Government

Last year, we published an update on BIS’s foray into prohibiting EAR99 items for export to Russia and Belarus. We noted (somewhat in jest) that kitchen sinks may one day be added. Well, that day has come. Stainless steel kitchen sinks are officially prohibited for export to Russia and Belarus.
Continue Reading Now Including the Kitchen Sink: Expansion of Export Controls on Russia Adds Restrictions on Low-Level Items and Software

The solar industry is starting to get whiplash. Over the past year in particular, the industry has experienced a whirlwind of regulatory changes making solar tariffs some of the most complex tariffs in all of U.S. importing history. We should not expect the changes to lessen as the solar industry remains a focus for policymakers, industry stakeholders, and consumers. Given this frenetic pace (plus the upcoming June 28 deadline for public comments on the recent Section 301 duty increases), we provide this guide to current tariff and trade actions as a guide to help those in the industry keep afloat.
Continue Reading Navigating the Solarscape: Our Handy Solar Tariffs Cheat Sheet

On May 3, 2024, the FAR Council published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (the “Advanced Notice”) seeking to implement Section 5949 of the James M. Inohfe National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2023 prohibition on procuring certain covered semiconductor products and services. The Congressional prohibition does not go into effect until December 2027, but the FAR Council was directed to promulgate regulations by December 2025. Though this only is an Advanced Notice at this time, the publication provides government contractors with information crucial to developing compliant infrastructures and preparing for the forthcoming rule’s publication. Interested parties
Continue Reading FAR Council Releases Rulemaking on Prohibitions for Semiconductors

In a bold move to tighten its sanctions enforcement, the EU rolled out Directive 2024/1226, establishing minimum rules for defining criminal offenses and penalties related to the violation of EU sanctions. Effective May 19, the Directive mandates Member States to incorporate its provisions into their national legislation within 12 months.
Continue Reading Walking the Tightrope: EU’s Sanctions Enforcement Directive Puts Violators on Notice

The White House at 5 am this morning in DC released its decision on the new section 301 tariffs. There is a 100% tariff on Chinese EVs effective this year (which is in addition to the usual 2.5% import duty on cars). 

The tariff rate on Chinese lithium-ion EV batteries will increase from 7.5% to 25% in 2024, while the tariff rate on lithium-ion non-EV batteries will increase from 7.5% to 25% in 2026. The tariff rate on Chinese battery parts will increase from 7.5% to 25% in 2024.
Continue Reading The Sky’s the Limit – Yet More Section 301 Tariffs on China

Effective April 24, the statute of limitations (“SoL”) under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”) and the Trading with the Enemy Act (“TWEA”) has been extended from five to ten years. It would have been easy to miss this change, buried within a supplemental emergency appropriation bill (H.R. 815) signed into law by President Biden on April 24, 2024, but its impacts will be profound for entities facing internal or government investigations for sanctions violations.
Continue Reading Say SoL Long to Short Limits: Doubling Down on the Sanctions Statute of Limitations

The U.S. Government continues to increase its Federal investment in space – not for exploration, but rather as a defense strategy – and this continued investment provides significant opportunity for commercial entities to partner with the Federal Government on space projects. On April 2, 2024, the Department of Defense (“DoD”) released its first ever Commercial Space Integration Strategy (the “DoD Strategy”) and, just a few days later, on April 8, 2024, the U.S. Space Force released its Commercial Space Strategy (the “Space Force Strategy”) (together the “Strategies”). The Strategies are complementary and formalize the U.S. Government’s commitment to “making commercial
Continue Reading The Next Frontier: Key Takeaways from the New U.S. Government Commercial Space Strategies

On April 1, 2024, the FAR Council published a new Final Rule that establishes FAR Part 40 – but without any new provisions of substance. This Final Rule becomes effective on May 1, 2024. Subsequently, the FAR Council published a Request for Information (“RFI”) on April 10, 2024. The RFI seeks feedback on the scope and organization of FAR Part 40 and is open for comment until June 10, 2024.
Continue Reading Not an April Fools Joke – FAR Part 40 Final Rule Has Been Published

On March 28, 2024, the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) issued Memorandum M-24-10, Advancing Governance, Innovation, and Risk Management for Agency Use of Artificial Intelligence (the “Memo”). This is the final version of a draft memorandum OMB released for public comment on November 1, 2023. The Memo primarily focuses on agency use of AI and outlines minimum practices for managing risks associated with the use of AI in the federal government. The Memo also provides recommendations for managing AI risks in federal procurement of AI that industry should keep in mind, specifically entities developing AI tools to sell to
Continue Reading Better Safe Than Sorry: OMB Releases Memorandum on Managing AI Risks in the Federal Government

On April 1, 2024, the FAR Council published a new Final Rule that establishes FAR Part 40 – but without any new provisions of substance. This Final Rule becomes effective on May 1, 2024. Subsequently, the FAR Council published a Request for Information (“RFI”) on April 10, 2024. The RFI seeks feedback on the scope and organization of FAR Part 40 and is open for comment until June 10, 2024.
Continue Reading Not an April Fools Joke – FAR Part 40 Final Rule Has Been Published

The Federal Government spends more money annually through grants and cooperative agreements than it does through Federal contracts. Historically, these dollars primarily have been awarded to public sector and non-profit entities. That’s changing. Post-Covid, increasingly more Federal grant and cooperative assistance dollars are finding their way to for-profit entities (whether as recipients (i.e., prime contractors) or subrecipients (i.e., subcontractors)). Sheppard Mullin partner Ryan Roberts and Capital Edge Consulting CEO Chad Braley joined the Public Contracting Institute’s Practical Matters podcast to discuss what commercial companies need to know before accepting a Federal grant (and additional information can be found in our
Continue Reading Unlocking Opportunities: Ryan Roberts and Chad Braley Discuss Grant Awards to Commercial Entities

Aristotle said “well begun is half done.” About 2,300 years later, Mary Poppins shared the same advice with her young charges, Jane and Michael. The adage generally is understood to mean that a thoughtful and disciplined start puts a project in a good position for success. With apologies to Aristotle (and Mary), the members of Sheppard Mullin’s Organizational Integrity Group use the same adage as a warning. In our experience, well begun is only half the battle. This month’s OIG Shorts discusses the importance of the activities that take place toward the end of — or after — an internal
Continue Reading Organizational Integrity Shorts: The Importance of Post-Investigation Activities

On March 29, 2024, BIS issued an interim final rule (IFR) updating and correcting its advanced computing and semiconductor regulations[1] published in October 2023 (which we discuss here in Episode III). This marks the third release of such semiconductor-related regulations since the key regulations were issued in October 2022 (which we discuss here in Episode I; and check out these posts here (Episode II) and here (Episode IV) for background).
Continue Reading China Semiconductor Export Regulations, Episode V – Updates and Corrections to the Advanced Computing and Semiconductor Regulations

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”) recently released its new Proposed Rule pursuant to the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022 (“CIRCIA”), which was published in the Federal Register on April 4, 2024 and is open for public comment through June 3, 2024. The Proposed Rule will be published in Part 6 of the Code of Federal Regulations, in a new Section 226, as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s regulations on Domestic Security.
Continue Reading CISA Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Will Significantly Impact Government Contractors, Suppliers, and Service Providers