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4/10/2023 Expand your Horizons

Expand your Horizons - The Most Recent News from the  Global Export Control Community

EU - Critical technology areas identified

The European Commission adopted a Recommendation on critical technology areas for the EU's economic security, for further risk assessment with Member States.

This Recommendation relates to the assessment of one of four types of risks in that comprehensive approach, namely technology risk and technology leakage. The risk assessment will be objective in character, and neither its results nor any follow-up measures can be anticipated at this stage. In the Recommendation, the Commission puts forward a list of ten critical technology areas. These technology areas were selected based on the following criteria:

  • Enabling and transformative nature of the technology: the technologies' potential and relevance for driving significant increases of performance and efficiency and/or radical changes for sectors, capabilities, etc.;

  • The risk of civil and military fusion: the technologies' relevance for both the civil and military sectors and its potential to advance both domains, as well as risk of uses of certain technologies to undermine peace and security;

  • The risk the technology could be used in violation of human rights: the technologies' potential misuse in violation of human rights, including restricting fundamental freedoms.

Out of the ten critical technology areas, the Recommendations identifies four technology areas that are considered highly likely to present the most sensitive and immediate risks related to technology security and technology leakage:

  • Advanced Semiconductors technologies (microelectronics, photonics, high frequency chips, semiconductor manufacturing equipment);

  • Artificial Intelligence technologies (high performance computing, cloud and edge computing, data analytics, computer vision, language processing, object recognition);

  • Quantum technologies (quantum computing, quantum cryptography, quantum communications, quantum sensing and radar);

  • Biotechnologies (techniques of genetic modification, new genomic techniques, gene-drive, synthetic biology).

The Commission recommends that Member States, together with the Commission, initially conduct collective risk assessments of these four areas by the end of this year. The Recommendation includes some guiding principles to structure the collective risk assessments, including consultation of the private sector and protection of confidentiality.

3 Oct 2023. Source.

US- Guidance on best practices for compliance statements

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce has announced new best practice guidance for industry to help prevent items that are considered the most significant to Russian weaponry requirements from being diverted for use in Russia’s war effort on Ukraine. BIS in July 2023 published a list of high-priority items that Russia seeks to procure for its weapons programs. The list is divided into four tiers, ranked according to their relative degree of criticality.

Specifically, BIS recommends that exporters and reexporters of these highest priority items seek written assurances of compliance from their customers to help prevent diversion. The guidance includes a sample written certification form (see below).

28 Sep 2023. Source

US - Transnational repression countries

Transnational repression (TNR) is when governments use threats or violence to silence dissenters living abroad. According to a US report, foreign governments may use various tactics—from spyware to assault—to silence U.S.-based dissidents.

US Agencies have worked to track such incidents. They reported on foreign governments known to engage in TNR worldwide, some of which receive U.S. arms transfers. A lack of common understanding of TNR would however hinder efforts to fully track incidents against U.S.-based persons.

U.S. law does not specifically criminalize TNR, but agencies have used existing tools to penalize individuals for TNR against U.S.-based persons. State imposed visa restrictions on 76 Saudis believed to have been engaged in acts of TNR, including the murder of U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi.

Section 6 of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA)—which prohibits arms transfers to countries that the President determines are engaged in a consistent pattern of acts of intimidation or harassment against individuals in the U.S.—offers a way to hold some governments accountable for TNR against individuals in the U.S. However, no such determinations have been made.

3 Oct 2023. Source

Foreign Governments that Received U.S. Arms Transfers in Fiscal Year 2017-2021 and/or Were Named as Transnational Repression Perpetrators in Reports (Issued 2022–2023)

Read for you - Our readings of the week

US OFAC - Emigrant Bank.Emigrant Bank (Emigrant), a bank located in New York, has agreed to remit $31,867.90 to settle its potential civil liability for 30 apparent violations of the Iran sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). For approximately 26 years, Emigrant maintained a Certificate of Deposit (CD) account on behalf of two individuals ordinarily resident and located in Iran, for which it processed 30 transactions between June 2017 and March 2021 totaling $91,051.13. Emigrant had actual knowledge of the Iranian address and apparent location of the accountholders during this period. As a general matter, U.S. sanctions on Iran prohibit U.S. persons — including financial institutions — from providing services to Iran.As a mitigating factor, OFAC considered that Emigrant voluntarily self-disclosed the Apparent Violations and cooperated with OFAC’s investigation. 21 Sep 2023 Source.

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