks, financial institutions, and government leaders.  In addition, these measures include expanded territorial embargoes, banking restrictions, sovereign debt restrictions, and expanded export controls. The recent US regulatory measures in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine comprise an aggressive and complex blend of financial sanctions and export control restrictions.

Of significant note, The US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) significantly expanded controls applicable to Russia and Belarus. These restrictions increase the scope of hardware, commodities, software and technology subject to the US Export Administration Regulations (EAR) that require a license to be exported, reexported, or transferred in country to Russia and Belarus.

While businesses and inventors dealing in national security-related high-technology areas are already familiar with strict licensing requirements, the scope of items subject to license requirements for exports to Russia and Belarus have now significantly expanded (See National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 59; See also Anderson et. al. 30 SANTA CLARA HIGH TECH L.J. 555 (2014) pages 560 to 568; See also Chapter 17 of Title 35 of the United States Code, 35 U.S.C. §§ 181 to 188, 35 U.S.C. § 186). Items that will require an export license to Russia and Belarus are now expanded to include various telecommunications devices, certain software, certain microelectronics, sensors, certain encryption items, optics, navigation equipment, marine equipment, avionics, and aircraft components, among others.  In addition, BIS reduced and, in some cases, fully eliminated certain license exceptions.

As events continue to unfold, further actions are anticipated from the United States and its allies including the United Kingdom and the European Union.

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