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U.S. Suspends New Export Licenses for Dual-Use Goods, Defense Articles and Services to Russia

Friday, March 28, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

U.S. government agencies said this week that they have suspended until further notice the issuance of new licenses authorizing the export or reexport of dual-use goods and defense articles and services to Russia. The Bureau of Industry and Security said its hold was effective as of March 1, while the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls did not specify when its hold took effect.

Both measures were announced quietly on the agencies’ Web sites and appear to be an escalation of U.S. sanctions against Russia for its incursion into and purported annexation of the Ukrainian region of Crimea. It is unclear how economically significant the measures might be given that they only affect new export licenses and that existing licenses, which remain valid, are usually good for four years. Press sources note that in 2013 the BIS licensed $1.5 billion worth of exports to Russia, three times as much as in 2012, and that goods shipped under such licenses have included blasting caps, optical sighting devices for firearms, chemicals, software using encryption technology, and navigation equipment.

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