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Issuance of General License Regarding Certain Transactions Incident to Exports to or from Burma


Today, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a six-month general license to authorize certain trade-related transactions otherwise prohibited by the Burmese Sanctions Regulations (BSR).  This general license allows individuals, companies, and financial institutions to conduct most transactions otherwise prohibited by the BSR that are ordinarily incident to the export of goods, technology, or non-financial services to or from Burma – including participating in trade finance transactions and paying port fees as well as shipping and handling charges associated with sending goods to or from Burma. 

This general license authorizes certain transactions ordinarily incident to exports to or from Burma involving Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs) and SDN-owned entities involved in the exportation of goods to or from Burma; however, it does not authorize any transactions to, from, or on behalf of an SDN, or any other person whose property or interests in property are blocked, including any entity in which SDNs own, whether individually or in the aggregate, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest.  This general license does not authorize a U.S. financial institution to advise or confirm any financing by SDNs or blocked persons.  It also does not impact other prohibitions in the BSR; the ban on new investment involving the Ministry of Defense, state or non-state armed groups, any entity in which any of the foregoing own a 50 percent or greater interest, and SDNs or other blocked persons remains fully in effect, as does the prohibition on the import into the United States of Burmese-origin jadeite, rubies, and jewelry containing them.

In addition to authorizing certain transactions until June 7, 2016, this general license also authorizes U.S. financial institutions to unblock and return transactions blocked on or after April 1, 2015 that would have qualified as authorized had they been engaged in pursuant to the authorization in the general license.

This general license is intended to support U.S. and Burmese exporters and to facilitate trade with Burma.  More specifically, this general license is an effort to calibrate the impact of our Burma sanctions and to support the ongoing flow of trade with Burma.  Supporting Burma’s economic development – including the encouragement of normal trade with non-sanctioned businesses in Burma – is a key foreign policy goal.  Today’s general license supports the prior easing of U.S. economic sanctions on Burma in response to significant positive reforms in the country, while maintaining targeted sanctions against specific individuals and entities. 
Last Updated: 12/7/2015 3:29 PM