On July 17, 2014, and July 29, 2014, the U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed a set of prohibitions (sanctions) on specific entities operating within certain sectors of the Russian economy, designating and blocking the assets of nine Russian defense technology firms operating in the arms or related materiel sector of Russia. In implementing foreign policy and these particular sanctions pursuant to the Arms Export Control Act and Executive Order 13637, the U.S. Department of State provided the guidance and views of the Secretary of State on these matters affecting the foreign policy of the United States to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The Department of State requested that effective the date of the State Department foreign policy guidance to ATF (August 8, 2014), ATF implement the sanctions by suspending all active ATF import permits for defense articles involving the designated entities and by denying any pending and new ATF import permit applications for defense articles involving these entities, until such time as sanctions are terminated. For additional information on Russian sanctions, please visit the State Department website. For guidance on how these sanctions impact ATF Form 6 import permit applications and active ATF import permits, please refer to the Questions and Answers below.
Q1. What impact do these entity sanctions designations have on an existing permit to import defense articles from a now-designated entity?
Existing (active) ATF import permits that contain defense articles manufactured by a designated (sanctioned) entity are suspended effective August 8, 2014, and such articles are prohibited from being imported into the United States, to include removal from a Foreign Trade Zone or Custom’s Bonded Warehouse. Pursuant to 27 CFR 447.44, suspended permits must be returned to ATF.
If a suspended ATF import permit expires while sanctions are still in place, the importer must submit a new ATF Form 6 import permit application once the sanctions are lifted in order to seek importation. If a suspended ATF import permit is still valid when sanctions are lifted, the permit will remain valid for the time remaining from the original date of approval or until the items approved for import are brought into the United States, whichever comes first. Permits remaining valid after sanctions are lifted will be returned to the licensed importer.
Q2. What impact do these entity sanctions designations have on new and pending applications to import defense articles from a now-designated entity?
New and pending ATF import permit applications for defense articles manufactured by a designated (sanctioned) entity will be denied. During the period of sanctions, importers may submit a new ATF import permit application for any line items not manufactured by sanctioned entities.
Q3. Has my active import permit been revoked?
No. ATF import permits that contain defense articles manufactured by a designated (sanctioned) entity are suspended effective August 8, 2014. ATF will provide notice of suspension. Importers with suspended import permits must immediately return the suspended permits to ATF pursuant to 27 CFR 447.44.
Q4. Is there any accommodation that allows me to acquire a new import permit with a non-sanctioned company?
Yes. During the period of sanctions, importers may submit a new ATF import permit application for any line items not manufactured by sanctioned entities. ATF will process ATF import applications to import defense articles manufactured by any company that is not sanctioned.