Search terms: Trade & Customs
Argentina's already strict requirements for importing used or refurbished capital goods have been further tightened by a new decree, which recently entered into force. While the decree maintains the list of used capital goods which cannot be imported, it also establishes three different import duty rates applicable to used capital goods. New restrictions in relation to the refurbishment process have also been introduced.
The government recently abrogated the non-automatic licence required for the import of over 600 products, ranging from textiles and footwear to luxury cars and agricultural equipment. While this abrogation may help to reduce the bureaucratic nightmare associated with importing products into the country, it should not be mistaken for liberalisation of the foreign trade sector.
Argentina's foreign trade had a difficult year in 2012. Both importers and exporters suffered under a series of trade-restricting regulations enacted with one aim in mind: to obtain as much foreign exchange (mainly US dollars) as possible in order to pay for Argentina's ever-increasing energy imports bill. A number of trade-restricting regulations enacted in 2012 will continue to hinder trade in 2013.
The government recently published a resolution whereby it abolished the automatic licences required for importing a substantial number of goods. Although the demise of automatic licences in itself does not necessarily represent an improvement in the obstacles affecting imports, it should at least reduce the workload associated with the customs clearance of many goods.
The government recently suspended Economic Complementation Agreement 55 with Mexico regulating trade in the car industry. The bilateral trade balance with Mexico has shifted increasingly against Argentina, widening the trade deficit. Consequently, the government had been trying to renegotiate the agreement. This suspension is another example of Argentina's increasingly protectionist and unilateral trade policies.
As part of its aggressive policy to maintain its trade surplus, the Argentine government has recently introduced a new system imposing limits on payments for imported services. This system is similar in scope and operation to that in place for imports and is separately administered by the tax authority and the Central Bank (each using its own set of regulations).
The Brussels Court of Appeal has ruled on action by a number of slaughterhouses and livestock exporters to claim reimbursement from a municipality and the Belgian state for para-fiscal charges which were paid as part of a state aid package that was later annulled by the European Commission. The Supreme Court has also considered questions arising from the scheme.
The government recently presented its new industrial, technological and foreign trade policy in the Plano Brasil Maior. Most of the measures established by the plan aim to intensify trade defence policies. Measures recently adopted include a change in the method of applying anti-dumping duties, a new procedure for opening investigations and an amendment to the anti-dumping act.
Brazil recently introduced anti-circumvention measures for the import of goods and made it possible to launch investigations on the practice of circumvention. This comes in response to continued attempts to circumvent the application of trade remedies or the use of undue tariff preferences and aims to reduce the quantity of goods with false declarations of origin entering the country.
The growth of the economy has led multinational companies to consider exporting production capacity to Brazil. One way to do this is to transfer capital goods under-used in other countries. This update discusses the three main possibilities for the import of used machinery or equipment.
Recently held public consultations opened up the opportunity for the business sector to provide comments and input on negotiations for the conclusion of a free trade agreement between MERCOSUR (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) and the European Union. A MERCOSUR-EU Coordination Group has been set up to examine and recommend the Brazilian position in the negotiating process.
Exporters and foreign producers practise circumvention in order to evade anti-dumping measures that are applied in importing countries. Law 11786/2008 provides that if it can be verified that circumvention practices are being used to frustrate the application of an anti-dumping measure, trade remedies may be extended to third countries and to parts and components of products that are subject to ongoing measures.
Two anti-dumping investigations were recently initiated in Brazil concerning imports originating from the United States. These investigations reveal a growing interest in protectionism of the chemical industry, particularly in relation to the US industry. It is important that countries and companies interested in the opening of trade and the maintenance of their markets seek to participate in these investigations.
The Supreme Court of Canada recently issued a ruling that clearly restricts the ability of foreign companies to initiate procurement complaints under the Agreement on Internal Trade. The court found that the agreement is focused on domestic trade, and that in order to have standing to complain under the agreement, the complainant must fall within the agreement's scope.
The texts of the Canada-Jordan Free Trade Agreement and several parallel agreements were recently presented to Parliament. The agreements will be open for review and debate for 21 sitting days. If brought into force, the free trade agreement will eliminate all non-agricultural tariffs and most agricultural tariffs, in addition to introducing commitments to reduce non-tariff barriers.
A recent Canadian International Trade Tribunal decision demonstrates the complexity of international trade rules, but also the resulting benefits to those companies that take extra care to work through them in detail. In this case an importer of t-shirts successfully demonstrated that the goods were eligible for duty-free importation into Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The historic launch of negotiations towards an economic partnership agreement between Canada and the European Union was recently announced. The negotiations will be guided by a joint 'scoping exercise' that culminated in the Joint Report on the EU-Canada Scoping Exercise, which outlines the areas proposed by both parties as subjects for upcoming negotiations.
Bill C-2, the domestic legislation required to implement the Canada-EFTA Free Trade Agreement, has passed its final reading in the Senate, meaning that the free trade agreement between Canada and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) will come into effect on July 1 2009. The agreement will open new markets for exporters and alleviate some of the burdens faced by those that import goods from EFTA countries.
The Supreme Court of Canada recently released a precedent-setting decision in the first appeal of a goods and services tax (GST) assessment to be heard by Canada's highest court. The decision serves to broaden the number of eligible claimants beyond the person with the 'legal liability' to pay GST in the case of claims for rebate in respect of GST paid in error.
Under the value added tax (VAT) pilot programme, international transportation services and the export of research and development services and design services are zero-rated. To clarify the rules for the implementation of this zero-rating, the State Administration of Taxation and the Ministry of Finance have issued administrative measures.
Mainland China and Hong Kong have reached an agreement on the enhancement of economic and trade cooperation and exchanges between the two jurisdictions under the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) and signed Supplement 9 to CEPA. Supplement 9 provides for a total of 43 measures for services liberalisation and trade and investment facilitation.
In order to encourage imports and economic and social development, the Ministry of Finance has announced that China will apply lower import provisional taxes on more than 730 kinds of goods, with an average rate of 4.4% - over 50% lower than the most-favoured nation rates.
The General Administration of Customs has issued an announcement which sets out the principles to be applied in classifying imported articles and in determining their dutiable value, indicating the correct approach for articles listed (or not listed) in the relevant classification and dutiable value tables.
The General Administration of Customs has issued a formal announcement of new anti-corruption measures with respect to the giving and receipt of so-called 'red packets' - cash, securities, payment vouchers, commercial pre-paid cards or other instruments. The announcement sets out the obligations and restrictions on customs units and individual officers.
The General Administration of Customs has issued Announcement 63/2011 on the implementation of changes to the China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Rules of Origin and Customs Procedures arising from the China-Singapore Amendment Protocol. Among other things, it deals with the retrospective issuance of preferential certificates of origin.
The Andean Community recently issued Decision 671, which harmonizes customs regimes in the four countries of the sub-region. Although many important aspects of those regimes are not regulated due to the lack of consensus among member countries, it is expected that the Andean Customs Code, which the countries plan to draft in the near future, will address some of them.
The government has recently published regulations for the Plan Vallejo de Servicios, an inward duty relief programme for the export of services. Under it, a provider of services may import certain capital goods and spare parts under a temporary regime with duty reductions or exemptions and value added tax deferral until the end of the programme.
Importers and exporters in the mining and hydrocarbons sectors may qualify for a number of trade programmes and customs advantages, including short and long-term temporary import regimes which offer value added tax and duties benefits. In addition, oil or mineral extractors may benefit from duty relief on raw materials and large importers are included in a more advantageous customs category.
Although Colombia's international trading companies were originally designed to benefit Colombian exporters, foreign investors may also benefit from these entities when exporting Colombian products. International trading companies are good legal vehicles for foreign investors wishing to purchase finished products to be exported to their country of domicile or to third countries, among other things.
The free trade zone regime has been reformed in order to promote investment and generate employment in industrial and service activities. The new Free Trade Zone Act and its decrees provide significant legal benefits for new investment projects in Colombian free trade zones, and set forth the conditions and requirements to obtain such benefits.
The foreign trade regime - which provides for the administrative control of import licences by governmental authorities and the registration of imports under the free import regime - was recently amended by means of Decree 3803/2006. The administrative control regime, which applies to all merchandise to be imported into Colombia, divides goods into several categories (eg, prohibited imports).
The Special Economic Zones Law provides for the establishment of investment zones which enjoy considerable autonomy and reduced bureaucracy, with a view to promoting export activities and attracting local and foreign investment.
A World Trade Organisation compliance panel recently heard arguments from the United States that the European Union had failed to comply with the ruling against its support of the large civil aircraft sector. In EC – Large Civil Aircraft the original panel found that the European Union's support of Airbus projects must be brought into line with the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.
The Indian commerce and industry minister recently submitted a letter to the Indian Parliament to update it on the progress in negotiations with the European Union on a broad-based trade and investment agreement. The key negotiating issues of each partner reveal deep differences relating to the pharmaceutical sector, and the European Union denies that it is seeking any changes to India's IP laws.
The European Commission Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union and the US Customs and Border Protection recently implemented a mutual recognition arrangement linking their respective industry partnership programmes. The arrangement will contribute to global economic integration between the two partners by facilitating trade across the Atlantic.
The large number of trade-restrictive measures affecting EU products that have been adopted by Russia since it joined the World Trade Organisation has led to heightened tensions between the European Union and Russia. In spite of a firm warning from the European Union, Russia has continued to impose measures that restrict market access for European products and plans to introduce more.
The 2012 anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and safeguard statistics provide an insight into the use of trade remedy instruments by the European Union. The European Union is empowered to impose anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures to remedy the injurious effects of dumped and subsidised imports, as well as safeguard measures to protect EU industry from significant increases in imports.
As a result of the stalled World Trade Organisation Doha Round of trade negotiations, the European Union has been actively negotiating bilateral and plurilateral trade agreements. EU institutions are pushing for the initiation of negotiations with the United States and Japan, respectively the European Union's first and sixth trading partners.
In order to support manufacturing companies and their employees, the government intends to introduce a special programme under which the German public bank, KfW, will provide loans for projects carried out in Germany. Further funds have been made available for loan guarantees funded by the German federal states and, in certain cases, the central government.
A new practice recently adopted in anti-dumping investigations concerning imports of phenol and soda ash into India may violate the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Anti-dumping. In particular, the requirements for an individual margin for each known producer or exporter and an upper cap that limits the duty to no more than the dumping margin have been breached.
The Department of Telecommunications recently issued a policy notification offering preferential market access to domestically manufactured telecommunications products. It has been carefully worded to ensure that it does not violate the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. However, several commentators have argued that the measure may violate India's commitments before the World Trade Organisation.
For a leading developing country, India's involvement in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute settlement process in recent times has been largely lacklustre. This is now poised to change, with India involved in a number of upcoming cases. At least in the short term, the number of disputes involving India being brought before the WTO appears to be increasing.
A single, unified control list of all dual-use items whose exports are restricted applies under the Foreign Trade (Development and Regulations) Act. Exporters must apply for a licence to cover such items, but there are no defined timelines for the issuance of a licence. Establishing a timeframe for the grant or denial of licences would be a good step towards demonstrating a transparent system of governance.
The multilateral trading system is reliant on the principles of equal treatment for member countries. These principles were recently applied in a case before the Supreme Court involving anti-dumping duties, in which the court considered whether the designated authority was quasi-judicial and whether failure to provide for a fresh hearing when the authority was transferred violated natural justice.
The position in India on the chargeability of packaged software to customs duties has changed. Previously, assessees could either pay additional customs duty in lieu of central excise duties (CVD) on the entire consideration of packaged software and avail of an exemption from service tax, or split the values for the medium and licence, and pay CVD on the former and service tax on the latter.
The Indonesian House of Representatives has ratified the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Charter. Indonesia, the largest member and one of ASEAN's founders, is the final member to ratify the charter. The grouping has now met the political deadline for ratification by the ASEAN Summit.
The World Customs Organisation has released the latest amendments to the Harmonised Tariff System. Inadequate management of the changes may cause importers compliance risk, adversely affect duty payments and even influence eligibility for free trade agreements that use tariff shift rules of origin. Importers should review their products to ensure that they understand which goods may be affected.
The World Trade Organization has held a stocktaking of progress in the Doha Round of trade negotiations. The goal of concluding the round in 2010 has been quietly set aside, and no new, artificial deadline has been set. However, the members agreed to continue work at the technical level, the results of which will be drawn on when the negotiations restart.
Jamaican banana farmers are to use fairtrade certification to gain and improve their competitive edge in the duty-free and quota-free market opened up to African, Caribbean and Pacific countries by the European Union. A number of Jamaican banana farmers have already taken steps to gain approval for the fairtrade certification of local bananas.
Jamaica will benefit from J$122 million-worth of agricultural inputs courtesy of the continued hurricane relief assistance supplied by the European Union under its Banana Support Programme. Further assistance will be given to help export farmers comply with European Retail Produce Good Agricultural Practices, allowing them to be assessed for fair-trade status.
As part of the government's efforts to rejuvenate local sugar factories and the sugar industry as a whole, successful bidders for sugar factories will have access to a $100 million line of credit from Brazil to facilitate the purchase of equipment and machinery in Brazil to assist with the modernization of the sugar factories.
A Jamaican corporation and a Brazilian company have joined forces in a venture that is intended to boost Jamaica's cane sugar and ethanol exports. The partnership was no doubt influenced by the tax exemption that would be derived under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act 1983 for exports of ethanol to the United States.
Jamaica is still reeling from the effects of the domestic cement shortage, which dealt a hard blow to the island's construction industry and economy. In its efforts to relieve the impact, the Jamaican government has implemented a one-year waiver of the import duty paid by private importers of cement.
On January 1 2006 the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) launched the world's newest trade bloc, the CARICOM Single Market. It is hoped that the single market will help to reverse the decline in the regional balance of power experienced by Jamaica over the past 20 years.
The signing of the Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters with the European Union has focused attention on mutual recognition of the two parties' authorized economic operator programmes and on the need to strike a balance in security measures.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry intends to submit a bill to revise the Law on the Certification of Origin to the Diet in 2008. The revision would introduce simplified procedures for exports to countries with which Japan has a free trade agreement or economic partnership agreement, giving such exports a greater chance of obtaining preferential tariff treatment.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has recently presented Japan's global economic strategy, which outlines the vision for the Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia and proposes the establishment of an international organization to serve as a policy forum in East Asia. The global economic strategy aims to abolish tariffs on about 90% of imported items.
Because of loopholes in the law, many import traders evade regulations by posing as individuals importing goods for personal use. Large amounts of illegal imitations have thus been flowing into the Japanese market. Among other things, the government has started to strengthen shoreline controls and is currently drafting an amendment to the IP laws.
Parties which import goods into Kosovo must observe the rules and methods laid down in the Customs and Excise Code in order to calculate customs duties. Duties are calculated based on the customs value of imported goods according to the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System, as advocated by the World Customs Organisation. A 10% customs tariff is added to the customs value of the imported goods.
Parliament has passed the draft Law on Turnover of Goods of Strategic Significance at the first reading. Its aim is to ensure the controlled turnover of goods with strategic significance in accordance with Latvia's national and international interests, and to prevent terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The government has adopted two ordinances regulating certain aspects of the national state aid regime. The first ordinance regulates the manner and procedure for submitting state aid notifications, assessing the compatibility of aid with state aid rules and monitoring existing aid, while the second regulates the conditions and procedure under which de minimis aid may be granted.
The government has implemented a new scheme for certified companies, reflecting consolidated programmes such as the Customs-Trade Partnership against Terrorism in the United States and Canada's Partners in Protection. The scheme aims to facilitate many aspects of customs dispatch and improve competitiveness - many companies with a high volume of foreign trade have already expressed their interest.
During the Senate's last session of 2011 the free trade agreement between Mexico and Peru was approved by a slim majority. The agreement with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua was unanimously approved. Other significant amendments include further changes to the Foreign Trade Rules, export control forms and activities subject to export control permits.
In 2008 Mexico and China reached an agreement to eliminate anti-dumping duties on Chinese goods under 953 tariff headings and establish transitional duties for over 200 tariff categories. As the end of the phase-out approaches, many industrial sectors have demanded strong action against low-price imports from China. The government's next steps will prove crucial.
Until recently, Mexico lacked an export control regime for conventional weapons, dual-use goods and software and technologies that pose a risk of interception. However, a resolution has recently come into force which seeks to prevent the manufacture and proliferation of conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction.
The president has signed the Maquiladora Tax Decree, which provides for an extension of the fixed-rate corporate tax stimulus that was originally scheduled to expire in 2011. The decision is welcome, as the ability to apply the relevant fixed-rate corporate tax benefit in fiscal years 2012 and 2013 provides greater certainty for foreign investors.
Mexico and Colombia announced that they have renegotiated their free trade agreement in light of the withdrawal of Venezuela. The FTA-G3 agreement, which has been in force for the past 15 years, is now known as FTA-G2. Amendments have been published whereby goods imported to and from Mexico and Colombia are deemed exempt from duties, with certain exceptions.
Morocco is becoming a gateway for foreign companies to enter Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Since the entry into force of the free trade agreement between Morocco and the United States, many US investors have shown their interest in trading with and investing in Morocco, while others have increased their investment and involvement in the country.
Myanmar has become the seventh Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member to ratify the ASEAN Charter. The focus is now on Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, where approval has stalled over a combination of thorny political factors. Rejection of the charter by any of these large founding members would be damaging, but all three are expected to meet the target of the next ASEAN leadership summit.
Foreign investments under the free zone regime are granted several tax benefits under the Law on Industrial Free Zones for Exports. Among other things, foreign investors benefit from a total exemption from income tax for the first 10 years and a 60% exemption thereafter.
The government has increased tariffs on milk products through a recent ministerial agreement, in order to assist Nicaragua's struggling milk producers by reducing incentives for importers. Tariff contingencies have been established for some products in order to prevent shortages.
The Philippine Senate has ratified the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Charter. The Philippines join Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam in having ratified the charter, which serves as the foundation for integration among its members in political security, economic and socio-cultural matters.
Originally established as an area for the duty-free importation of goods, the Madeira Free Trade Zone is now also an international centre for shipping and offshore financial services and trusts. If approved by the Portuguese Parliament, an extension of the zone's tax regime will allow companies incorporated in the zone before 2014 to benefit from favourable corporate tax rates until 2020.
Enterprises undertaking major investment projects may be eligible for one of two state aid schemes: one to promote regional development and one to encourage sustainable economic growth. However, a successful application depends on an understanding of the eligibility criteria, the value and timeframe of any financial support and the application procedure.
Recent amendments to the Russian Customs Code introduce a number of changes to the customs clearance mechanism. Among other things, the code replaces the licensing of customs-related services with a registration system, and introduces special customs procedures related to the transportation of vehicles, their spare parts and equipment.
Singapore and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have signed a free trade agreement – the council's first such agreement. Among other provisions, GCC countries will give duty-free access to 99% of tariff items applicable to Singaporean goods, widening Singapore's links with a key commercial market.
China's diplomatic objections have been the main barrier to Taiwan negotiating a free trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). If these difficulties could be overcome, what might a Taiwan-ASEAN free trade agreement look like? The ASEAN-China agreement and the recently signed China-Singapore agreement may offer some indications.
The China-Singapore Free Trade Agreement covers a broader scope of topics than China's agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, but has a more limited effect. This update considers the differences between the agreements and the likely implications for trade between the parties.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Singapore have both announced progress in free trade agreement negotiations. ASEAN has successfully concluded negotiations with India and New Zealand. Singapore's bilateral agreement with China will go beyond the existing ASEAN-China agreement on trade in goods and services to include investment, travel, customs procedures and other issues.
As the global downturn continues, members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are likely to increase their use of trade remedy laws to protect their domestic industries. An analysis of World Trade Organization data on trade remedy investigations initiated by ASEAN members since 1996 shows, among other things, that such measures tend to increase during economic distress.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Japan have announced the partial completion of the Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which initially covers trade in goods and economic cooperation. Import duties for more than 90% of tariff lines will be eliminated during a transition period of up to 16 years. Tariffs on most machinery and electronic goods are reduced to zero immediately.
The legality of export restrictions under the international trade law regime is highly contentious, especially in light of the recent World Trade Organisation (WTO) Appellate Body decision in the China export restrictions case. While South Africa's WTO commitments allow it to use export taxes, its bilateral and regional free trade agreement commitments must be heavily weighed before such taxes are imposed.
Budget 2013 proposed some major changes to customs and excise tax. The changes to alcohol and tobacco products include an increase in the excise duties on such products by an average of between 5% and 10%, and an increase in the tax of cigarettes. Green taxes have also been amended - for example, the general fuel levy will increase by R0.15 per litre.
The Korean tax authorities are concerned that a free trade agreement with the United States may allow multinational enterprises to manipulate import prices further and reduce their Korean taxable income. Maintaining separate valuation systems for the transfer pricing and customs valuation regimes addresses the issue, but may entail significant compliance costs for companies engaged in cross-border transactions.
Records held by the US and Japanese customs authorities for 2001 show Korea to be one of the top three countries for producing counterfeit goods. However, due to the concerted efforts made by the Korea Customs Service in recent years, Korea became the most successful country for IP rights protection at the 2006 conference of the World Customs Organization.
The Seoul Administrative Court has upheld a ruling of the Korean Trade Commission that certain Indonesian paper exporters had violated Korean anti-dumping regulations and had not observed the imposition of anti-dumping duties by the Ministry of Finance and Economy following the commission's ruling.
The government has introduced revisions to the customs legislation designed to streamline customs procedures in Korea, as well as to grant more administrative powers to the Korean Customs Service. The most notable amendment is the expansion of the Customs Service's jurisdiction over foreign exchange transactions.
Switzerland's latest initiative to inspire progress in the Doha Development Round negotiations received tepid support from trade ministers at meetings held at the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 30 2009. Unless a major breakthrough is achieved by the end of March, the round is likely to be delayed until at least 2011.
Thailand is set to become the next member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to ratify the ASEAN Charter. Upon royal approval, which is imminent, Thailand will officially join Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam in having ratified the charter.
The new Customs Code, which takes effect on January 1 2003, has substantially reformed Ukraine's customs system. Re-import and re-export are once again permitted. The former allows exporters to return goods which buyers have rejected, while under the latter, the export of goods which were imported to Ukraine less than one year previously will not trigger any taxes.
The United States and the European Union recently implemented a mutual recognition arrangement for their respective supply chain security programmes. The US Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism is now recognised as equivalent to the European Union's Authorised Economic Operator programme. Programme members receive certain benefits, including expedited EU customs clearance.
Adding a chapter to the long-running controversy over the Department of Commerce's application of the anti-subsidy (countervailing duty) statute to goods imported from non-market economy countries, the US Court of International Trade has rejected constitutional challenges to legislation to provide a retrofitted legal foundation for the department's practice.
The US Departments of State and Treasury have announced the issuance of a new general licence that waives a nearly decade-old US import ban on most Burmese-origin goods. The move represents the latest step in a process of targeted easing first proposed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. US persons now may import any article that is a product of Burma, subject to certain limitations.
The Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 has been signed into law. Capping months of congressional debate over Iran's nuclear weapons programme and Syria's crackdown on opposition groups, the new law expands the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 and the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act of 2010. It also codifies various prohibitions recently imposed by executive order.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control recently authorised new investment in and exportation of financial services to Myanmar, easing sanctions that have been in place for over 15 years. The statutory framework for the US sanctions remains in place, thereby permitting the US government to re-impose sanctions should reforms in Myanmar not proceed as hoped.
President Obama recently determined that there is a sufficient supply of petroleum products in world markets to allow countries to reduce their petroleum imports from Iran significantly. The finding clears the way for new sanctions under Section 1245 of the National Defence Authorisation Act on foreign financial institutions that conduct or facilitate financial transactions related to purchases of petroleum products from Iran.