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 OFAC FAQs: Other Sanctions Programs

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Burma Sanctions

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481. If there is an active and ongoing investigation against an individual or entity for apparent violations of the Burmese Sanctions Regulations (“BSR”), would that investigation cease now that the President has ended economic and financial sanctions on Burma and the prohibitions in the BSR are no longer in effect?

Pending OFAC enforcement matters will proceed irrespective of the termination of OFAC-administered sanctions on Burma, and OFAC will continue to review apparent violations of the BSR, whether they came to the agency’s attention before or after the Burma sanctions program was terminated. Under longstanding practice, apparent sanctions violations are analyzed in light of the laws and regulations that were in place at the time of the underlying activities, and civil and criminal enforcement authorities are applied accordingly. Current or future investigations regarding apparent violations of the BSR will not be impacted by its termination and may result in OFAC enforcement actions after the termination of the BSR. [Published on 10-07-2016]


 

Counter Narcotics Sanctions

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General Licenses Issued Authorizing Certain Activities Pertaining to Panama

471. What transactions and activities does General License 3A (Authorizing Certain Transactions and Activities Necessary to Maintain Existing Operations of La Estrella and El Siglo Newspapers) authorize?

If you are a U.S. person providing services to La Estrella or El Siglo, you are authorized to continue providing those services through 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, on January 6, 2017.

Services include the provision of paper, ink, and other printing supplies; web hosting; advertising; marketing; newspaper delivery; information dissemination via social media and other web applications; and publishing-related activities. U.S. persons are also authorized to engage in any other transaction that is related to the operations of the newspapers, including necessary support services such as accounting, human resources, and information technology. [06-10-16]


472. What transactions and activities does General License 4D (“Authorizing Certain Transactions Involving the Panamanian Mall and Associated Complex, Soho Panama, S.A. (a.k.a. Soho Mall Panama)”) authorize?

This general license authorizes U.S. persons to engage in all transactions and other activities related to the designated Panamanian mall and associated complex, Soho Panama, S.A. (a.k.a. Soho Mall Panama) (hereinafter Soho Mall Panama), and the related entity Westline Enterprises, Inc., that are (1) for the wind down of operations, contracts, and other agreements with non-designated individuals or entities located in the mall and associated complex, provided that the transactions do not involve any shipment of goods to the designated mall and associated complex after the date of designation (May 5, 2016); (2) related to building management or maintenance at the designated mall and associated complex, provided the transactions and activities do not involve any Specially Designated Nationals other than Soho Mall Panama, Westline Enterprises, Inc. or designated entities operating in the mall; (3) related to the provision of financial services by, for, or on behalf of  non-designated financial institutions located in the designated mall and associated complex, provided the transactions do not otherwise involve financial services for any designated entity; or (4) necessary to facilitate the sale, disposition, or transfer of Soho Mall Panama or Westline Enterprises, Inc.  These transactions and other activities are authorized through 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on January 6, 2017.

These authorized transactions and activities include: (1) the shipment of goods before the date of designation; (2) re-location, liquidation, or disposition of existing inventory; (3) processing of transactions and provision of financial services by, for, or on behalf of non-designated financial institutions that were located at the designated mall and associated complex prior to the date of designation, including financial services for non-designated entities located at the mall; (4) the provision of goods and services related to building management or maintenance, including retaining property management service providers and delivery and installation of repair parts; (5) other transactions incident to the wind down of operations, contracts, or other agreements, insofar as they do not include payments, including rent payments, to the mall and associated complex; and (6) the provision of legal, auditing, consulting, investment banking, and advisory services necessary to facilitate the sale, disposition, or transfer of Soho Mall Panama or Westline Enterprises, Inc.

In accordance with 31 C.F.R. 598.206(a), (1) payments made by non-designated individuals or entities located in the designated mall and associated complex, to or for the benefit of Soho Mall Panama or Westline Enterprises, Inc., and (2) payments, refunds, or other provision of funds to Soho Mall Panama or Westline Enterprises, Inc. by U.S. persons performing management or maintenance activities pursuant to GL4D, must also be made into a blocked interest-bearing account.

Any transaction or activity to finalize, close, or exchange assets or any other thing of value related to the sale, disposition, or transfer of Soho Mall Panama or Westline Enterprises, Inc. that involves a U.S. person or is otherwise subject to U.S. jurisdiction is not authorized.  A separate license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control is required for such a transaction or activity.

A change or alleged change in ownership or control of an entity designated as an SDN shall not be the basis for removal of that entity from the SDN List unless, upon investigation by OFAC and submission of evidence by the entity, it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Director of OFAC that the transfer to a bona fide purchaser at arm's length, or other means of changing ownership or control is legitimate and that the entity no longer meets the criteria for designation under 31 CFR § 598.314.  Evidence submitted must conclusively demonstrate that all ties with SDNs have been completely severed.  See 31 CFR § 598.408.

A person wishing to conduct a transaction or activity not covered by an OFAC General License should submit an online specific license application to OFAC.  [08-19-16]


473. What transactions and activities does General License 5B (Authorizing Certain Transactions and Activities Related to the Panamanian Government Seizure of Balboa Bank & Trust) authorize?

If you are a U.S. person, you are authorized to engage in all transactions and activities necessary during the reorganization period for the reorganizer’s analysis of, and recommendations regarding, financial viability and reorganization , or to facilitate, negotiate, or agree to the bank’s reorganization, including any related sale, disposition, or transfer activities conducted by the appointed reorganizer.

These transactions and activities include the export, re-export, and provision of software, hardware, and other information technology-related goods and services; goods and services related to payroll, bank employment and administration, building utilities, building insurance, building maintenance, building security, and infrastructure; and goods and services related to auditing, consulting, legal, investment banking, and other professional services.  The authorization also includes U.S. persons providing information necessary for the administrator’s analysis, recommendations, and reorganization of Balboa Bank & Trust.  Payments, wages, benefits, compensation, and commissions in exchange for services incident to the above are also authorized.

Additionally, payments on loans and other obligations in effect prior to May 5, 2016 by any non-designated Balboa Bank customer to Balboa Bank, provided such payments are remitted to the account established at Banco Nacional de Panama by the Superintendency of Banking of Panama, are authorized.  These payments may be made by U.S. persons or through U.S. financial institutions. 

Any transaction or activity to finalize, close, or exchange assets or any other thing of value related to the sale, disposition, or transfer of Balboa Bank & Trust that involves a U.S. person or is otherwise subject to U.S. jurisdiction is not authorized.  A separate license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control is required for such a transaction or activity.

A change or alleged change in ownership or control of an entity designated as an SDN shall not be the basis for removal of that entity from the SDN List unless, upon investigation by OFAC and submission of evidence by the entity, it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Director of OFAC that the transfer to a bona fide purchaser at arm's length, or other means of changing ownership or control is legitimate and that the entity no longer meets the criteria for designation under 31 CFR § 598.314.  Evidence submitted must conclusively demonstrate that all ties with SDNs have been completely severed.  See 31 CFR § 598.408.  [08-19-16]


474. What transactions and activities does General License 6B (Authorizing Certain Transactions and Activities Related to the Intervention by the Superintendency of Securities Markets of Panama in Balboa Securities, Corp.) authorize?

If you are a U.S. person, you are authorized to engage in all transactions and activities necessary during the reorganization period for the reorganizer’s inventory of assets and liabilities of Balboa Securities, Corp. (Balboa Securities) or to facilitate, negotiate, or agree to Balboa Securities’ reorganization and any related sale, disposition, or transfer of Balboa Securities by the appointed reorganizer.

These transactions and activities include the export, re-export, and provision of software, hardware, and other information technology-related goods and services; goods and services related to payroll, firm employment and administration, building utilities, building insurance, building maintenance, and building operation; and goods and services related to auditing, consulting, legal, investment banking, and other professional services.  The General License also authorizes U.S. persons to provide information necessary for the administrator’s inventory and report on Balboa Securities.  Payments, wages, benefits, compensation, and commissions in exchange for services incident to the above are also authorized. 

Any transaction or activity to finalize, close, or exchange assets or any other thing of value related to the sale, disposition, or transfer of Balboa Securities, Corp. that involves a U.S. person or is otherwise subject to U.S. jurisdiction is not authorized.  A separate license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control is required for such a transaction or activity.

A change or alleged change in ownership or control of an entity designated as an SDN shall not be the basis for removal of that entity from the SDN List unless, upon investigation by OFAC and submission of evidence by the entity, it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Director of OFAC that the transfer to a bona fide purchaser at arm's length, or other means of changing ownership or control is legitimate and that the entity no longer meets the criteria for designation under 31 CFR § 598.314.  Evidence submitted must conclusively demonstrate that all ties with SDNs have been completely severed.  See 31 CFR § 598.408.  [08-19-16]


478. What transactions and activities does General License 7 (Authorizing Certain Transactions and Activities Related to Importadora Maduro, S.A., Maduro Internacional, S.A., and Lindo & Maduro, S.A.) authorize?

If you are a U.S. person, you are authorized to engage in all transactions and activities necessary to 1) maintain operations or 2) facilitate, negotiate, or agree to the sale, disposition, or transfer of Importadora Maduro, S.A.; Maduro Internacional, S.A.; and Lindo & Maduro, S.A. (referred to as "Felix Maduro Group").

These authorized transactions and activities include: 1) the order and shipment of goods to be delivered to or for Felix Maduro Group; 2) the payment for goods and services to, by, at, or from Felix Maduro Group; 3) the provision of goods and services related to the operations of Felix Maduro Group, including support services such as accounting, human resources, and information technology; 4) the payment of wages, salaries, and other remuneration to employees of Felix Maduro Group; 5) the provision of goods and services related to facilitating the sale, disposition, or transfer of Felix Maduro Group, including legal, auditing, consulting, investment banking, and advisory services.

Any transaction or activity to finalize, close, or exchange assets or any other thing of value related to the sale, disposition, or transfer of Felix Maduro Group that involves a U.S. person or is otherwise subject to U.S. jurisdiction is not authorized. A separate license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control is required for such a transaction or activity.

Note: A change or alleged change in ownership or control of an entity designated as an SDN shall not be the basis for removal of that entity from the SDN List unless, upon investigation by OFAC and submission of evidence by the entity, it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Director of OFAC that the transfer to a bona fide purchaser at arm's length, or other means of changing ownership or control, is legitimate and that the entity no longer meets the criteria for designation under 31 CFR § 598.314. Evidence submitted must conclusively demonstrate that all ties with SDNs have been completely severed. See 31 CFR § 598.408. [06-14-16]


479. How do the restrictions in General License 4C (Authorizing Certain Transactions Involving Individuals or Entities Located in the Panamanian Mall and Associated Complex, Soho Panama, S.A. (a.k.a. Soho Mall Panama)) apply to General License 7 (Authorizing Certain Transactions and Activities Related to Importadora Maduro, S.A., Maduro Internacional, S.A., and Lindo & Maduro, S.A.)? 

Importadora Maduro, S.A., Maduro Internacional, S.A., and Lindo & Maduro, S.A. (referred to as "Felix Maduro Group") are authorized to engage in all transactions and activities as outlined in General License 7; however, any stores of the Felix Maduro Group located in the Panamanian mall and associated complex are subject to the provisions of General License 4C. [07-01-16]


 

Cuba Sanctions

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Overview of the changes that have been made to the Cuba Sanctions program as a result of the President's announcement on December 17, 2014

 

For information regarding changes to the Cuba Sanctions Program, please see the following document.


 

Cyber-related Sanctions: Blocking the Property of Certain Persons Engaging in Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities (Executive Order 13694)

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444. How will Treasury decide whom to sanction under this authority?

Executive Order (E.O.) 13694 focuses on specific harms caused by significant malicious cyber-enabled activities, and directs the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of State, to impose sanctions on those persons he determines to be responsible for or complicit in activities leading to such harms. Acting pursuant to delegated authority, Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) will work in coordination with other U.S. government agencies to identify individuals and entities whose conduct meets the criteria set forth in E.O. 13694 and designate them for sanctions. Persons designated under this authority will be added to OFAC’s list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List).

E.O. 13694 is intended to address situations where, for jurisdictional or other issues, certain significant malicious cyber actors may be beyond the reach of other authorities available to the U.S. government. [4-1-2015]


445. What are my immediate compliance obligations with respect to Executive Order (E.O.) 13694?

Because E.O. 13694 was issued without an initial set of designations, there are no specific steps that U.S. persons need to take right now in order to comply with this particular E.O. [4-1-2015]


446. What will my compliance obligations be, once Treasury designates individuals or entities pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13694?

Once Treasury has made designations pursuant to this authority, U.S. persons (and persons otherwise subject to OFAC jurisdiction) must ensure that they are not engaging in trade or other transactions with persons named on OFAC’s SDN List pursuant to E.O. 13694 or any entity owned by such persons.

As a general matter, U.S. persons, including firms that facilitate or engage in online commerce, are responsible for ensuring that they do not engage in unauthorized transactions or dealings with persons named on any of OFAC’s sanctions lists or operate in jurisdictions targeted by comprehensive sanctions programs. Such persons, including technology companies, should develop a tailored, risk-based compliance program, which may include sanctions list screening or other appropriate measures. An adequate compliance solution will depend on a variety of factors, including the type of business involved, and there is no single compliance program or solution suitable for every circumstance.

The names of, and identifying information for, all individuals and entities included on OFAC’s sanctions lists may be located via OFAC’s free, online search engine at the following URL: http://sdnsearch.ofac.treas.gov. In addition, OFAC offers text and PDF versions of these lists for manual review and a number of data file versions of its lists that are designed to facilitate automated screening. Depending on the scale, sophistication, and risk profile of your business, you may consider one of the numerous commercially available screening software packages. [4-1-2015]


447. What will significant malicious “cyber-enabled” activities mean for the purposes of Executive Order (E.O.) 13694?

We anticipate that regulations to be promulgated will define “cyber-enabled” activities to include any act that is primarily accomplished through or facilitated by computers or other electronic devices. For purposes of E.O. 13694, malicious cyber-enabled activities include deliberate activities accomplished through unauthorized access to a computer system, including by remote access; circumventing one or more protection measures, including by bypassing a firewall; or compromising the security of hardware or software in the supply chain. These activities are often the means through which the specific harms enumerated in the E.O. are achieved, including compromise to critical infrastructure, denial of service attacks, or massive loss of sensitive information, such as trade secrets and personal financial information.

E.O. 13694 is tailored to address cyber-enabled activities that are reasonably likely to result in, or have materially contributed to, a significant threat to the national security, foreign policy, or economic health or financial stability of the United States. As this language indicates, it is intended to counter the most significant cyber threats that we face, whether they target our critical infrastructure, our companies, our citizens, or our economic health or financial stability. [4-1-2015]


448. I conduct cyber-related activities for legitimate educational, network defense, or research purposes only. Am I vulnerable to the application of sanctions under this authority for these activities?

The measures in this order are directed against significant malicious cyber-enabled activities that have the purpose or effect of causing specific enumerated harms, and are not designed to prevent or interfere with legitimate cyber-enabled academic, business, or non-profit activities. The U.S. government supports efforts by researchers, cybersecurity experts, and network defense specialists to identify, respond to, and repair vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malicious actors.

Similarly, these measures are not intended to target persons engaged in legitimate activities to ensure and promote the security of information systems, such as penetration testing and other methodologies, or to prevent or interfere with legitimate cyber-enabled activities undertaken to further academic research or commercial innovation as part of computer security-oriented conventions, competitions, or similar “good faith” events. [4-1-2015]


449. I administer a network for my employer and I regularly deny access to certain services and systems (e.g., retail websites, social media platforms) in order to ensure the performance of the network for authorized business activities. Could I or my employer be sanctioned for this?

The measures in this order are designed to address the threat posed by individuals and entities engaged in significant malicious cyber-enabled activities that have the purpose or effect of causing specific enumerated harms. These measures are not designed to prevent or interfere with legitimate network defense or maintenance activities performed by computer security experts and companies as part of the normal course of business on their own systems, or systems they are otherwise authorized to manage. [4-1-2015]


450. Will Treasury impose sanctions on persons whose personal computers (or other networked electronic devices) are, without their knowledge or consent, used in malicious cyber-enabled activities (e.g., in denial-of-service attacks against U.S. financial institutions)?

No. These sanctions are designed to target those actors whose malicious cyber-enabled conduct is reasonably likely to result in, or have materially contributed to, a significant threat to the national security, foreign policy, or economic health or financial stability of the United States. These measures are not intended to target victims of such activities, including the unwitting owners of compromised computers.

For more information about best practices for securing home networks and engaging in responsible online behavior, visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website at OnGuardOnline.gov. [4-1-2015]


451. How do financial sanctions relate to existing legal authorities in this context?

The United States’ whole-of-government strategy to combat cyber threats draws from a broad range of tools and authorities to respond to the growing and evolving threat posed by malicious cyber actors. Similar to our approach to global threats from terrorists, narcotics traffickers, and transnational criminal organizations, we will use financial sanctions in the fight against malicious cyber actors as a complement to existing tools, including diplomatic outreach and law enforcement authorities. [4-1-2015]


452. Are these sanctions consistent with international obligations?

As with all financial sanctions programs Treasury administers, these measures will be implemented in accordance with domestic law and our international obligations. [4-1-2015]

 


Compliance for Internet and Web-based Activities

 

For additional information regarding OFAC compliance on the Internet, please see the following topic.


 

Somalia Sanctions: Private Relief Efforts

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129. Can I make a private donation to a charity that is delivering humanitarian assistance in Somalia?

Yes. Please visit USAID’s website for more information about how you can help. [08-04-2011]


130. Can my organization provide humanitarian assistance in Somalia?

Yes, non-governmental organizations may provide humanitarian assistance in Somalia without the need for a license from OFAC. Organizations considering entering Somali territory to conduct assistance operations should be aware that areas of Somalia are extremely unstable and dangerous, and should review the State Department’s Travel Warning for Somalia. Among the most powerful armed groups operating in Somalia is al-Shabaab, a Specially Designated Global Terrorist and a Foreign Terrorist Organization under U.S. law. U.S. persons should exercise caution not to provide funds or material support to this organization or other designated groups. [08-04-2011]


131. What if, in delivering humanitarian assistance, my organization unintentionally provides food or medicine to members of al-Shabaab?

Due to the dangerous and highly unstable environment combined with urgent humanitarian needs in south and central Somalia, some food and/or medicine delivered in these areas may end up in the hands of al-Shabaab members. Such incidental benefits are not a focus for OFAC sanctions enforcement. [08-04-2011]


132. What if, in delivering humanitarian assistance, my organization unintentionally provides cash to members of al-Shabaab?

U.S. persons should be extremely cautious in making cash payments in areas under the control of al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab has, in the past, demanded “taxes” and “access” payments from assistance organizations. To the extent that such a payment is made unintentionally by an organization in the conduct of its assistance activities, where the organization did not have reason to know that it was dealing with al-Shabaab, that activity would not be a focus for OFAC sanctions enforcement. To the extent that an organization is facing demands for large or repeated payments in al-Shabaab-controlled areas, it should consult with OFAC prior to proceeding with its operations. [08-04-2011]


133. I have heard that certain U.S. humanitarian assistance organizations are exempted from the prohibition on making certain cash payments to al-Shabaab. Is that correct?

Under the current extreme circumstances on the ground, the Department of State and USAID and their contractors and grantees are authorized to engage in certain transactions in the conduct of their official assistance activities in Somalia, under rigorous controls aimed at preventing diversion of assistance or cash payments to designated parties.

Humanitarian assistance organizations that wish to apply for a contract or grant with the State Department or USAID should visit USAID’s website. [08-04-2011]


134. I have family members or friends in Somalia and would like to send remittances to them. Can I do that without violating OFAC sanctions?

Yes, you can send remittances to Somalia, as long as the transactions do not involve parties listed on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List.

For additional information on OFAC’s Somalia-related sanctions programs, visit here. To request additional information from OFAC, please call the OFAC hotline at (800) 540-6322 or (202) 622-2490. [08-04-2011]


 

Sudan and South Sudan-related Sanctions

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Sudan Personal Communications General License (31 C.F.R. § 538.533) (Print)

 

Effective February 18, 2015, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), in consultation with the Departments of State and Commerce, amended the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 538 (the “Regulations”), to issue an amended general license pertaining to certain software, hardware, and services incident to personal communications. Because OFAC and the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), share jurisdiction over certain exports and reexports to Sudan, BIS simultaneously has issued parallel amendments to the Export Administration Regulations, 15 C.F.R. parts 730-774 (EAR). Please see the BIS website for further information pertaining to the Department of Commerce changes. Most items that qualify for export or reexport to Sudan under OFAC’s amended general license, as set forth in 31 C.F.R. § 538.533, also qualify for export and reexport to Sudan under BIS’s revised License Exception CCD, published contemporaneously with OFAC’s amended general license. Therefore, in most cases, you do not need authorization from BIS for the export or reexport of items described in OFAC’s amended general license. Exporters should review both 31 C.F.R. § 538.533 and License Exception CCD to ensure compliance with applicable export license requirements. [2-17-2015]

 

423. What are the key changes made to section 538.533 of the Regulations?

Previously, section 538.533 of the Regulations authorized the exportation from the United States or by U.S. persons, wherever located, to persons in Sudan of certain services and software incident to the exchange of personal communications over the Internet, provided such services and software were publicly available at no cost to the user. Such software qualified for this authorization only if it was (1) designated “EAR 99” under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR); (2) not subject to the EAR; or (3) classified by the Department of Commerce as mass market software under export control classification number (ECCN) 5D992 of the EAR.

OFAC has amended § 538.533 in several ways. First, OFAC has removed a limitation that only authorized certain no-cost software and services incident to the exchange of personal communications. Section 538.533 now also authorizes the exportation of certain fee-based software and services incident to the exchange of personal communications. See 31 C.F.R. §§ 538.533 (a)(1) & (2). To avoid confusion with respect to the term “publicly available” as described in the EAR (15 C.F.R. § 734.3 (b)(3)), OFAC has also changed the terminology in § 538.533 from “publicly available” to “widely available to the public,” although the scope remains the same.

Second, OFAC has expanded the authorization in § 538.533 to permit the exportation, reexportation, or provision, directly or indirectly, to Sudan of certain additional personal communications software, hardware, and related services subject to the EAR. See 31 C.F.R. §§ 538.533(a)(1), (2), & (3). For purposes of § 538.533, the term “provision” includes, for example, an in-country transfer of covered software or hardware.

Third, OFAC has added new authorizations for the exportation, reexportation, or provision, directly or indirectly, by a U.S. person located outside the United States to Sudan of certain software and hardware not subject to the EAR. See 31 C.F.R. §§ 538.533(a)(2)(ii), (a)(2)(iii), (a)(3)(ii), & (a)(3)(iii). The general license now authorizes, for example, a foreign branch of a U.S. company to export to Sudan, from a location outside the United States, certain hardware or software that is not subject to the EAR (including foreign-origin hardware or software containing less than a de minimis amount of U.S. controlled content). See 15 C.F.R. § 734.4.

Fourth, a Note to § 538.533 (a)(2) and (a)(3) has been included to clarify that the authorization in those paragraphs includes the exportation, reexportation, or provision, directly or indirectly, of the authorized items by an individual leaving the United States for Sudan. Section 538.533 (a)(5) also adds a new authorization for the importation by an individual into the United States of certain hardware and software previously exported by the individual to Sudan pursuant to other provisions of 31 C.F.R. § 538.533. The general license now authorizes, for example, an individual to carry a smartphone that falls within the scope of the authorization while traveling to and from Sudan.

Finally, to further ensure that the sanctions on Sudan do not affect the willingness of companies to make available certain no-cost personal communications tools to persons in that country, § 538.533(a)(6) adds a new authorization that covers the exportation, reexportation, or provision to the Government of Sudan of certain no-cost services and software that are widely available to the public.

Because OFAC and BIS share jurisdiction over certain exports and reexports to Sudan, these changes have been made in coordination with BIS, which simultaneously has issued parallel amendments to the EAR. Please see the BIS website for further information pertaining to the Department of Commerce changes. Exporters must ensure compliance with all applicable export license requirements. [2-17-2015]


424. With respect to the authorizations in § 538.533 (a)(1) and (a)(2), what services and software are covered?

Qualifying services or software must be “incident to the exchange of personal communications over the Internet.” In addition, qualifying software under § 538.533(a)(2) must meet the stated export control-related criteria. Both paragraphs provide an illustrative but not exhaustive list of the types of services that are authorized: “instant messaging, chat and email, social networking, sharing of photos and movies, web browsing, and blogging.”

Qualifying services or software need not be specifically listed in Appendix B to § 538.533 in order to be authorized by §§ 538.533(a)(1) and (a)(2), provided that they otherwise meet the requirements of § 538.533(a)(1) or (a)(2). [2-17-2015]


425. With respect to the authorization in § 538.533 (a)(3), do exporters need to make a determination as to whether an export of an item or services listed in the Appendix is “incident to personal communications”?

No. Appendix B to § 538.533 lists software, hardware, and related services determined to be “incident to personal communications” for purposes of the authorization in § 538.533(a)(3).

Because OFAC and the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), share jurisdiction over certain exports and reexports to Sudan, these changes have been made in coordination with BIS, which simultaneously has issued parallel amendments to the Export Administration Regulations. Please see the BIS website for further information pertaining to the Department of Commerce changes. Exporters must ensure compliance with all applicable export license requirements. [2-17-2015]


426. What should I do if I am unsure whether an item or service is covered by § 538.533?

If you require assistance interpreting the authorizations contained in § 538.533 and how they apply to your situation, please contact OFAC’s Licensing Division online at http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Pages/licensing.aspx, by phone at 202-622-2480, or by email at ofac_feedback@treasury.gov. [2-17-2015]


427. May a non-U.S. person export, reexport, or provide to Sudan hardware and software that is subject to the EAR pursuant to § 538.533?

The Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), has jurisdiction over non-U.S. persons’ exportation and reexportation to Sudan of items subject to the EAR. Please consult BIS, www.bis.doc.gov, for guidance on such transactions. [2-17-2015]


428. Does § 538.533 authorize U.S. persons located outside the United States to export or reexport to Sudan certain specified hardware or software that is not subject to the EAR?

Yes. Sections 538.533(a)(2)(ii) and (a)(3) authorize the exportation, reexportation, or provision to Sudan by U.S. persons located outside of the United States of certain specified hardware and software items that are not subject to the EAR. For example, an overseas branch of a U.S. company may export to Sudan, from a location outside of the United States, certain hardware or software that is not subject to the EAR (including foreign-origin hardware or software containing less than a de minimis amount of U.S. controlled content) if the hardware or software is within the scope of the authorization in § 538.533. Section 538.533 also authorizes the exportation, reexportation, or provision of certain fee-based software that is not subject to the EAR because it is described in § 734.3(b) of the EAR. Section 734.3(b)(3) of the EAR describes “publicly available” software for purposes of those regulations. [2-17-2015]


429. Does § 538.533 authorize the exportation to Sudan and importation into the United States of personal communication devices by persons traveling from the United States to Sudan and back to the United States?

Yes. Section 538.533 authorizes both the exportation, reexportation, or provision to Sudan and the importation into the United States by an individual entering the United States directly or indirectly from Sudan, of hardware and software authorized by §§ 538.533(a)(2) and (a)(3), provided that the items were previously exported, reexported, or provided by the individual to Sudan. [2-17-2015]


430. Does § 538.533 authorize the exportation, reexportation, or provision of certain services and software to blocked persons other than the Government of Sudan?

No. To further ensure that the sanctions on Sudan do not have an unintended effect on the willingness of companies to make available certain no-cost personal communications tools that are widely available to the public to persons in Sudan, pursuant to § 538.533(a)(6), the exportation, reexportation, or provision to the Government of Sudan of certain no-cost services and software that are widely available to the public described in § 538.533(a)(1) or categories (6) through (11) of the Appendix is authorized. However, U.S. persons continue generally to be prohibited from exporting, reexporting, or otherwise providing goods and services to persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to any part of 31 C.F.R. chapter V, other than Government of Sudan end-users whose property and interests in property are blocked solely pursuant to Executive Order 13067 and Executive Order 13412. See § 538.533(b)(2). Prohibited end-users include Sudanese persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to OFAC authorities relating to WMD proliferation, terrorism, and human rights abuses. In addition, § 538.533 does not authorize any action or activity involving any item (including information) subject to the EAR that is prohibited by, or otherwise requires a license under, part 744 of the EAR or participation in any transaction involving a person whose export privileges have been denied pursuant to part 764 or 766 of the EAR, without authorization from the Department of Commerce. [2-17-2015]


431. How can U.S. companies arrange for payment from Sudan for exports authorized under § 538.533?

In general, any transaction ordinarily incident to a licensed transaction and necessary to give effect thereto is also authorized. See 31 C.F.R. § 538.405. This includes the processing of funds transfers necessary to facilitate exports authorized under § 538.533, provided that such payments do not involve a debit to a blocked account or a transfer of blocked property. [2-17-2015]


432. What kind of due diligence is required for the exportation of fee-based services, software, or hardware authorized by § 538.533?

Due diligence programs should be tailored to the particular risks encountered by exporters. As a general matter, companies selling fee-based services, software, or hardware authorized by § 538.533 should undertake reasonable, risk-based measures designed to ensure that they do not export their products to persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to any sanctions program administered by OFAC, regardless of whether the Government of Sudan or any other end-user appears on OFAC’s list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons. [2-17-2015]


433. May U.S. persons employ agents in Sudan to facilitate sales, create or fund a physical sales presence on the ground in Sudan, or utilize Sudanese commercial marketing services in furtherance of exports authorized under § 538.533?

No. Section 538.533 does not authorize the employment of persons in Sudan to facilitate sales, the maintenance of a physical sales presence in Sudan, or the utilization of Sudanese marketing services. However, certain copy-ready advertising materials are exempt from the prohibitions of the Regulations to the extent they qualify as information or informational materials pursuant to 31 C.F.R. § 538.212(c). [2-17-2015]

 


Specific Software, Hardware, and Services Covered by General License D-1 for Iran and 31 CFR § 538.533 for Sudan (the "Personal Communications General Licenses") (Print)

 

434. Are all applications designed to run on mobile operating systems (“apps”) covered by the Personal Communications GLs?

The exportation to Iran and Sudan of apps that are designated EAR99 or classified under export control classification number (ECCN) 5D992.c, as specified in category (8) of the Annex to GL D-1 and in Appendix A to § 538.533, respectively, is authorized under the Personal Communications GLs, including apps downloaded via online app stores. [2-17-2015]


435. Is the exportation of anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-tracking, and anti-censorship software authorized?

Yes. Paragraphs (a)(3) of GL D-1 and § 538.533 authorize the exportation of certain anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-tracking, and anti-censorship software, as specified in categories (6), (7), and (9) of the Annex to GL D-1 and Appendix A to § 538.533, respectively. [2-17-2015]


436. What do Secure Socket Layers (SSLs), listed in the Annex to GL D-1 and in Appendix A to § 538.533, encompass?

SSLs, as described in category (11) of the Annex to GL D-1 and Appendix A to § 538.533, respectively, encompass “provisioning and verification software for Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates designated EAR99 or classified under ECCN 5D992.c, and services necessary for the operation of such software.” Additional provisioning and verification software not subject to the EAR may be included under the Personal Communications GLs’ authorization for, in relevant part, software not subject to the EAR that is exported or reexported, directly or indirectly, by a U.S. person located outside the United States, that is of a type described in the Annex to GL D-1 and Appendix A to § 538.533, respectively, provided that it would be eligible for classification under an ECCN listed in the Annex or Appendix (here, ECCN 5D992.c), or designated as EAR99, if it were subject to the EAR. [2-17-2015]


437. Are mobile phone accessories and computer accessories and peripherals authorized for export under the Personal Communications GLs?

Yes. Accessories for use in conjunction with hardware specified in categories (1) and (5) of the Annex to GL D-1 and Appendix A to § 538.533, respectively, and peripherals for use in conjunction with hardware specified in category (5) of the same are authorized for export to Iran and Sudan under the Personal Communications GLs. Authorized accessories for mobile phones include headsets, cases, holsters, mounts, chargers, docks, display protectors, cables, adapters, and batteries. Authorized accessories for computers include keyboards and mice; authorized peripherals for computers include consumer disk drives and other data storage devices. As set forth in a note to the Annex to GL D-1 and Appendix A to § 538.533, respectively, for the purposes of the Annex and Appendix, the term “consumer” refers to items that are: (1) generally available to the public by being sold, without restriction, from stock at retail selling points by means of any of the following: (a) over-the-counter transactions; (b) mail order transactions; (c) electronic transactions; or (d) telephone call transactions; and (2) designed for installation by the user without further substantial support by the supplier. [2-17-2015]


438. Is the exportation of parts or components for authorized hardware, such as microprocessors, authorized under the Personal Communications GLs?

No. While the exportation of certain accessories and peripherals specified in categories (1) and (5) of the Annex to GL D-1 and Appendix A to § 538.533, respectively, is authorized under paragraphs (a)(3) of the Personal Communications GLs, the exportation of hardware parts or components is not. Requests for specific licenses to export parts or components, including replacement parts, will be considered on a case-by-case basis. [2-17-2015]


439. Do the Personal Communications GLs authorize the export of bundled software that includes both software authorized by the Personal Communications GLs and software that is not authorized by the Personal Communications GLs?

No. To qualify for the Personal Communications GLs, all individual software items in a bundled package must fall within one of the Personal Communications GL authorizations. If some software in a bundled package is authorized by the Personal Communications GLs, but other software is not, the portion of the software falling outside the authorizations in the Personal Communications GLs would need to be otherwise exempt or authorized or would require a specific license for export. For example, a bundle of software that included exclusively software authorized by GL D-1 and by 31 CFR § 560.540 could be exported. [2-17-2015]


440. Do the Personal Communications GLs authorize the exportation to Iran and Sudan of fee-based desktop publishing software and productivity software suites used to publish documents, presentations, spreadsheets, charts, music, movies, and digital images?

Yes. Fee-based desktop publishing software and productivity software suites have been determined to fall within the scope of fee-based software necessary to enable services incident to the exchange of personal communications as described in paragraphs (a)(2) of the Personal Communications GLs, provided that the software meets the additional criteria in those paragraphs (e.g., for software subject to the EAR, the software is designated EAR99 or is classified by the U.S. Department of Commerce on the Commerce Control List, 15 CFR part 774, supplement No. 1 (“CCL”) under ECCN 5D992.c). By contrast, enterprise management software has been determined not to fall within the scope of fee-based software necessary to enable services incident to the exchange of personal communications as described in paragraphs (a)(2) of the Personal Communications GLs. [2-17-2015]


441. Do the Personal Communications GLs authorize the exportation of fee-based cloud computing services to Iran and Sudan

Yes. Paragraphs (a)(1) of the Personal Communications GLs authorize the exportation to Iran and Sudan of fee-based cloud computing services incident to the exchange of personal communications over the Internet. In addition, paragraphs (a)(2)(i) and (a)(3) authorize software necessary to enable such services, provided that such software is designated EAR99 or classified by the U.S. Department of Commerce on the CCL under ECCN 5D992.c or, in the case of software that is not subject to the EAR, would be designated EAR99 if it were located in the United States or would meet the criteria for classification under ECCN 5D992.c if it were subject to the EAR. [2-17-2015]


442. For purposes of category (5) of the Annex to GL D-1 and Appendix A to § 538.533, respectively, what would be considered “software required for effective consumer use” of personal computing devices, laptops, and tablets?

“Software required for effective consumer use” consists of software essential to the operation of the hardware listed in category (5) of the Annex to GL D-1 and Appendix A to § 538.533, respectively, including, for example, drivers and patches. Operating systems are separately authorized in category (5) of the Annex to GL D-1 and Appendix A to § 538.533. [2-17-2015]


443. What are “residential consumer” satellite terminals and transceiver equipment?

Satellite terminals and other equipment listed in category (4) of the Annex to GL D-1 and Appendix A to § 538.533, respectively, shall be deemed “residential consumer” if the equipment is designated EAR99 or classified under ECCN 5A992.c, 5A991.b.2, or 5A991.b.4 or, in the case of equipment that is not subject to the EAR, would be designated EAR99 if it were located in the United States or would meet the criteria for classification under ECCN 5A992.c, 5A991.b.2, or 5A991.b.4 if it were subject to the EAR. [2-17-2015]

 


Oil-Related Activities in South Sudan (Print)

 

143. Can I export equipment for use in South Sudan’s oil sector?

Yes. Such exports, if prohibited by the SSR, are authorized by the new GL for activities relating to the Republic of South Sudan’s petroleum or petrochemical industries. That GL authorizes exports to the oil sector in the Republic of South Sudan that otherwise would be prohibited, whether because they relate to the petroleum or petrochemical industries in Sudan or involve dealing in Government of Sudan (GOS) property or are transshipped through Sudan. Certain types of equipment, such as dual use items, are also subject to Commerce Department licensing requirements. For more information about those requirements, contact the Foreign Policy Division of the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) at 202-482-4252, or visit www.bis.doc.gov. [12-08-11]


144. Can I transship equipment through Sudan to use in South Sudan?

Yes. The transshipment of equipment, whether oil-related or not, through Sudan to or from South Sudan is now authorized. [12-08-11]


145. Do I need any additional authorization from OFAC to engage in particular activities related to South Sudan’s oil sector, such as paying pipeline or port fees?

No. To the extent that they are prohibited by the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations, all activities and transactions relating to the petroleum and petrochemical industries in the Republic of South Sudan are authorized, including but not limited to the transshipment of goods, technology, and services to or from the Republic of South Sudan through Sudan; exploration; development; production; field auditing services; oilfield services; activities related to oil and gas pipelines; investment; payment to the Government of Sudan or to entities owned or controlled by the Government of Sudan of pipeline, port, and other fees; and downstream activities such as refining, sale, and transport of petroleum from the Republic of South Sudan, except for the refining in Sudan of petroleum from the Republic of South Sudan. [12-08-11]


146. Can I participate in the refining of Southern Sudanese crude oil in refineries located in Sudan?

No. Refining in Sudan of petroleum from the Republic of South Sudan continues to be prohibited. [12-08-11]


147. Does this mean I can do business in Sudan’s oil sector now?

No. All activities and transactions relating to the petroleum and petrochemical industries in Sudan continue to be prohibited, unless otherwise authorized. [12-08-11]


148. Can I use a bank that is owned by the Government of Sudan to facilitate a payment for oil-related activities in South Sudan?

All financial transactions ordinarily incident to the activities authorized by both the oil and the transshipment general licenses also are authorized, including but not limited to financial transactions with a depository institution owned or controlled by the Government of Sudan (GOS) or located in Sudan, provided that any transaction between a U.S. depository institution and a depository institution owned or controlled by the GOS must first transit through a depository institution that is not owned or controlled by the GOS. [12-08-11]

 


Central Bank of South Sudan (Print)

 

142. Is the new Bank of South Sudan still considered to be part of or linked to the Central Bank of Sudan or the Government of Sudan?

No. Since the independence of the new Republic of South Sudan on July 9, 2011, the former Bank of Southern Sudan, sometimes referred to as the Bank of South Sudan, has been established as the new central bank of the Republic of South Sudan. It is no longer a subsidiary of or linked to the Bank of Sudan, and no longer considered to be the Government of Sudan under the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 538. U.S. persons may deal in property and interests in property of the Bank of South Sudan so long as those dealings do not otherwise violate the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations or other U.S. laws. [07-09-11]

 


Academic and Professional Exchanges in Sudan (Sudan General License 1A) (Print)

 

397. What are the changes made by Sudan General License No. 1A?

On April 15, 2013, OFAC issued General License 1 authorizing certain academic and professional exchange activities between the United States and Sudan, which are otherwise prohibited by the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations (31 C.F.R. Part 538).

On August 11, 2014, OFAC issued amended Sudan General License No. 1A ("GL 1A"). These amendments modify the scope of the authorizations as follows:

  1. GL 1A expands the definition of "U.S. academic institutions" to include their third-country branch campuses, and the authorizations for U.S. academic institutions as defined now include their contractors.
  2. GL 1A authorizes U.S. academic institutions to engage in activities involving Sudanese nationals that are necessary for such nationals to apply to U.S. academic institutions and for authorized professional training seminars. Such activities may include accepting payments for tuition, admission application fees, and document certification or warehousing fees. U.S. academic institutions located in the United States may engage in transactions with Sudanese nationals authorized by this general license before a non-immigrant student visa is issued to such nationals.
  3. GL 1A also authorizes U.S. financial institutions to process transfers of funds by Sudanese nationals to pay fees and expenses (including tuition, living expenses, and enrollment fees) to enable Sudanese nationals to participate in authorized academic exchange programs (in the United States or at a third-country branch campus) or authorized professional training seminars.
[08-11-2014]

 


Executive Order 13664, "Blocking Property of Certain Persons with Respect to South Sudan" (Print)

 

368. Are humanitarian aid groups prohibited from making payments to or otherwise transacting with non-designated individuals or entities in South Sudan, including militias and armed groups under the command or control of a designated individual?

An entity in South Sudan that is commanded or controlled by an individual designated under Executive Order 13664 is not considered blocked by operation of law. Payments, including “taxes” or “access payments,” made to non-designated individuals or entities under the command or control of an individual designated under E.O. 13664 do not, in and of themselves, constitute prohibited activity. U.S. persons should employ due diligence, however, to ensure that an SDN is not, for example, profiting from such transactions. [06-02-2014]

 


Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Registration Numbers for Activities in Sudan (Print)

 

57. How do I get a Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) registration number?

Pursuant to 31 CFR §538.521 (Sudan), registration numbers may be issued on a case-by-case basis to nongovernmental organizations involved in humanitarian or religious activities in Sudan, authorizing transactions by such organizations that would otherwise be prohibited under the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR Part 538, including the exportation of services, goods, software, or technology to Sudan and the transfer of funds to and from Sudan for the purpose of relieving human suffering. Specific guidelines for NGO registration can be found on OFAC's website on OFAC's Sudan page under "Guidance on Licensing Policies." This document outlines the necessary steps for becoming a registered NGO. These guidelines can also be found in 31 CFR §501.801(c). Providing all of the required information will help to expedite the registration process. [03-19-2015]

 


Licenses Authorizing Exports of Agricultural Commodities, Medicine, and Medical Devices

 

For information regarding licenses authorizing exports of agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical devices to Iran and Sudan pursuant to the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (TSRA), please see the following topic.


 

Syria Sanctions

Print this topic

The United States government is working with the international community to provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people while applying comprehensive sanctions against the Government of Syria and targeted sanctions on key individuals and entities supporting the Assad regime, in order to continue pressuring the Syrian government to stop its human rights abuses and other illicit activities. The following frequently asked questions provide an overview of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Syria sanctions program and guidance to the public on sending remittances, goods and services, and charitable assistance to Syria.

For additional Treasury guidance on protecting charitable donations from abuse, please view this document or visit this website. Additional questions may be directed to Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) hotline at (800) 540-6322 or (202) 622-2490.

 

225. Why does the United States have sanctions against Syria and what does that mean for me?

The United States has sanctioned the Syrian government, including the Central Bank of Syria, senior Syrian government officials, and individuals and entities supporting the Assad regime and/or responsible for human rights abuses in Syria, in order to reinforce the President’s call that Bashar al-Assad step down and to disrupt the Assad regime’s ability to finance its campaign of violence against the Syrian people. In addition, Treasury has sanctioned the Commercial Bank of Syria and a number of other entities under Executive Order 13382, an authority that targets proliferators of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their supporters. Over the years Treasury has applied a broad range of sanctions using several different authorities and Executive orders (E.O.s), including counter-terrorism (E.O. 13224), human rights abuses (E.O. 13572), and non-proliferation (E.O. 13382). The United States has also prohibited the exportation of services to Syria, and there have long been legal restrictions on what goods U.S. persons can export to Syria.

These sanctions mean that U.S. persons are not permitted to do business with individuals or entities on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List), or with any entity 50 percent or more owned by an Specially Designated National (SDN), unless exempt or authorized by OFAC through a general or specific license.


226. How can I help the Syrian people while making sure to abide by the U.S. sanctions?

Recognizing that the Syrian people need many critical services and goods, OFAC has issued several general licenses that, among other things, allow all U.S. persons to send non-commercial, personal remittances to Syrian persons without needing to apply to OFAC for a separate or specific license. Moreover, U.S. persons may donate humanitarian goods like food and medicine to people in Syria, as long as such donations are consistent with Commerce and OFAC regulations.

Finally, OFAC has also issued a general license to allow nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to engage in not-for-profit activities in Syria in support of humanitarian projects, democracy-building, education, and non-commercial development projects directly benefitting the Syrian people. Copies of all OFAC general licenses issued for Syria can be found here. For any activities that fall outside of these general licenses, specific authorization from OFAC would be required, unless the transactions fall within a small category that are exempt from regulation by statute.

As mentioned above, one of the goals of the U.S. sanctions on Syria is to reinforce the President’s call for Bashar al-Assad to step down and to disrupt the Assad regime’s ability to finance its campaign of violence against the Syrian people. OFAC can issue a specific license to authorize particular transactions that may otherwise be prohibited by the sanctions, as long as those transactions are in the foreign policy interests of the United States. For example, specific licenses may be issued on a case-by case basis to authorize charitable donations of funds that would otherwise be prohibited by the Syrian sanctions regime.


229. Do I need a specific license from OFAC to send U.S.-origin food or medicine to Syria?

No. You may send U.S.-origin food or medicine to Syria without a specific license from OFAC. The Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”), which maintains jurisdiction over the export of most items to Syria, does not require a license for the export of U.S.-origin food and most medicine to Syria. For further guidance regarding the exportation of items to Syria, including a list of such items, please review the BIS Syria Web page, or contact BIS by phone at (202) 482-4252.


230. Can I give donations to NGOs to help the Syrian people?

Yes. U.S. persons can give a charitable donation to U.S. or third-country NGOs, but U.S. persons cannot send such a donation directly to Syria or a Syrian entity without a specific license in order to try to protect the donations from being misused. U.S. depository institutions, including banks, and U.S.-registered money transmitters, are allowed to process transfers of funds to or from Syria on behalf of U.S. NGOs and third-country NGOs in support of the not-for-profit activities described in OFAC General License No. 11.*

These not-for-profit activities include: (1) activities to support humanitarian projects to meet basic human needs in Syria, including drought relief, assistance to refugees, internally displaced persons, and conflict victims, food and medicine distribution, and the provision of health services; (2) activities to support democracy building in Syria, including rule of law, citizen participation, government accountability, and civil society development projects; (3) activities to support education in Syria, including combating illiteracy, increasing access to education, and assisting education reform projects; and (4) activities to support non-commercial development projects directly benefiting the Syrian people, including preventing infectious disease and promoting maternal/child health, sustainable agriculture, and clean water assistance.

General License No. 11 does not authorize transactions with the Government of Syria or other blocked persons, except for limited transactions with the Government of Syria that are necessary for the above-described not-for-profit activities, such as payment of taxes and other fees.

*For guidance on specific questions with respect to charitable donations, NGOs, and the scope of General License No. 11, please reach out to OFAC. Contact information may be found here.


231. Can U.S. NGOs deliver humanitarian assistance directly to Syria?

Yes. U.S. NGOs may provide services to Syria in support of humanitarian projects in Syria without the need for a specific license from OFAC because this activity is covered under OFAC General License No. 11. However, other U.S. government authorities, including the BIS export requirements, may apply to the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Syria. For further guidance, please review the BIS Syria Web page or contact BIS or contact BIS by phone at (202) 482-4252.

NGOs considering entering Syria to conduct assistance operations should be aware that areas of Syria are extremely unstable and dangerous, and should review the State Department’s Travel Warning for Syria http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/syria-travel-warning.html.

U.S. persons should exercise caution not to engage in prohibited transactions with the Syrian Government or any individual or entity on OFAC’s SDN list.


135. Are travel-related transactions permissible under the new Syria Executive order 13582?

Yes. The new Syria Executive order, Executive Order 13582, does not prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in transactions ordinarily incident to travel to or from any country, including importation of accompanied baggage for personal use, maintenance within any country including payment of living expenses and acquisition of goods or services for personal use, and arrangement or facilitation or such travel including nonscheduled air, sea, or land voyages. [08-17-11]

 


Syria General License No. 4: Exports or reexports to Syria of items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (Print)

 

136. What does the term "items" cover, and what is meant by items subject to the Export Administration Regulations?

For the purposes of OFAC Syria General License No. 4A, "items subject to the EAR" is defined at § 734.3 of the Export Administration Regulations ("EAR"), 15 C.F.R. Parts 730-774.The EAR are administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security ("BIS"). Note that BIS maintains authority to license exports and reexports to persons in Syria whose property and interests have been blocked pursuant to Executive Order 13606 (the “GHRAVITY E.O.”). For further guidance regarding the exportation or reexportation of items to Syria, please consult the EAR. You may also wish to review the BIS Syria Web page or contact BIS by phone at (202) 482-4252. [06-22-12]


137. Regarding OFAC Syria General License No. 4A, will I need a specific license from OFAC to export or reexport food or medicine to the Government of Syria?

The export or reexport of food or medicine that is subject to the EAR to the Government of Syria, other than medicine on the Commerce Control List that has not been licensed by BIS for export or reexport to Syria, does not require a specific license from OFAC.

As set forth in the EAR, which implements the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003 ("SAA") and Executive Order 13338 of May 11, 2004, BIS does not require a license for the export or reexport of "EAR99" food and medicine; accordingly, EAR99 food and medicine can be exported or reexported to the Government of Syria on a "NLR" ("No License Required") basis, under the regulations administered by BIS.

Additionally, as set forth in the EAR, a BIS license is required for the export or reexport of medicine that is on the Commerce Control List ("CCL medicine"). If BIS has licensed the export or reexport of CCL medicine to the Government of Syria, no specific OFAC license is required. [06-22-12]


138. Does General License No. 4A authorize U.S. persons to export or reexport from a third country to Syria or the Government of Syria a foreign-made item with either no U.S. content or de minimis U.S. content?

General License No. 4A only applies to items that are subject to the EAR, as set forth in 15 C.F.R. § 734.3. If a foreign-made item located abroad is not subject to the EAR based on the regulations administered by BIS, the exportation or reexportation of such items by U.S. persons to the Government Syria and the reexportation of services incident to an exportation of such items to Syria are not authorized by General License No. 4A. Because Executive Order 13582 generally prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with the Government of Syria and separately prohibits the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, by a United States person, wherever located, of any services to Syria, such transactions remain prohibited. [06-22-12]

 


Syria General License No. 6 (Print)

 

227. May I continue to send money to family or friends in Syria?

Yes. OFAC General License No. 6 authorizes U.S. depository institutions, including banks, and U.S.-registered money transmitters, to process non-commercial, personal remittances to or from Syria, or for or on behalf of an individual ordinarily resident in Syria, provided the funds transfer is not by, to, or through the Government of Syria or any other person designated or otherwise blocked by OFAC. Such transactions do not require further authorization from OFAC. If banks or other institutions have questions about processing remittances, they can contact OFAC’s Sanctions Compliance and Evaluation Division via the OFAC hotline at (800) 540-6322 or (202) 622-2490.


228. May I send personal remittances through the Commercial Bank of Syria, the Syrian-Lebanese Commercial Bank, or the Syria International Islamic Bank (SIIB) to family or friends in Syria?

No. General License No. 6 does not authorize any transactions involving individuals or entities designated under E.O. 13382, which targets proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their supporters, including the Commercial Bank of Syria, the Syrian Lebanese Commercial Bank, and the SIIB. On August 10, 2011, under Executive Order 13382, the Department of the Treasury designated the Commercial Bank of Syria for its involvement in proliferation activities, and also designated its subsidiary, the Syrian-Lebanese Commercial Bank. On May 30, 2012, the Department of the Treasury also designated the SIIB. Therefore, the use of these financial institutions is not authorized by General License No. 6.

 


Syria General License No. 11: Authorizing Services in Support of Nongovernmental Organizations’ Activities in Syria (Print)

 

205. Who is authorized to send money to support certain nongovernmental organizations’ activities?

U.S. depository institutions, U.S. registered brokers or dealers in securities, and U.S. registered money transmitters are authorized to process transfers of funds to or from Syria on behalf of U.S. and third-country nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), in support of the not-for-profit activities described in General License No. 11. These not-for-profit activities include: (1) activities to support humanitarian projects to meet basic human needs in Syria, including, but not limited to, drought relief, assistance to refugees, internally displaced persons, and conflict victims, food and medicine distribution, and the provision of health services; (2) activities to support democracy building in Syria, including, but not limited to, rule of law, citizen participation, government accountability, and civil society development projects; (3) activities to support education in Syria, including, but not limited to, combating illiteracy, increasing access to education, and assisting education reform projects; and (4) activities to support non-commercial development projects directly benefiting the Syrian people, including, but not limited to, preventing infectious disease and promoting maternal/child health, sustainable agriculture, and clean water assistance. Except for limited transactions with the Government of Syria, General License No. 11 does not authorize the transfer of funds to the Government of Syria or other blocked persons. [06-22-12]


206. As an individual, may I transfer funds directly to Syria in support of authorized NGO activities under General License No. 11?

No. Only U.S. depository institutions, U.S. registered brokers or dealers in securities, and U.S. registered money transmitters are authorized to process such transfers of funds, and only on behalf of U.S or third-country NGOs. Although individuals may not transfer funds directly to Syria in support of authorized NGO activities under General License No. 11, please note that, pursuant to General License No. 6, individuals may send noncommercial, personal remittances to individuals in Syria provided that, among other things, the Government of Syria is not involved. However, General License No. 6 provides that “noncommercial, personal remittances” do not include charitable donations of funds to or for the benefit of any entity or funds transfers for use in supporting or operating a business. Please see General License No. 6 for further details.

If you wish to donate funds in support of humanitarian work in Syria, you may do so by transferring funds to an NGO to support its work in Syria. If you wish to send a charitable donation directly to Syria, you must apply for specific authorization to transmit such funds. [06-22-12]


232. As an individual, can I send financial donations directly to Syria in support of charitable activities under General License No. 11?

No. Without a specific license, U.S. persons are not permitted to transfer financial donations directly to Syria or to NGOs in Syria. Therefore, if you wish to donate funds in support of humanitarian work in Syria, you may do so by giving funds to U.S. or third-country NGOs to support not-for-profit activities in Syria, per General License No. 11 and as described above.

If you still wish to send a charitable donation directly to Syria or to a Syrian NGO, you may apply to OFAC for specific authorization to transmit such funds. You should provide as much information as possible about how the funds would be transferred, the recipients, and the end use of the funds. Although General License No. 6 does not authorize charitable donations, as mentioned above non-commercial, personal remittances can be sent to Syria under GL No. 6.

 


Grave Human Rights Abuses by the Governments of Iran and Syria Via Information Technology (the “GHRAVITY E.O.”)

 

For information regarding the GHRAVITY E.O., please see the following topic.


 

 


Foreign Sanctions Evaders (FSEs) and Executive Order 13608 (Prohibiting Certain Transactions with and Suspending Entry into the United States of Foreign Sanctions Evaders with Respect to Iran and Syria)

 

For information regarding FSEs and Executive Order 13608, please see the following topic.


 

 

Ukraine-/Russia-related Sanctions (Sectoral Sanctions under Executive Order 13662)

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370. What do the prohibitions in Directives 1 and 2 mean? Are they blocking actions?

The sectoral sanctions imposed on specified persons operating in sectors of the Russian economy identified by the Secretary of Treasury were done under Executive Order 13662 through Directives issued by OFAC pursuant to its delegated authorities. Directive 1, issued on July 16, 2014, prohibits transacting in, providing financing for, or otherwise dealing in debt with a maturity of longer than 90 days or equity if that debt or equity is issued on or after the sanctions effective date ("new debt" or "new equity") by, on behalf of, or for the benefit of the persons operating in Russia’s financial sector named under Directive 1, their property, or their interests in property. On September 12, 2014, OFAC amended Directive 1, reducing the tenor of prohibited debt from longer than 90 days to longer than 30 days.

Directive 2 separately prohibits transacting in, providing financing for, or otherwise dealing in new debt of greater than 90 days maturity if that debt is issued on or after the sanctions effective date by, on behalf of, or for the benefit of the persons operating in Russia’s energy sector named under the Directive 2, their property, or their interests in property.

These actions pursuant to Directives 1 and 2 prohibit transactions by U.S. persons as defined in E.O. 13662, wherever they are located, and transactions within the United States. This action does not require U.S. persons to block the property or interests in property of the entities identified in the Directives, nor will persons identified in Directives 1 and 2 be added to the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List. U.S. persons should reject transactions or dealings that are prohibited by Directives 1 or 2, and to the extent required by Section 501.604 of the Reporting, Procedures and Penalties Regulations (31 C.F.R. part 501), U.S. persons must report to OFAC any rejected transactions within 10 business days. [9-12-2014]


371. What does OFAC interpret to be debt and equity? Are there other prohibited activities under Directives 1, 2, and 3? Can U.S. financial institutions continue to maintain correspondent accounts and process U.S. dollar-clearing transactions for the entities subject to these Directives?

The term debt includes bonds, loans, extensions of credit, loan guarantees, letters of credit, drafts, bankers acceptances, discount notes or bills, or commercial paper. The term equity includes stocks, share issuances, depositary receipts, or any other evidence of title or ownership.

The prohibitions in Directive 1 apply to all transactions involving new debt with a maturity of longer than 30 days or new equity; all financing in support of such new debt or new equity; and any dealing in, including provision of services in support of, such new debt or new equity.

The prohibitions in Directive 2 apply to all transactions involving new debt with a maturity of longer than 90 days; all financing in support of such new debt; and any dealing in, including provision of services in support of, such new debt.

The prohibitions in Directive 3 apply to all transactions involving new debt with a maturity of longer than 30 days; all financing in support of such new debt; and any dealing in, including provision of services in support of, such new debt.

All the prohibitions in these Directives extend to rollover of existing debt, if such rollover results in the creation of new debt with a maturity of longer than 30 days (for persons subject to Directives 1 or 3) or longer than 90 days (for persons subject to Directive 2).

Transacting in, providing financing for, or otherwise dealing in any debt or equity issued by, on behalf of, or for the benefit of persons subject to Directives 1, 2, or 3 is permissible, if the debt or equity was issued prior to the date on which the person was determined to be subject to the relevant Directive. In addition, transacting in, providing financing for, or otherwise dealing in debt instruments with maturities of 30 days or less (issued by, on behalf of, or for the benefit of persons subject to Directives 1 or 3) or 90 days or less (issued by, on behalf of, or for the benefit of persons subject to Directive 2), even if they are issued after the sanctions effective date, is permissible. Transacting in, providing financing for, or otherwise dealing in new equity instruments of persons subject to Directives 2 and 3 is permissible. U.S. financial institutions may continue to maintain correspondent accounts and process U.S. dollar-clearing transactions for the persons subject to the Directives, so long as those activities do not involve transacting in, providing financing for, or otherwise dealing in transaction types prohibited by these Directives.

On September 12, 2014, OFAC amended and reissued Directive 1, changing the allowable maturity of debt instruments issued by, on behalf of, or for the benefit of persons subject to Directive 1 from 90 days to 30 days. Transacting in, providing financing for, or otherwise dealing in debt with maturity of 90 days or less issued by, on behalf of, or for the benefit of the persons identified under Directive 1 is not prohibited if such debt instruments were issued prior to September 12, 2014, and the terms of such instruments do not change subsequently (see FAQ 394 for additional detail on what constitutes the changing of terms). Rollovers of such instruments must comply with the 30-day maturity limit imposed on September 12, 2014. [9-12-2014]


372. Do Directives 1, 2, and 3 prohibit U.S. persons from entering into derivatives contracts linked to new debt or new equity issued by the entities subject to the Directives?

On September 12, 2014, OFAC issued General License 1A, which authorizes certain transactions involving derivative products that would otherwise be prohibited pursuant to Directives 1, 2, or 3. This General License 1A replaced and superseded General License No. 1, dated July 16, 2014, which authorized certain transactions involving derivative products that would have been prohibited pursuant to Directives 1 or 2. [9-12-2014]


373. Do the prohibitions imposed pursuant to the Directives also extend to entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more entities identified by these Directives, as per revised guidance OFAC issued on August 13, 2014?

Yes, these prohibitions apply to the named persons, their property, and their interests in property, which includes entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more persons identified as subject to the Directives. [9-12-2014]


374. If I own a Kalashnikov product, is that product blocked by sanctions? Am I able to resell a Kalashnikov product at a gun show or other secondary market?

If a U.S. person is in possession of a Kalashnikov Concern product that was bought and fully paid for prior to the date of designation (i.e., no payment remains due to Kalashnikov Concern), then that product is not blocked and OFAC sanctions would not prohibit the U.S. person from keeping or selling the product in the secondary market, so long as Kalashnikov Concern has no interest in the transaction. New transactions by U.S. persons with Kalashnikov Concern are prohibited, however, and any property in which Kalashnikov Concern has an interest is blocked pursuant to OFAC’s designation of Kalashnikov Concern on July 16, 2014. If a U.S. person has an inventory of Kalashnikov Concern products in which Kalashnikov Concern has an interest (for example, the products are not fully paid for or are being sold on consignment), we advise that U.S. person to contact OFAC for further guidance on handling of the inventory. [7-16-2014]


375. If I have Kalashnikov products in my inventory, can I sell them?

If a U.S. person has an inventory of Kalashnikov Concern products in which Kalashnikov Concern has an interest (for example, the products are not fully paid for or are being sold on consignment), we advise that U.S. person to contact OFAC for further guidance on handling of the inventory. [7-16-2014]


391. Can U.S. persons issue and deal in new depositary receipts that are based on the equity of an entity subject to the Sectoral Sanctions Identification List (an SSI entity)?

In certain circumstances, yes. U.S. persons, including U.S. financial institutions, may issue and deal in depositary receipts that are based on equity issued by a person determined to be subject to Directive 1 prior to the date the person was determined to be subject to Directive 1. U.S. persons may not, however, deal in or issue depositary receipts that are based on equity issued by a person subject to Directive 1 on or after the sanctions effective date. Such transactions would constitute prohibited transactions or dealings in new equity under Directive 1. There are no equity-related prohibitions contained within Directives 2, 3, or 4, and thus U.S. persons are not prohibited from issuing or dealing in depositary receipts that are based on equity issued by persons subject only to those Directives. [9-12-2014]


392. How are banks expected to distinguish between transactions involving new versus old equity under Directive 1 if entities subject to Directive 1 issue new equity that utilizes the same International Securities Identification Number (ISIN) or other identifier as equity issued prior to the sanctions effective date?

Directive 1 prohibits U.S. persons from transacting in, providing financing for, or otherwise dealing in new equity for named persons, their property, or their interests in property. Directive 1 also prohibits such transactions from occurring in the United States. If a U.S. person decides to transact or otherwise deal in equity issued by an SSI entity prior to the sanctions effective date, the U.S. person should ensure that it is not transacting in, providing financing for, or otherwise dealing in the newly issued equity. To the extent that a U.S. person does in fact transact in, provide financing for, or otherwise deal in newly issued equity, such activity would constitute a violation of the prohibition set forth in Directive 1. [7-28-2014]


393. Does OFAC consider counterparty credit risk associated with derivatives transactions that are authorized pursuant to General License 1A to Executive Order 13662 to constitute new debt?

OFAC does not consider normal counterparty credit exposure encountered by a U.S. person to be an extension of credit when the U.S. person enters into an otherwise permissible derivatives transaction. U.S. persons engaging in such transactions should ensure that they do not hold, purchase, or sell the underlying asset in such transactions as described in Paragraph (b) of General License 1A. [7-28-2014]


394. If a U.S. person entered into a revolving credit facility or long-term loan arrangement for a person determined to be subject to Directives 1, 2, or 3 prior to the sanctions effective date, what are the restrictions on drawdowns from that facility? Do all drawdowns and disbursements pursuant to the parent agreement need to carry repayment terms of 30 days or less (for persons subject to Directives 1 and 3) or 90 days or less (for persons subject to Directive 2)?

If a U.S. person entered into a long-term credit facility or loan agreement prior to the sanctions effective date, drawdowns and disbursements with repayment terms of 30 days or less (for persons subject to Directives 1 and 3) or 90 days or less (for persons subject to Directive 2) are permitted. Drawdowns and disbursements whose repayment terms exceed the applicable authorized tenor are not prohibited if the terms of such drawdowns and disbursements (including the length of the repayment period, the interest rate applied to the drawdown, and the maximum drawdown amount) were contractually agreed to prior to the sanctions effective date and are not modified on or after the sanctions effective date. U.S. persons may not deal in a drawdown or disbursement initiated after the sanctions effective date with a repayment term of longer than 30 days (for persons subject to Directives 1 and 3) or 90 days (for persons subject to Directive 2), if the terms of the drawdown or disbursement were negotiated on or after the sanctions effective date. Such a newly negotiated drawdown or disbursement would constitute a prohibited extension of credit. [9-12-2014]


395. Do Directives 1, 2, and 3 prohibit U.S. persons from dealing in or processing transactions under a letter of credit that was issued on or after the sanctions effective date and that carries a term of longer than 30 days maturity (for Directives 1 and 3) or 90 days maturity (for Directive 2) when the beneficiary or the issuing bank of that letter of credit is one of the entities identified as subject to the Directives?

U.S. persons may deal in (including act as the advising or confirming bank or as the applicant (i.e., the purchaser of the underlying goods or services)) or process transactions under a letter of credit in which an entity subject to Directive 1, 2, or 3 is the beneficiary (i.e., the exporter or seller of the underlying goods or services) because the subject letter of credit does not represent an extension of credit to the SSI entity. U.S. persons may deal in (including act as the advising or confirming bank or as the applicant or beneficiary) or process transactions under a letter of credit where the issuing bank is an SSI entity provided that the terms of all payment obligations under the letter of credit conform with the debt prohibitions under the applicable Directives. For example, a U.S. bank acting as the negotiating bank for a letter of credit issued by an SSI entity subject to Directive 1 should ensure that it receives reimbursement from the SSI entity within the allowable 30-day debt limit.

U.S. persons may not deal in (including act as the advising or confirming bank or as the beneficiary) or process transactions under a letter of credit if all of the following three conditions are met: (1) the letter of credit was issued on or after the sanctions effective date, (2) the letter of credit carries a term of longer than 30 days maturity (for persons subject to Directives 1 and 3) or 90 days maturity (for persons subject to Directive 2), and (3) an SSI entity is the applicant of the letter of credit. This would constitute prohibited activity because the subject letter of credit would represent an extension of credit to the SSI entity. [5-7-2015]


396. How do I know when a name has been added, changed, or removed on the Sectoral Sanctions Identifications (SSI) List?

The SSI List available on OFAC's website is the latest version of the list and contains the most updated information on entities determined to be subject to one or more of the Directives. OFAC also maintains "changes files" that record all significant changes to the SSI List. Any addition, alteration, or removal of an SSI record is considered a significant change and will appear in these files along with the date that such an action occurred. These files are offered in two formats and are called SSINEW14.PDF and SSINEW14.TXT. The changes files are produced by year, thus future file names will be SSINEW15.PDF and SSINEW15.TXT and so on. [9-12-2014]


404. Is the term "new equity" in Directive 1 limited to equity that is issued by an SSI entity after the sanctions effective date or would equity purchased or acquired by an SSI entity from a third party after the sanctions effective date be considered new equity?

The equity prohibitions in Directive 1 pertain to equity issued,directly or indirectly, by an SSI entity on or after the sanctions effective date. Directive 1 does not prohibit U.S. persons from dealing with an SSI entity as counterparty to transactions involving equity issued by a non-sanctioned party. [9-12-2014]


405. Does the prohibition on “otherwise dealing in new debt” of longer than 30 days maturity (for persons subject to Directives 1 and 3) or 90 days (for persons subject to Directive 2) of SSI entities, their property, or their interests in property prohibit dealing in debt with maturity that exceeds the applicable authorized tenor in which the SSI entity is not directly or indirectly the borrower?

Directives 1 and 3 prohibit U.S. persons from dealing in debt of longer than 30 days maturity and Directive 2 prohibits U.S. persons from dealing in debt of longer than 90 days maturity issued on or after the sanctions effective date in cases where the new debt is issued by an SSI entity subject to these Directives. Directives 1, 2, and 3 do not prohibit U.S. persons from dealing with an SSI entity as counterparty to transactions involving debt issued on or after the sanctions effective date by a non-sanctioned party. For example, U.S. persons are not prohibited from dealing in a loan exceeding the applicable authorized tenor that is issued after the sanctions effective date of sanctions provided by an SSI entity to a non-sanctioned third-party, dealing with an SSI entity who is the underwriter on new debt of a non-sanctioned third party exceeding the applicable authorized tenor, or accepting payment under a letter of credit with terms exceeding the applicable authorized tenor that is issued, advised, or confirmed by an SSI entity, so long as the SSI entity is not the borrower. [9-12-2014]


406. Does the prohibition on dealing in new equity of entities subject to Directive 1 apply to transactions in which those entities are not the issuer of the equity?

U.S. persons are not prohibited from dealing in new equity with an entity subject to Directive 1 if the entity is not the issuer of the equity. For instance, U.S. persons are not prohibited from transacting with an entity subject to Directive 1 in support of new equity where the entity subject to Directive 1 is the underwriter of the equity and not the issuer. [8-27-2014]


407. May a U.S. person consent to a replacement of its participation by a non-U.S. person in a long-term loan facility that was extended to a person subject to Directives 1, 2, or 3 prior to the sanctions effective date?

A U.S. person is not prohibited by Directives 1, 2, or 3 from engaging in transactions necessary to exit or replace its participation in a long-term loan facility that was extended to an SSI entity prior to the sanctions effective date. This would not constitute dealing in new debt. U.S. persons involved in such facilities should ensure that all newly negotiated drawdowns or disbursements from the facility utilize repayment terms that are not prohibited by the applicable sanctions effective date. See FAQ 394 for additional information on what constitutes a permitted drawdown or disbursement from an existing long-term loan obligation. [9-12-2014]


408. Is a U.S. person permitted under Directives 1, 2, or 3 to extend credit for greater than 30 days (for persons subject to Directives 1 or 3) or 90 days (for persons subject to Directive 2) to a non-sanctioned party for the purpose of purchasing goods or services from a person subject to Directives 1, 2, or 3?

Directives 1, 2, and 3 do not prohibit U.S. persons from extending credit for longer than 30 days (for persons subject to Directives 1 or 3) or 90 days (for persons subject to Directive 2) to non-sanctioned parties for the purpose of purchasing goods or services from an SSI entity, so long as the SSI entity is not the indirect borrower. [9-12-2014]


409. If a person determined to be subject to Directives 1, 2, or 3 makes successive draws under a short-term facility created after the sanctions effective date (e.g., it borrows $100 million with a 15-day maturity, then at the end of the 15 days, the debt “rolls over”), does the facility become prohibited if the SSI borrower makes successive short-term borrowings that cumulatively add up to more than 30 days (for persons subject to Directives 1 or 3) or 90 days (for persons subject to Directive 2)?

Two conditions must be met for short-term facilities created after the sanctions effective date to be permissible. As long as (1) each individual disbursement has a maturity of 30 or 90 days or less (depending on the applicable Directive) and the disbursement is paid back in full before the next disbursement and (2) the lender is not contractually required to roll over the balance for a cumulative period of longer than 30 or 90 days (depending on the applicable Directive) at the borrower’s request (i.e., it has the option to refuse the request for a new short-term loan and terminate the facility), the loan is not prohibited, even though the same borrower may obtain a series of short-term loans from the same lender over a cumulative period exceeding 30 or 90 days (depending on the applicable Directive). U.S. persons may not deal in a drawdown or disbursement initiated after the sanctions effective date with a repayment term of longer than the applicable authorized tenor if the terms of the drawdown or disbursement are negotiated or re-negotiated on or after the sanctions effective date. Such a newly negotiated drawdown or disbursement would constitute a prohibited extension of credit. [9-12-2014]


410. Are U.S. persons prohibited from entering into new contracts after the sanctions effective date with persons subject to Directives 1, 2, or 3 that provide payment terms to the SSI entities of greater than 30 days (for persons subject to Directives 1 or 3) or 90 days (for persons subject to Directive 2)? For instance, if a U.S. person agrees to sell shares or assets to an SSI entity in a corporate transaction that becomes effective on or after the sanctions effective date, is the U.S. person prohibited from agreeing to deferred purchase payments, even if no interest is involved, that may be paid more than the permissible number of days later by the SSI entity?

Directives 1 and 3 prohibit new extensions of credit to SSI entities of greater than 30 days maturity and Directive 2 prohibits new extensions of credit to SSI entities of greater than 90 days maturity, and these prohibitions include deferred purchase agreements extending payment terms of longer than 30 days or 90 days (depending on the applicable Directive) to an SSI entity. Such agreements would constitute a prohibited extension of credit to an SSI entity if the terms were longer than the permissible number of days and the agreement was entered into on or after the sanctions effective date. OFAC does not consider the inclusion of an interest rate to be a necessary condition for establishing whether a transaction represents new debt. [9-12-2014]


411. What does the prohibition contained in Directive 3 under Executive Order 13662 mean? What is the scope of prohibited services?

OFAC issued Directive 3, introducing new prohibitions on all transactions in, provision of financing for, and other dealings in new debt of longer than 30 days maturity of persons determined to be subject to the Directive, their property, or their interests in property. Transactions by U.S. persons or within the United States involving derivative products whose value is linked to an underlying asset that constitutes new debt with maturity of longer than 30 days issued by a person subject to Directive 3 are authorized by General License 1A pursuant to Executive Order 13662. [9-12-2014]


412. What does the prohibition contained in Directive 4 mean? What is the scope of prohibited services?

OFAC issued Directive 4, introducing new prohibitions on the provision of goods, services (except for financial services), and technology for certain activities involving certain persons operating in the energy sector of the Russian Federation. Directive 4 prohibits the direct or indirect provision, exportation, or reexportation of goods, services (except for financial services), or technology in support of exploration or production for deepwater, Arctic offshore, or shale projects that have the potential to produce oil in the Russian Federation, or in maritime area claimed by the Russian Federation and extending from its territory, and involve any person determined to be subject to Directive 4 or that person’s property or interests in property. The prohibition on the exportation of services includes, for example, drilling services, geophysical services, geological services, logistical services, management services, modeling capabilities, and mapping technologies. The prohibition does not apply to the provision of financial services, e.g., clearing transactions or providing insurance related to such activities.

On September 12, 2014, OFAC issued General License 2, authorizing for 14 days all services and activities prohibited by Directive 4 that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the wind down of operations, contracts, or other agreements involving persons determined to be subject to Directive 4. In order to qualify under this General License, a transaction must (1) occur prior to 12:01 am E.D.T. September 26, 2014, and (2) relate to operations, contracts, or agreements that were in effect prior to September 12, 2014. General License 2 does not authorize any new provision, exportation, or re-exportation of goods, services, or technology except as needed to cease operations, contracts, or other agreements involving affected projects.

Please see this page for the Department of Commerce’s related license requirement on exports of certain goods for deepwater, Arctic offshore, or shale projects that have the potential to produce oil or gas. [9-12-2014]


413. For the purposes of Directive 4, how does OFAC define "deepwater" projects that have the potential to produce oil?

A project is considered to be a deepwater project if the project involves underwater activities at depths of more than 500 feet. [9-12-2014]


414. Does Directive 4 apply to projects that have the potential to produce gas?

If a deepwater, Arctic offshore, or shale project in the Russian Federation, or in maritime area claimed by the Russian Federation and extending from its territory, and involving a person named under Directive 4 has the potential to produce oil, then the prohibition applies, irrespective of whether the project also has the potential to produce gas. If the project has the potential to produce gas only, then the prohibition does not apply. [9-12-2014]


415. For persons determined to be subject to multiple Directives, how do the prohibitions and exemptions listed under one Directive affect prohibitions and exemptions under the other Directives?

Each Directive operates independently of the others. If a transaction involves a person subject to two Directives, for example, a U.S. person engaging in that transaction must comply with the requirements of both Directives. Exemptions in one Directive apply only to the prohibitions contained in that Directive and do not carry over to another Directive. For example, if a person is subject to both Directive 2 and Directive 4, the exemption for the provision of financial services by U.S. persons or in the United States under Directive 4 does not supersede the prohibition in Directive 2 on dealing in debt of longer than 90 days maturity of such a person. For these reasons, when OFAC references a prohibition involving an "SSI entity" in these FAQs or in other guidance, it is referring to an entity subject to the Directive(s) at issue in a particular FAQ or piece of guidance. [9-12-2014]


416. What does the "sanctions effective date" mean in the context of sectoral sanctions pursuant to E.O. 13662?

For purposes of the sectoral sanctions, "sanctions effective date" means the date a person is determined to be subject to the prohibition(s) of the relevant Directive. When a person has been previously determined to be subject to a Directive and the prohibition in the Directive is subsequently amended, (1) the sanctions effective date for the prohibitions of the original Directive remains the date on which the person was identified as subject to the prohibitions of that Directive, and (2) the sanctions effective date for the amended Directive is the date of the amendment (or other date specified in the amended Directive). [9-12-2014]


418. How does OFAC interpret the term "shale projects" with respect to the prohibitions in Directive 4 under Executive Order 13662?

The prohibitions in Directive 4 under Executive Order 13662 apply to deepwater, Arctic offshore, or shale projects with the potential to produce oil in the Russian Federation, or in maritime area claimed by the Russian Federation and extending from its territory. The term "shale projects" applies to projects that have the potential to produce oil from resources located in shale formations. Therefore, as long as the projects in question are neither deepwater nor Arctic offshore projects, the prohibitions in Directive 4 do not apply to exploration or production through shale to locate or extract crude oil (or gas) in reservoirs. [11-18-2014]


419. How should U.S. persons account for the 30- and 90-day debt prohibitions under Directives 1, 2, and 3 as they relate to payment terms for the following types of transactions: (1) the sale of goods to an SSI entity, (2) the provision of services to and subscription arrangements involving SSI entities, and (3) progress payments for long-term projects?

U.S. persons may engage in commercial transactions with SSI entities provided that any such transactions do not represent a direct or indirect dealing in prohibited debt or equity. Because offering payment terms of longer than 30 or 90 days to an SSI entity generally constitutes a prohibited dealing in debt of the SSI entity, U.S. persons should ensure that payment terms conform with the applicable debt prohibitions. For sales of goods to an SSI entity, U.S. persons may extend payment terms of up to 30 or 90 days from the point at which title or ownership of the goods transfers to the SSI entity. For the provision of services to, subscription arrangements involving, and progress payments for long-term projects involving SSI entities, U.S. persons may extend payment terms of up to 30 or 90 days from the point at which a final invoice (or each final invoice) is issued. Payments made under these types of payment terms should utilize a value date of not later than 30 or 90 days from either the point at which title or ownership has transferred (for payments relating to sales of goods) or the date of each final invoice (for payments relating to services, subscription arrangements, and progress payments). In the event that a U.S. person believes that it may not receive payment in full by the end of the 30- or 90-day period, the U.S. person should contact OFAC to determine whether a license or other authorization is required. [5-7-2015]


420. Under Directive 4, does the term "production" encompass activities such as transportation, refining, or other dealings in oil extracted from deepwater, Arctic offshore, or shale projects?

For the purposes of Directive 4, the term "production" refers to the lifting of oil to the surface and the gathering, treating, field processing, and field storage of such oil. The production stage of a project ends when extracted oil is transported out of a field production storage tank or otherwise off of a field production site. Directive 4 does not prohibit the provision by U.S. persons or within the United States of goods, technology, or services to SSI entities when such transactions relate only to the transportation, refining, or other dealings involving oil that has already been extracted from a deepwater, Arctic offshore, or shale project and transported out of a field production storage tank or otherwise off of a field production site. [12-11-2014]


421. How does OFAC interpret the term "Arctic offshore projects" with respect to the prohibitions in Directive 4 under Executive Order 13662?

The prohibitions in Directive 4 under Executive Order 13662 apply to deepwater, Arctic offshore, or shale projects with the potential to produce oil in the Russian Federation, or in maritime area claimed by the Russian Federation and extending from its territory. The term "Arctic offshore projects" applies to projects that have the potential to produce oil in areas that (1) involve drilling operations originating offshore, and (2) are located above the Arctic Circle. The prohibitions do not apply to horizontal drilling operations originating onshore where such drilling operations extend under the seabed to areas above the Arctic Circle. [12-11-2014]


453. Pursuant to General License 6 under the Ukraine-Related Sanctions Program, are U.S. financial institutions authorized to process noncommercial, personal remittances to or from Crimea (or to or from individuals ordinarily resident in Crimea) when there is no individual who is a U.S. person as either the remitter or beneficiary in the transaction?

Yes. U.S. depository institutions, U.S.-registered brokers or dealers in securities, and U.S.-registered money transmitters are authorized to process noncommercial, personal remittances pursuant to General License 6 regardless of whether the originator or beneficiary is an individual who is a U.S. person. For example, General License 6 authorizes a U.S. depository institution to act as the intermediary financial institution and sole U.S. party in a payment representing a personal remittance originated by a non-U.S. person located outside of the United States for the benefit of an individual located in or ordinarily resident in Crimea. [5-7-2015]


454. Does General License No. 9 authorize U.S. persons to export or reexport services or software with knowledge or reason to know that such services or software are intended for an individual or entity identified on the Sectoral Sanctions Identification List (SSI List)?

General License No. 9 authorizes the exportation or reexportation, directly or indirectly, of certain services and software to persons in the Crimea region of Ukraine, including to individuals and entities identified on the SSI List or who are otherwise subject to directives under Executive Order 13662. However, General License No. 9 does not authorize the exportation or reexportation, directly or indirectly, of services or software with knowledge or reason to know that such services or software are intended for any person whose property and interests in property are blocked. Accordingly, U.S. persons engaging in transactions pursuant to General License No. 9 should conduct due diligence to ensure that such transactions do not involve individuals or entities identified on OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons or whose property and interests in property are otherwise blocked. [5-21-2015]


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North Korea Sanctions

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456. How does Executive Order (E.O.) 13722 change the current sanctions regime?

E.O. 13722 blocks the Government of North Korea and the Workers’ Party of Korea; prohibits the exportation and reexportation of goods, services (including financial services), and technology to North Korea; and prohibits new investment in North Korea. The E.O. also adds new designation criteria, some of which are mandatory criteria from the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016. [Published on 03-16-2016]


457. Does Executive Order (E.O.) 13722 take into account the new United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) and legislation?

Yes. E.O. 13722 implements certain U.S. obligations under UNSCR 2270 and puts into effect provisions of H.R. 757, “The North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016.” [Published on 03-16-2016]


458. Does the blocking of the Government of North Korea and the Workers’ Party of Korea impact the ability of U.S. persons to do business with or conduct transactions with entities in which either party has an interest?

Yes. All property and interests in property of the Government of North Korea and the Workers’ Party of Korea are blocked. U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them without authorization from OFAC and must block property or interests in property that are in, or come within, the United States or the possession of a U.S. person. [Published on 03-16-2016]


459. What impact does the prohibition on the exportation or reexportation of goods, services, or technology under Executive Order (E.O.) 13722 have on the regulations of the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)?

E.O. 13722 prohibits the exportation or reexportation, from the United States, or by a United States person, of any goods, services, or technology to North Korea. BIS maintains authority to license exports and reexports of goods and technology subject to the Export Administration Regulations to persons who are not Specially Designation National (SDNs) and to the Government of North Korea and the Workers’ Party of Korea. To export to designated individuals and entities, U.S. persons must obtain a license from both OFAC and BIS. Regulated financial entities processing a transaction in accordance with a BIS license may want to request a copy of the license to ensure the transaction meets the terms, conditions, and criteria of the BIS license. [Published on 03-16-2016]


460. Can U.S. persons do business with entities in North Korea?

No. Unless authorized pursuant to a general or specific license from OFAC and/or BIS, Executive Order 13722 prohibits new investment in North Korea by a U.S. person and the exportation or reexportation, from the United States, or by a U.S. person, of any goods, services, or technology to North Korea. [Published on 03-16-2016]


461. Has OFAC issued general licenses for the North Korea program?

Please see the OFAC’s webpage on North Korea for the general licenses that were issued on March 16, 2016. [Published on 03-16-2016]


462. Can U.S. persons continue to send money to family or friends in North Korea?

Yes. OFAC General License No. 4 authorizes U.S. depository institutions, including banks, and U.S.-registered money transmitters, to process non-commercial, personal remittances to or from North Korea, or for or on behalf of an individual ordinarily resident in North Korea. Such transactions do not require further authorization from OFAC. [Published on 03-16-2016]


463. Can nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) provide assistance to North Korea?

Yes. Per General License No. 5, NGOs are authorized to export or reexport services to North Korea that would otherwise be prohibited by Executive Order 13722 in support of the following activities: (1) activities to support humanitarian projects to meet basic human needs in North Korea, including drought and flood relief, food, nutrition, and medicine distribution, the provision of health services, assistance for individuals with disabilities, and environmental programs; (2) activities to support democracy building in North Korea, including rule of law, citizen participation, government accountability, universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, access to information, and civil society development projects; (3) activities to support education in North Korea, including combating illiteracy, increasing access to education, international exchanges, and assisting education reform projects; (4) activities to support non-commercial development projects directly benefiting the North Korean people, including preventing infectious disease and promoting maternal/child health, sustainable agriculture, and clean water assistance; and (5) activities to support environmental protection, including the preservation and protection of threatened or endangered species and the remediation of pollution or other environmental damage. Additionally, U.S. depository institutions, U.S. registered brokers or dealers in securities, and U.S. registered money transmitters are authorized to process transfers of funds on behalf of U.S. or third-country NGOS to or from North Korea in support of the activities identified above.

General License No. 5 does not authorize transactions with the Government of North Korea or other blocked persons, except for limited transactions with the Government of North Korea that are necessary for the above-described activities, such as payment of taxes and other fees. [Published on 03-16-2016]

*For guidance on specific questions with respect to charitable donations, NGOs, and the scope of General License No. 5 please reach out to OFAC. Contact information may be found here.


464. Can I travel to North Korea with my humanitarian organization?

Yes. Executive Order 13722 does not prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in transactions ordinarily incident to travel to or from any country. However, U.S. persons traveling to North Korea should exercise caution to ensure compliance with all applicable sanctions, including the blocking of the Government of North Korea and the Workers’ Party of Korea; the prohibition on the exportation or reexportation, from the United States, or by a United States person, of any goods, services, or technology to North Korea except those goods or services licensed by the Department of Commerce pursuant to the Export Administration Regulations; and the prohibition on new investment in North Korea. Prior to travel, we recommend consulting the State Department’s Travel Warning on North Korea. [Published on 03-16-2016]


465. What is an example of a person who forms part of the household of an employee of the official mission of the Government of North Korea or of an employee of the United Nations?

General License No. 1 authorizes the provision of goods or services in the United States to employees of the official mission of the Government of North Korea to the United Nations or of employees of the United Nations, their families, or other persons forming part of their household. Persons forming part of their household could include husbands, wives, dependent children, and same-sex domestic partners. [Published on 03-16-2016]


 

  

Last Updated: 10/7/2016 2:26 PM