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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Treasury submits Hong Kong Autonomy Act report to Congress

Financial Crimes OFAC Hong Kong Of Interest to Non-US Persons Department of Treasury

Financial Crimes

On December 11, the U.S. Treasury Department released a report submitted to Congress pursuant to Section 5(b) of the Hong Kong Autonomy Act (the Act), which was enacted on July 14. The Act requires that the Secretary of State submit to Congress a report (Section 5(a) Report) that includes (i) “an identification of the foreign person”; and (ii) “a clear explanation for why the foreign person was identified and a description of the activity that resulted in the identification.” The Secretary submitted the Section 5(a) Report on October 14, which identified 11 foreign persons that OFAC designated pursuant to Executive Order 13936 on August 7. The Act requires Treasury to submit the Section 5(b) report between 30 and 60 days of the Section 5(a) submission, detailing any foreign financial institution (FFI) that knowingly conducts a significant transaction with a foreign person identified by the Secretary in the Section 5(a) Report. The 5(b) Report notes that Treasury has no information on any FFIs that have conducted significant transactions with the designated foreign persons, after conducting “regular searches of all available sources of information, including classified and unclassified holdings.” Treasury notes that it will continue to monitor for new activity that meets the criteria and engage with foreign governments and FFIs to ensure they “they understand the reporting requirements and sanctions risks under the [the Act].”

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