The Venezuela sanctions program is designed to limit the illegitimate former Maduro regime’s sources of revenue and hold accountable those who stand in the way of restoring democracy in Venezuela, while also ensuring the flow of humanitarian goods and services to the Venezuelan people. U.S. persons are not prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the country or people of Venezuela, provided that the Government of Venezuela, other blocked persons, or proscribed conduct are not involved. To ensure that humanitarian goods can reach the people of Venezuela despite a nexus to the Government of Venezuela, the United States maintains broad exemptions and authorizations that allow for the provision of humanitarian assistance and the commercial sale and export of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, and medical devices, to Venezuela.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): The following OFAC FAQs provide information on the provision of humanitarian assistance to Venezuela.
• FAQ 519 – Guidance related to helping the Venezuelan people.
• FAQ 520 – Guidance related to sending U.S. origin food or medicine to Venezuela.
• FAQ 521 – Guidance related to long-term financing to the Government of Venezuela to
help with the export or re-export of food, medicine, medical devices, and related items to
• FAQ 665 – Guidance related to supporting humanitarian efforts following the blocking of
the Government of Venezuela.
General Licenses (GLs) and Specific Licensing: The following are GLs issued by OFAC related to humanitarian assistance and trade with Venezuela.
• General License 4C authorizes certain transactions ordinarily incident and necessary to the exportation or reexportation of agricultural commodities, medicine, medical devices, replacement parts and components for medical devices, or software updates for medical devices to Venezuela, or to persons in third countries purchasing specifically for resale to Venezuela. This includes testing kits, respiratory devices, personal protective equipment, and medicine used in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery from COVID-19.
• General License 16C authorizes all transactions and activities ordinarily incident and necessary to processing noncommercial, personal remittances involving certain financial institutions, including Banco de Venezuela, S.A. Banco Universal (Banco de Venezuela), Banco Bicentenario del Pueblo, de la Clase Obrera, Mujer y Comunas, Banco Universal C.A. (Banco Bicentario del Pueblo), Banco del Tesoro, C.A. Banco Universal (Banco del Tesoro), and Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV). In addition, remittances with non- blocked Venezuelan financial institutions are not prohibited.
• General License 20B authorizes official activities of certain international organizations such as the United Nations, including its Programmes and Funds, and its Specialized Agencies and Related Organizations, as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross, among others, to engage in transactions involving BCV, or involving other Government of Venezuela persons to the extent the transactions are subject to U.S. jurisdiction.
• General License 26 authorizes the provision and receipt of nonscheduled emergency medical services and the provision of other medical services involving the Government of Venezuela.
• General License 29 authorizes non-governmental organizations to engage in transactions involving the Government of Venezuela in support of humanitarian projects, democracy building, education, non-commercial development projects directly benefiting the Venezuelan people, and environmental protection in Venezuela.
• General License 30 authorizes activities involving the Government of Venezuela that are ordinarily incident and necessary to operations or use of ports and airports in Venezuela.
• General License 33 authorizes, among other activity, all transactions involving the Government of Venezuela necessary to provide air ambulance and related medical services, including medical evacuation from Venezuela, for individuals in Venezuela.
• Specific Licensing: For transactions not otherwise authorized by OFAC general licenses, OFAC considers specific license requests on a case-by-case basis and prioritizes license applications, compliance questions, and other requests related to humanitarian support for the Venezuelan people.
Advisories or Other Guidance: The following are advisories or other guidance issued by OFAC related to humanitarian assistance for Venezuela.
• “Guidance Related to the Provision of Humanitarian Assistance and Support to the Venezuelan People” (August 2019)
Executive Orders (E.O.): The following are E.O.s related to humanitarian assistance for Venezuela.
• E.O. 13884 of August 5, 2019, which blocks the property and interests in property of the Government of Venezuela, includes Section 5, exempts transactions involving the
Government of Venezuela that relate to the provision of articles such as food, clothing, and medicine intended to be used to relieve human suffering.