By: Jennifer True

The Treasury Department has a long history of dealing with sanctions. Dating back prior to the War of 1812, Secretary of the Treasury Gallatin administered sanctions imposed against Great Britain for the harassment of American sailors. During the Civil War, Congress approved a law which prohibited transactions with the Confederacy, called for the forfeiture of goods involved in such transactions, and provided a licensing regime under rules and regulations administered by Treasury.

For the first time in over five years a 3-day Export Control Conference is returning to Detroit. From May 13-15 at the Gem Theater speakers from the U.S. Dept. Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security and the Census Bureau will join with the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign  Asset control to present a comprehensive program on Export Controls. These regulations are in the midst of their largest change in over 20 years and carry large criminal and civil penalties for contravention.

OFAC is the successor to the Office of Foreign Funds Control (the ``FFC''), which was established at the advent of World War II following the German invasion of Norway in 1940. The FFC program was administered by the Secretary of the Treasury throughout the war. The FFC's initial purpose was to prevent Nazi use of the occupied countries' holdings of foreign exchange and securities and to prevent forced repatriation of funds belonging to nationals of those countries. These controls were later extended to protect assets of other invaded countries. After the United States formally entered World War II, the FFC played a leading role in economic warfare against the Axis powers by blocking enemy assets and prohibiting foreign trade and financial transactions.

OFAC itself was formally created in December 1950, following the entry of China into the Korean War, when President Truman declared a national emergency and blocked all Chinese and North Korean assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other threats to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States. OFAC acts under Presidential national emergency powers, as well as authority granted by specific legislation, to impose controls on transactions and freeze assets under US jurisdiction. Many of the sanctions are based on United Nations and other international mandates, are multilateral in scope, and involve close cooperation with allied governments.

Export Controls affect almost all exporters and especially those in industries related to exports of advanced materials (such as composites), chemicals, microorganisms and toxins, material processing, electronics, computers, telecommunications, information security, sensors, lasers, navigation and avionics, marine, aerospace and propulsion, nuclear and miscellaneous items which can have a military use. These categories include systems, equipment and components, material, software, technology and test, inspection and production equipment.

This conference represents a unique opportunity for manufacturers, exporters, transportation service providers and other service providers to the international trade community to learn about the latest regulations and the effects of their changes, while interacting with experts of the actual government departments and agencies actually responsible for regulating these organizations.

The event is being hosted by the non-profit East Michigan District Export Council.

For more information on the event, please visit the following link:

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