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Kevin Zhou

Kevin Zhou is an associate in the firm’s International Trade Controls group. He advises clients across industries on a broad range of international trade control issues, including economic sanctions and export control laws, in regulatory, enforcement, and transactional matters.
Previously, Kevin served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as Country Director for India and Sri Lanka Policy where his portfolio included U.S.-India defense trade issues, among others. He was presented with the Under Secretary of Defense Award for Excellence in 2016 for his role in the development and execution of the U.S.-India Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (“DTTI”). He entered government service as a Presidential Management Fellow.

June 18, 2024, Covington Alert

On June 12, 2024, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) and the U.S. Commerce Department, Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) issued additional measures to counter Russia’s continued aggression in Ukraine. The measures, announced in advance of the G7 summit in Italy last week, are intended to “continue to drive up costs for the Russian war machine.”

The actions taken by OFAC and BIS include new prohibitions on providing certain information technology- and software-related services to persons located in Russia, establishing additional sanctions designed to target the Russian financial infrastructure, strengthening secondary sanctions that can be applied to non-U.S. persons (including in particular non-U.S. financial institutions), and expanding export controls restrictions on items destined for Russia and Belarus (including with respect to certain types of software). Along with the new rules, OFAC designated for property-blocking sanctions more than 300 individuals and entities (including parties identified for sanctions by the U.S. State Department), while BIS used its authority to make additions to the Entity List, issue Temporary Denial Orders, and notify U.S. distributors of additional restrictions on shipments to parties known to be supplying items to Russia. Significantly, BIS altered its Entity List rules to permit certain address-only designations to the Entity List and, among other designations, added to the Entity List eight addresses in Hong Kong with a high diversion risk. Exports, reexports, or transfers of certain items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) to purchasers, intermediate or ultimate consignees, and end ­users who use those addresses generally will require authorization from BIS.

Separately, on June 13, 2024, the UK Government imposed a new round of asset-freezing sanctions on a number of notable Russian entities. The European Union is also considering a 14th package of sanctions measures relating to Russia, although as of this writing the EU has not yet enacted the new package.

New U.S. Sanctions

Prohibition on Certain Information Technology and Software Services

As part of the joint actions, OFAC issued a determination pursuant to the authority of Executive Order 14071 (the “IT and Software Services Determination”) that prohibits the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a U.S. person, wherever located, of (i) information technology (“IT”) consultancy and design services, and (ii) IT support services and cloud-based services for enterprise management software and design and manufacturing software (collectively, “Covered Software”) to any person located in the Russian Federation, unless licensed or otherwise authorized by OFAC. The IT and Software Services Determination is effective beginning at 12:01 eastern daylight time on September 12, 2024. “U.S. persons” include U.S. legal entities and their non-U.S. branches; U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, no matter where located or employed; and persons present in the United States.Continue Reading U.S. Government Issues New U.S. Sanctions and Export Controls Targeting Russia and Belarus for Continued Aggression Against Ukraine; Update on European Sanctions Developments