Amended IFCA-related OFAC FAQs

 

 

 

 

 Removing all the non-updated FAQs

Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 (IFCA)

Certain statutory provisions of the Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 (IFCA) were previously implemented through E.O. 13645 of June 3, 2013, which was revoked by E.O. 13716 of January 16, 2016.  E.O. 13716, which also carried forward certain IFCA implementation authorities, was revoked by E.O. of August 6, 2018, “Reimposing Certain Sanctions With Respect to Iran” (the “New Iran E.O.”).  Please be advised that certain provisions of E.O. 13645, including IFCA implementation authorities, have been incorporated into the New E.O. FAQs relating to the New Iran E.O. can be found here.  FAQs relating to E.O. 13645 have been archived and can be found here.  [08-06-18]

 


 Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012


 

289. How will the following Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act (IFCA) terms be interpreted: “Iran,” “knowingly,” “significant,” and “transfer”? 

As a general matter, we intend to rely, where applicable, on definitions of terms previously included in Treasury regulations.

“Iran”

The Iranian Financial Sanctions Regulations (31 CFR part 561) (IFSR) define “Iran” as the Government of Iran and the territory of Iran and any other territory or marine area, including the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, over which the Government of Iran claims sovereignty, sovereign rights, or jurisdiction, provided that the Government of Iran exercises partial or total de facto control over the area or derives a benefit from economic activity in the area pursuant to international arrangements. (31 CFR § 561.329)

“knowingly”

The IFSR define “knowingly” with respect to conduct, a circumstance, or a result, to mean that a person has actual knowledge, or should have known, of the conduct, the circumstance, or the result. (31 CFR § 561.314)

“significant” 

As a general matter, in determining for purposes of IFCA and relevant Executive orders whether transactions, financial transactions, or financial services are significant, the Department of the Treasury will rely on the interpretation set out in §561.404 of the IFSR. The IFSR provide that the Department of the Treasury may consider the totality of the facts and circumstances set forth a list of broad factors that can play a role in the determination whether transactions, financial services, and financial transactions are significant, including: (a) the size, number, and frequency of the transactions, financial services, or financial transactions; (b) the natureof the transactions, financial services, or financial transactions, including their type, complexity, and commercial purpose; (c) the level of awareness of management and whether the transactions are part of a pattern of conduct; (d) the nexus of the transactions, financial services, and financial transactions and blocked persons; (e) the impact of the transactions, financial services, and financial transactions on statutory objectives; (f) whether the transactions, financial services, and financial transactions involve deceptive practices; (g) whether the transactions solely involve the passive holdings of Central Bank of Iran (CBI) reserves or repayment by the CBI of official development assistance or the transfer of funds required as a condition of Iran’s membership in an international financial institution; and (h) other relevant factors that the Secretary of the Treasury deems relevant. We anticipate adopting a similar approach to interpreting the term “significant” as it applies to goods or services. (31 C.F.R. §561.404

“transfer” 

We anticipate that regulations to be promulgated will define “transfer” to include import, transshipment, export, or reexport, whether direct or indirect. [08-06-18]


292. What are the implications of IFCA on the provision of humanitarian goods to the people of Iran? 

IFCA generally excepts from sanctions transactions for the sale of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, or medical devices to Iran, as set out in more detail in Q&As 297 and 304.[08-06-18]


Sanctions Relating to Iran’s Energy, Shipping, and Shipbuilding Sectors (Print)
IFCA  provides for sanctions involving activities or transactions related to Iran’s energy, shipping, and shipbuilding sectors. 


 

293. What will the “energy, shipping, and shipbuilding sectors of Iran” mean for the purposes of IFCA?

We anticipate that regulations to be promulgated will define “energy sector of Iran” to include activities involving the exploration, extraction, production, refinement, or liquefaction of petroleum, natural gas, or petroleum products in Iran. (See also discussion of activities involving natural gas in Q&A 297.) 

We anticipate that regulations to be promulgated will define “shipping sector of Iran” to include activities involving the transportation of goods by seagoing vessels, including oil tankers and cargo vessels, flying the flag of the Islamic Republic of Iran, or owned, controlled, chartered, or operated directly or indirectly by the Government of Iran.

We anticipate that regulations to be promulgated will define “shipbuilding sector of Iran” to include activities involving the construction of seagoing vessels, including oil tankers and cargo vessels, in Iran. [08-06-18]


297. Are there any exceptions to the sanctions provisions of section 1244 of IFCA? 

The following transactions are excepted from the provisions of section 1244 of IFCA.

a. Transactions for the sale of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, or medical devices to Iran or for the provision of humanitarian assistance to the people of Iran. 

b. The export of petroleum or petroleum products from Iran to a country with a significant reduction exception under section 1245(d)(4)(D)(i) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA 2012). 

c. A significant financial transaction conducted or facilitated by a foreign financial institution (FFI), provided that a significant reduction exception under 1245(d)(4)(D)(i) of NDAA 2012 applies to the country with primary jurisdiction over the FFI and the financial transaction is for trade in goods or services (i) between Iran and the country with primary jurisdiction over the FFI and (ii) not otherwise subject to sanctions under the law of the United States, and any funds owed to Iran as a result of the trade are credited to an account located in the country with primary jurisdiction over the FFI. We anticipate the implementation of these trade requirements to be similar to the trade requirements set forth in the Iranian Financial Sanctions Regulations (IFSR), in particular 31 CFR §561.203(j) and 31 CFR §561.203(k). 

d. The sale, supply, or transfer of natural gas to or from Iran. IFCA section 1244, however, does set out sanctions that may apply to FFIs that conduct or facilitate a transaction for the sale, supply, or transfer of natural gas to or from Iran unless the financial transaction is for trade in goods or services (i) between Iran and the country with primary jurisdiction over the FFI and (ii) not otherwise subject to sanctions under the law of the United States, and any funds owed to Iran as a result of the trade are credited to an account located in the country with primary jurisdiction over the FFI. We anticipate the implementation of these trade requirements to be similar to the trade requirements set forth in the IFSR, in particular 31 CFR §561.203(j) and 31 CFR §561.203(k).

e. Certain activities relating to the pipeline project to supply natural gas from the Shah Deniz gas field in Azerbaijan to Europe and Turkey. [08-06-18]


315. Will routine payments or fees be subject to sanctions if they are made to a person determined to be a port operator in Iran and if the vessel is carrying non-sanctioned goods?

Any company involved in loading or unloading cargo in Iran should exercise great caution to avoid engaging in transactions with entities designated by the United States, including the Tidewater Middle East Co. which was designated for its involvement in Iran’s proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. However, to the extent that a shipping company transacts with port operators in Iran that have been identified as such under IFCA but not otherwise designated, and as long as such payments are limited strictly to routine fees including port dues, docking fees, or cargo handling fees, paid for the loading and unloading of non-sanctioned goods at Iranian ports, we anticipate that such transactions would not be considered significant transactions for the purposes of IFCA. Non-routine and/or large payments or fees that materially exceed standard industry rates could expose a person to sanctions. Furthermore, providing any port operator in Iran with any significant financial, material, technological, or other support could expose a person to sanctions. [08-06-18]


Sanctions Relating to the Sale, Supply, or Transfer of Certain Materials to or from Iran (relating to IFCA) 
IFCA provides for sanctions involving the sale, supply, or transfer of certain materials to or from Iran. 


 

300. For purposes of sanctions under section 1245, how will I know which sectors are controlled by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps? 

Pursuant to delegated authority, the Secretary of State issues periodic reports pursuant to section 1245(e) of IFCA with respect to which sectors of the Iranian economy are controlled directly or indirectly by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Given the opaque business environment in Iran and the significant role that the IRGC plays in the Iranian economy, OFAC recommends that a person considering business in Iran or with Iranian persons conduct due diligence sufficient to ensure that it is not knowingly engaging in transactions with the IRGC, or its officials, agents, or affiliates. [08-06-18]


301. How will the determination be made as to whether materials are used in a manner that would make them subject to sanctions under section 1245 of IFCA? 

FFI, prior to conducting or facilitating a significant financial transaction for the sale, supply, or transfer to or from Iran of the materials listed in 1245(d) – as described in part in Q&A 298– will need to undertake due diligence to ensure that the transaction does not involve the materials being sold, supplied, or transferred, directly or indirectly, to or from Iran for sanctionable uses under section 1245.  Pursuant to delegated authority, the Secretary of State issues periodic reports pursuant to section 1245(e) of IFCA, which contains determinations on which materials identified in section 1245(d) are used by Iran as a medium for swap or barter, are listed as assets on the national balance sheet of Iran, or are used in connection with the nuclear, military, or ballistic missile programs of Iran. [08-06-18]

 

 

Links:

Amended FAQs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s