February 8, 2017: OFAC adds cyber FAQs

Yesterday, OFAC published the following 4 questions on its FAQ page related to the recent designations of the FSB (and others) under the cyber-related sanctions program, and the subsequent General License:

The Designation of the Federal Security Service and Cyber General License 1, “Authorizing Certain Transactions with the Federal Security Service”(Print)


501. What does General License 1 (GL 1), “Authorizing Certain Transactions with the Federal Security Service,” authorize?

GL 1 authorizes transactions with the Federal Security Service (a.k.a. Federalnaya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti) (FSB) that are necessary and ordinarily incident to requesting, receiving, utilizing, paying for, or dealing in certain licenses and authorizations for the importation, distribution, or use of certain information technology products in the Russian Federation. It also authorizes transactions necessary and ordinarily incident to compliance with rules and regulations administered by, and certain actions or investigations involving, the FSB.

This general license does not authorize U.S. persons to transact with the FSB except for the limited purposes described above, nor does it authorize the exportation, reexportation, or provision of any goods, technology, or services to the Crimea region of Ukraine. [02-08-17]


502. What sanctions remain in place on the FSB following the issuance of GL 1? 

GL 1 only authorizes certain transactions with the FSB acting in its administrative and law enforcement capacities. The GL was issued in order to ensure that U.S. persons engaging in certain business activities in Russia that are not otherwise prohibited are not unduly impacted. All other transactions involving any property within U.S. jurisdiction or within the possession or control of U.S. persons, in which the FSB has an interest, including all other transactions directly or indirectly with the FSB, remain prohibited unless exempt or otherwise authorized by OFAC. [02-08-17]


503. Does GL 1 authorize the exportation of hardware or software directly to the FSB, or where the FSB is the end user of such hardware and software?

No. GL 1 does not authorize the export of any goods, technology, or services directly or indirectly to the FSB or any other blocked person or entity, except for the limited purposes of complying with certain rules, regulations, and investigations involving the FSB or requesting certain licenses or authorizations for the importation, distribution, or use of information technology products in the Russian Federation. [02-08-17]


504. I understand that travel to Russia involves clearing Russian border control, which is part of the FSB. Do I need a license from OFAC to travel to Russia, or to clear Russian customs?

No, the sanctions on FSB do not apply to transactions by U.S. persons that are ordinarily incident to travel to or from Russia, including those transactions required to enter into or exit the country (i.e., complying with Russian border control requirements). [02-08-17]

Links:

OFAC Notice

Cyber-related FAQs

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