On December 22, 2023, President Joseph Biden amended Executive Order (EO) 14068 by additionally authorizing the prohibition on the importation and entry into the United States of diamonds of Russian Federation origin. See Thompson Hine Update of January 2, 2024. The EO required that such a ban be implemented only after the issuance of a determination “from appropriate U.S. departments and agencies, the importation of certain products mined, extracted, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in Russia, even if these products are then transformed in a third country.” On February 8, 2024, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued two such determinations.
First, OFAC issued a determination prohibiting the importation of non-industrial diamonds mined or extracted in Russia, notwithstanding whether they have been substantially transformed into other products in a third country. Effective March 1, 2024, non-industrial diamonds with a weight of 1.0 carat or greater will be banned from importation. This will expand on September 1, 2024, to include non-industrial diamonds with a weight of 0.5 carats or greater.
Second, OFAC issued a determination prohibiting the importation of diamond jewelry and unsorted diamonds of Russian Federation origin or exported from Russia, effective March 1, 2024.
These prohibitions are intended to implement the December 2023 G7 commitments to impose phased restrictions on the importation of diamonds mined or extracted in Russia. As a result of these determinations, the importation and entry into the United States, including importation for admission into a foreign trade zone located in the United States, of such diamonds and diamond jewelry of Russian Federation origin will be prohibited, except to the extent provided by law, or unless licensed or otherwise authorized by OFAC.
OFAC notes that it intends to issue additional public guidance regarding these determinations.