Export Compliance

United States Reaffirms Need to Continue Screening for Denied Parties Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc across the world, the world of export compliance continues to evolve and expand.

As it aids in the global fight against the spread of the disease, the U.S. State Department has announced new updates to watchlists, and reaffirmed the ongoing need for organizations to make sure they are not interacting with denied parties.

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, in providing details of new entities to screen for, said: “the State Department remains fully engaged across a broad range of matters even as we tackle this global pandemic… that work continues.” He added that the aim is always to “staunch the flow of terror groups.”

The most recent of these additions were made last week in response to alleged terrorist activities. They include:

  • Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abdal-Rahman al-Mawla being denoted a specially designated global terrorist. He was previously part of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, and was subsequently named the head of ISIS after the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
  • Five Iranian nuclear scientists being added to the entities list in response to Iran continuing work on its nuclear program.
  • Lieutenant General Ali Abdullah Ayoub, the Syrian regime’s minister of defense, being added to the entities list, for his role in perpetuating violence and the humanitarian crisis Syria currently faces.
  • Sanctioning nine entities based in South Africa, Hong Kong, and in China, in addition to three Iranian individuals, for engaging in transactions in Iran’s petrochemicals industry, and thereby contributing to the world’s largest state sponsor of terror.

Those working in the realm of export compliance, especially those with screening and compliance solutions such as Descartes Visual Compliance, have probably already kept up with these, and other, developments. Export compliance remains integral, and should not be put on the back burner simply because there are other competing priorities.

And in the end, that is the only takeaway here: the necessity to remain compliant still applies. The existence of the COVID-19 pandemic has not slowed down export compliance on either the regulatory or enforcement side. It remains the responsibility of every organization to do their best to abide by export compliance laws.