On Monday, OFAC added the following 2 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) under its Venezuela sanctions program:
808. Do I need a specific license from OFAC to file a suit in U.S. court against a person designated or blocked pursuant to Venezuela-related sanctions? Does a U.S. court, or its personnel, need a specific license from OFAC to hear such a case?
No. A specific license from OFAC is not ordinarily required to initiate or continue U.S. legal proceedings against a person designated or blocked pursuant to OFAC’s Venezuela sanctions program, or for a U.S. court, or its personnel, to hear such a case. However, a specific license from OFAC is required for the entry into a settlement agreement or the enforcement of any lien, judgment, or other order through execution, garnishment, or other judicial process purporting to transfer or otherwise alter or affect property or interests in property blocked pursuant to the Venezuela Sanctions Regulations (31 C.F.R. Part 591). This includes the purported creation or perfection of any legal or equitable interests (including contingent or inchoate interests) in blocked property. While terminology may vary in different jurisdictions and proceedings, a specific license from OFAC would be required for measures such as:
•Taking Possession (Actual or Constructive)
•Selling (Final or Contingent)
•Assuming or Maintaining Custody
For additional information, see 31 C.F.R. §§ 591.309, 591.310, 591.407 and 591.506. [12-09-2019]
809. I hold a writ of attachment on shares of a Government of Venezuela entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to the Venezuela Sanctions Regulations. Am I authorized to prepare for and hold an auction or other sale of the shares, contingent upon the winning bidder obtaining a license from OFAC?
No. Parties who have attached shares of an entity whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to the Venezuela Sanctions Regulations (31 C.F.R. Part 591) must obtain a specific license from OFAC prior to conducting an auction or other sale, including a contingent auction or other sale, or taking other concrete steps in furtherance of an auction or sale. More generally, OFAC urges caution in proceeding with any step in furtherance of measures which might alter or affect blocked property or interests in blocked property. OFAC would consider license applications seeking to authorize such activities on a case-by-case basis. For additional information, see 31 C.F.R. §§ 591.309, 591.310, 591.407 and 591.506. [12-09-2019]