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Regulatory Spotlight: The first P in RPPR

P is for procedures… this is a lengthy section of the RPPR, so running this down in bullet form seems best…

  • Licensing
    • Specific licenses must be applied for by mail or courier, not electronically or by FAX. Applications to unblock funds transfers must use Form TD-F 90-22.54; other license applications can be in letter format (e.g. Dear OFAC).
    • Form TD-F 90-22.54 requires two full copies of all supporting documentation.
    • License applications may be filed by any party with some interest in the transaction.
    • The information on the license application must include all parties with an interest in the transaction. If filed by an agent of one of the parties, the principal parties must also be identified.
    • If a document has been previously filed with OFAC, it can be referenced instead of resubmitted. Otherwise, all relevant documents must be filed with the application.
    • Applicants must supply their TIN (tax identification number)
    • Additional information may be supplied by any interested party at any time, including after a decision has been rendered. If the information is to be presented orally, arrangements must be made with OFAC.
    • A denied application may be reopened or a new application for the same issue may be filed. Any interested party can request explanation of the reasons for the denial, either by mail or in person.
    • Specific licenses can include conditions for filing reports on the licensed transactions. The license may specify the format, timing and location of such reporting.
    • Licenses may be issued by OFAC, the Treasury Secretary or his/her designee (e.g. government agency or person).
  • Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) Registration
    • In order to be authorized to provide humanitarian or religious services when such transactions might otherwise be prohibited, an NGO must register with OFAC.
    • The transactions that are authorized will be specified either in the General License that covers the authorized class of services (e.g. humanitarian or religious services) or in the letter from OFAC issuing the registration number.
    • The registration application may be mailed or FAXed to OFAC and must include:
      • The NGO's name in English and the original language, as well as any acronyms and aliases
      • The address and phone number of the group's headquarters
      • The name (in English and original language), as well as any acronyms and aliases, nationality, citizenship, country of residence, and place and date of birth, for all key personnel at the company's headquarters
      • Similar information for all field offices and partner offices, as well as senior management at each
      • Identification of subcontractors, current and those being considered for future use
      • Sources of income
      • Identification of financial firms holding the NGO's deposits or providing it credit.and independent accounting firms preparing financial statements – in English and the original language, and including any acronyms or alternate names
      • Detailed description of activities in sanctioned countries
      • Most recent official filings, annual reports and filings with the sanctioned countries' governments
      • Names and addresses of organizations that the NGO provides or wishes to provide goods, services and support to.
    • The reference number should be referenced in all documents and financial transactions.
    • The following limitations apply:
      • The NGO cannot make remittances from blocked accounts
      • The reference number cannot be transferred
      • OFAC's Director can modify or revoke the registration at any time.
      • The registration does not exempt the NGO from compliance with existing regulations, including reporting requirements
      • The registration does not grant exempt the NGO or its agents from civil or criminal liability
    • Any registration numbers issued prior to passage of the RPPR remain in effect.
  • OFAC's decision
    • OFAC advises applicants of its decision as an agent of the Treasury Secretary, and is considered the final decision.
  • Rulemaking
    • OFAC rulemaking is exempt from the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act, which include the need for notice of proposed rulemaking, opportunity for public comment, and delay in effective date of the rule.
    • Any person may petition the OFAC Director in writing to request that a rule be issued, modified or revoked.
  • Availability of OFAC records
    • OFAC records to be made available under the Freedom of Information Act or the Privacy Act shall be made available “in accordance with the definitions, procedures, payment of fees, and other pro- visions of the regulations on the Disclosure of Records of the Departmental Offices and of other bureaus and offices of the Department of the Treasury issued under 5 U.S.C. 552 and published at 31 CFR part 1.”
  • Unblocking funds blocked due to mistaken identity
    • Any party to the blocked transaction can request its unblocking
    • Requests to unblock funds must be submitted in writing or by FAX.
    • Requests must include the name, address, telephone number, and FAX number of the party making the request
    • If an individual is requesting the unblocking of funds, providing a Social Security Number expedites the process, but is not necessary.
    • If an entity (not an individual) is making the request, the place of business, state of incorporation, and the name and phone number of the primary contact for the request should be included in the application.
    • The request should include:
      • The name of the financial institution which blocked the funds
      • The amount being blocked
      • The date the funds were blocked
      • The parties to the transaction, including the originator of the payment, any intermediary banks and the beneficiary
      • A description of the transaction, and any supporting documentation (such as invoices)
      • A description of what the applicant's role and interest in the transaction is
      • Applicant's argument why the transaction being blocked is due to mistaken identity.
    • OFAC may request additional information regarding the blocked transaction
    • The OFAC Director will decide whether to release the funds. If so, he/she will direct the financial institution hold the funds to return them to the next party in the transaction (where the funds would have gone had they not been blocked).
  • Removing names from OFAC's sanctions lists
    • A blocked person or majority owner of a blocked vessel may submit the following in a request to be unblocked:
      • Arguments or evidence that the designation's justification or proof is insufficient.
      • Proposed remedial steps, such as corporate reorganization, or resignation of persons from positions in a blocked entity. The purpose of these steps is to remove the rationale for the blocking designation.
      • The majority owner of a blocked vessel may propose selling it, and placing the sale proceeds (less sale costs and costs incurred while blocked) into an interest-bearing account, which would then be blocked. The intent (not specified in the reg) would be to convert the asset to a form where it is not used for sanctioned purposes (e.g. shipping of goods to/from a sanctioned country) and eventually recovering some or all of the net value of the vessel after unblocking of some or all of the account's assets by OFAC.
    • The submission must be sent in writing to the OFAC Director
    • OFAC will review the submitted information, but may request additional information or clarification
    • A blocked person or person requesting the unblocking of a vessel may request a meeting with OFAC, but OFAC may decline the request
    • When OFAC's review is complete, they will issue a written decision to the blocked person or the person requesting the unblocking of a vessel


Categories: Sanctions Regulations


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