On April 28, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced a new licensing policy restricting exports of “dual use” items that could contribute to Russia’s military capabilities.  Effective immediately, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) will deny new and pending export license applications to Russia or occupied Crimea of high-technology items that could benefit Russia’s military.  BIS is also taking actions to revoke existing export licenses meeting these same criteria.  All other export licenses and license applications pertaining to Russia and occupied Crimea will be reviewed by BIS on a case-by-case basis to determine their contribution to Russia’s military capabilities.  A statement issued by the White House indicated that the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (“DDTC”) has implemented a similar policy for exports of defense articles; however, DDTC has not yet issued a notification to this effect.

These new export policies are part of a series of measures announced Monday in response to Russia’s continued activities in eastern and southern Ukraine, and its failure to honor its commitment made in Geneva April 17 to take steps to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine.  Other newly announced measures include the addition of 24 individuals and entities to the Treasury Department’s Specially Designated Nationals List.  Seven of the newly sanctioned persons are Russian government officials, two of whom are members of President Putin’s inner circle.  The remaining 17 newly sanctioned entities are companies with ties to President Putin’s inner circle.  Thirteen of these companies have also been added to the Entity List maintained by BIS, meaning that a license is now required to export, re-export, or otherwise transfer items subject to the Export Administration Regulations to the companies.

This announcement is the latest step in the United States’ on-going policy of restricting exports of U.S.-origin goods to Russia.  In late March, BIS and DDTC announced that they had implemented a hold on the issuance of new licenses for the export or re-export of items to Russia.  Monday’s announcement is the first indication that the U.S. government will take action to revoke existing export licenses.  Companies with existing export licenses or pending export license applications are advised to review the status of their licenses, and to closely monitor future communications from BIS and DDTC.

To view other updates on the Crimea crisis, click here.