Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Thad McBride authored an article for the January 2018 edition of The Corporate Counselor providing an overview of current U.S. economic sanctions programs and how companies can handle challenging compliance issues. Sanctions against Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia and Sudan have all been in the headlines over the past year, yet each country – and the laws that apply to it – presents its own compliance complications. For example, U.S. persons can conduct no business in or with Iran and North Korea, whereas many transactions with Cuba may be permitted. In addition, the restrictions on different countries and sanctions targets change regularly. "The only certain thing about U.S. sanctions is uncertainty," noted Thad. He also notes that sanctions could be introduced or tightened in the near future on countries as diverse as Myanmar, Venezuela and Yemen.
Considering the multitude of economic sanctions programs and the uncertainty surrounding them, it is important for companies to take certain steps to establish a good compliance program. These steps include having management commit to and promote compliance, training personnel, screening and exercising due diligence on business partners, and keeping diligent records. As Thad explains, "In the dynamic world of U.S. sanctions, what is permitted one day may be prohibited the next. Vigilance, and regular screening and review, are critical."
The full article, "U.S. Economic Sanctions," was published in the January 2018 issue of The Corporate Counselor and is available online (subscription required).