Westlaw Today: U.S. Commerce Department Issues Semiconductor-Related Export Controls

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Westlaw Today, October 7, 2022

Anthony Rapa and Matthew J. Thomas ●

On August 15, 2022, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued an interim final rule imposing new export controls relating to certain semiconductor technology.

Specifically, the rule establishes a requirement under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to obtain a license from BIS before exporting to certain destinations the following materials and technologies:

      • Substrates of gallium oxide and diamond (ultra-wide bandgap semiconductors); and
      • Electronic Computer Aided Design (ECAD) software for the development of integrated circuits with Gate All-Around Field Effect Transistor (GAAFET) structures.

The control for the specified substrates is effective Aug. 15, 2022, while the control for the ECAD/GAAFET software is effective Oct. 14, 2022, with a comment period for industry that ran through Sept. 14, 2022.

The rulemaking follows public reports in July 2022 indicating that BIS had sent letters to chipmaking equipment manufacturers directing them not to export to China equipment capable of fabricating chips at 14 nanometers and below.

You can read more on our website.

Complying with the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act’s Strict Supply Chain Rules

Anthony Rapa, Matthew J. Thomas, and Patrick F. Collins 

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (“UFLPA” or “Act”), which took effect last month, ushers in a new era of supply chain diligence for importers. The Act creates a rebuttable presumption that any goods produced in whole or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (“XUAR”) of the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”), or by entities identified by the U.S. government on the UFLPA Entity List (“Entity List”), are presumed to be made with forced labor and thus are prohibited from entry into the United States under Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. § 1307). Notably, the presumption applies to downstream products that incorporate restricted goods, regardless of where the downstream products are made.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) is now authorized to detain and exclude and/or seize goods that it suspects were produced in the XUAR or by entities on the Entity List.

Importers whose supply chains have links to the XUAR and China should be aware of the implications of UFLPA enforcement, including with respect to due diligence considerations, supply chain tracing and management, and the evidence required to overcome the UFLPA’s rebuttable presumption. There is no grace period for enforcement.


President Biden signed the UFLPA into law on December 23, 2021. Effective on June 21, 2022, the UFLPA established a rebuttable presumption that the importation of any “goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part” in the XUAR, or produced by entities designated by the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (“FLETF”) as involved in specified XUAR-related activity, is prohibited by Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930, which prohibits the importation of items made from forced labor. The presumption applies unless CBP determines that the importer completely and substantively responded to all CBP inquiries, fully complied with FLETF’s guidance, and established by clear and convincing evidence that the goods were not produced using forced labor.

To read the full client alert, please visit our website

Law360: How Russia Sanctions Are Affecting Compliance

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Law360, May 25, 2022

Anthony Rapa and Matthew J. Thomas

The wide-ranging sanctions and export controls that the U.S. and its partners have imposed on Russia in recent months pose complex compliance challenges for parties operating across borders, even when there is not a direct or obvious nexus with Russia.

Notably, the U.S. rules include restrictions relating to dealings with sanctioned persons, exports to Russia of a broad range of items, certain services, banknotes, certain imports, and new investment. Furthermore, the annexed Crimea region of Ukraine is subject to a comprehensive U.S. embargo, as are the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, or DNR, and the Luhansk People’s Republic, or LNR.

This article provides practical guidance for compliance with such restrictions, which can affect commercial operations, investments, and processing of financial transactions.

You can read the full article on our website.

New York Law Journal: A Snapshot of Russia-Related Sanctions and Export Controls

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New York Law Journal, May 19, 2022

Anthony Rapa and Matthew J. Thomas

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the United States and its partners have imposed a web of complex economic sanctions and export controls targeting Russia. These restrictions have broadened and intensified over the course of the conflict, at times at a dizzying pace.

At this point, the United States has not yet imposed a comprehensive embargo on Russia akin to the sanctions on Iran, Cuba, Syria, or North Korea. Rather, the Russia sanctions mainly are aimed at specific individuals, companies, and other entities. In addition, there are U.S. restrictions on certain types of imports (including energy), exports (including a broad range of goods and certain services), and new investment. Accordingly, the Biden Administration has ample opportunity to further expand restrictions to ramp up the impact on Russia’s economy.

This article provides a snapshot of the U.S. measures currently in place. It should be noted that the situation remains fluid, and the applicable restrictions are subject to change.

You can read the full article on our website.

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