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Got Iran-related sanctions questions? So does OFAC…

Today, OFAC issued the following Frequently Asked Questions about Executive Order 13902:

Executive Order (E.O.) 13902, “Imposing Sanctions With Respect to Additional Sectors of Iran”

830. Will OFAC target Iranian manufacturers of medicines, medical devices, or products used for sanitation or hygiene or as personal protective equipment for use in Iran pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13902 for continuing to manufacture these items?

No. For the purposes of evaluating sanctions pursuant to E.O. 13902, persons in Iran manufacturing medicines, medical devices, or products used for sanitation, hygiene, medical care, medical safety, and manufacturing safety, including soap, hand sanitizer, ventilators, respirators, personal hygiene products, diapers, infant and childcare items, personal protective equipment, and manufacturing safety systems, solely for use in Iran and not for export from Iran, will not be considered to be operating in the manufacturing sector of the Iranian economy. Note that persons conducting or facilitating transactions for the provision, including any sale, of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, or medical devices to Iran will not be subject to sanctions under E.O. 13902. 

E.O. 13902 imposes sanctions with respect to any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to operate in the construction, mining, manufacturing, and textiles sectors of the Iranian economy, and any additional sectors of the Iranian economy as may be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State. Iranian and non-Iranian persons operating in these sectors could be subject to sanctions pursuant to E.O. 13902. 

The United States maintains broad exceptions and authorizations that allow for the commercial sale and export of humanitarian goods, including medicine and medical devices, to Iran or the Government of Iran from the United States or by U.S. persons or U.S.-owned or -controlled foreign entities. However, these authorizations and exceptions do not apply to transactions involving persons on OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List) that have been designated in connection with Iran’s support for international terrorism or proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including designated Iranian financial institutions or the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), or in connection with activity that is subject to other sanctions not specific to Iran. For further guidance related to humanitarian trade with Iran and the provision of humanitarian assistance to Iran please see FAQ 828. [06-05-2020]


831. How will OFAC define the sectors of the Iranian economy specified in Executive Order (E.O.) 13902 of January 10, 2020?

E.O. 13902 imposes sanctions with respect to any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury to operate in the construction, mining, manufacturing, and textiles sectors of the Iranian economy, and any additional sectors of the Iranian economy as may be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State. Iranian and non-Iranian persons operating in the construction, mining, manufacturing, and textiles sectors of the Iranian economy, or sectors of the Iranian economy identified in the future could be subject to sanctions.

OFAC expects that regulations to be promulgated will define the terms construction sector of the Iranian economy, mining sector of the Iranian economy, manufacturing sector of the Iranian economy, and textiles sector of the Iranian economy consistent with the following:

Construction sector of the Iranian economy: The term construction sector of the Iranian economy means the production, procurement, devising, framing, or arranging in Iran of parts or materials to fabricate, shape, or form buildings or structures, including the on-site development, assembly, or construction of residential, commercial, or institutional buildings in Iran. The term applies to engaging in new work, additions, alterations, maintenance, and repairs of residential, commercial, or institutional buildings. Persons such as for-sale builders, design-build firms, and project construction management firms in Iran may be considered as operating in this sector. 

Mining sector of the Iranian economy: The term mining sector of the Iranian economy means any act, process, or industry of extracting, at the surface or underground, ores, coal, precious stones, or any other minerals or geological materials from the Earth in Iran.

Manufacturing sector of the Iranian economy: The term manufacturing sector of the Iranian economy means the creation in Iran of goods by manual labor or machinery that are for export from Iran or for sale within Iran. For the purposes of evaluating sanctions pursuant to E.O. 13902, persons in Iran manufacturing medicines, medical devices, or products used for sanitation, hygiene, medical care, medical safety, and manufacturing safety, including soap, hand sanitizer, ventilators, respirators, personal hygiene products, diapers, infant and childcare items, personal protective equipment, and manufacturing safety systems, solely for use in Iran and not for export from Iran, will not be considered to be operating in the manufacturing sector of the Iranian economy. Note that persons conducting or facilitating transactions for the provision, including any sale, of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, or medical devices to Iran will not be subject to sanctions under E.O. 13902.

Textiles sector of the Iranian economy: The term textiles sector of the Iranian economy means the fiber synthesis, dyeing, weaving, knitting, or felting in Iran of textiles, including apparel, carpets, cloths, fabric, or related goods, that are for export from Iran. 

Persons who knowingly engage in a significant transaction for the sale, supply, or transfer to or from Iran of significant goods or services used in connection with the above-named sectors of the Iranian economy risk exposure to blocking sanctions pursuant to E.O. 13902. In addition, persons that have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, persons designated pursuant to E.O. 13902 could themselves be designated. Furthermore, foreign financial institutions that have knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant financial transaction for such designated persons risk exposure to U.S. correspondent account or payable-through account sanctions. [06-05-2020]


832. What are significant goods or services used in connection with a sector of the Iranian economy specified in Executive Order (E.O.) 13902?

Persons who have knowingly engaged in a significant transaction for the sale, supply, or transfer to or from Iran of significant goods or services used in connection with the construction, mining, manufacturing, and textiles sectors of the Iranian economy as described in FAQ 831 risk exposure to blocking sanctions pursuant to E.O. 13902. Further, foreign financial institutions that have knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant financial transaction for the sale, supply, or transfer to or from Iran of significant goods or services used in connection with those sectors of the Iranian economy risk exposure to U.S. correspondent account or payable-through account sanctions.

OFAC expects that regulations to be promulgated will define goods and services used in connection with the construction, mining, manufacturing, and textiles sectors of the Iranian economy as follows (See FAQ 833 for an interpretation of the term “significant.”):

Goods or services used in connection with the construction sector of the Iranian economy: 

The term goods used in connection with the construction sector of the Iranian economy means equipment or materials that enable the services described below or the activities described in FAQ 831 with respect to the construction sector of the Iranian economy, including: building supplies, concrete, scaffolding, lifts, hoists, cranes, conveyors, and mechanized equipment for material handling. Goods that ensure the protection of life and prevention of injuries to persons operating in the construction sector of the Iranian economy are excluded from this definition, including personal protective equipment, safety devices, and alarm systems.

The term services used in connection with the construction sector of the Iranian economy include: blasting, demolition, dredging, electrical work, excavating, masonry, plumbing, rigging, welding, for-sale building, design-build consultations, and construction management. Services that ensure the protection of life and prevention of injuries to persons operating in the construction sector of the Iranian economy are excluded from this definition, including cleaning, safety inspections, and services necessary for use of protective goods described above. 

Goods or services used in connection with the mining sector of the Iranian economy: 

The term goods used in connection with the mining sector of the Iranian economy means equipment or materials that enable the services described below or the activities described in FAQ 831 with respect to the mining sector of the Iranian economy, including: boring equipment, conveyor belts, directional digging technology, haul trucks, hydraulic excavators, explosives, and power shovels. Goods that ensure the protection of life and prevention of injuries to persons operating in mines in Iran are excluded from this definition, including personal protective equipment, safety devices, ventilation systems, and alarm systems.

The term services used in connection with the mining sector of the Iranian economy includes: auguring, boring, backfilling, combusting, crushing, exploration, grinding, grading, irrigating, impounding, magnetic separation, mineral processing, geophysical surveying, mapping services, operating mines or quarries, site preparation, and related construction activities. Services that ensure the protection of life and prevention of injuries to persons operating in the mining sector of the Iranian economy are excluded from this definition, including rescue and accident response services, cleaning, safety inspections, and services necessary for use of protective goods described above.

Goods or services used in connection with the manufacturing sector of the Iranian economy: 

The term goods used in connection with the manufacturing sector of the Iranian economy means equipment or materials, including raw materials, tooling machinery, and components of finished products, that enable the services described below. Goods that ensure the protection of life and prevention of injuries to persons operating in the manufacturing sector of the Iranian economy are excluded from this definition, including personal protective equipment, safety devices, and alarm systems.

The term services used in connection with the manufacturing sector of the Iranian economyincludes: new installment, additions, alteration, maintenance, and repair of manufacturing equipment; procurement or supply of raw materials for the manufacturing sector of the Iranian economy; and distribution services to persons operating in the manufacturing sector of the Iranian economy. Services that ensure the protection of life and prevention of injuries to persons operating in the manufacturing sector of the Iranian economy are excluded from this definition, including cleaning services, safety inspections, and services necessary for use of protective goods described above.

Goods or services used in connection with the textiles sector of the Iranian economy: 

The term goods used in connection with the textiles sector of the Iranian economy means equipment, machines, materials, and items used in the textiles sector of the Iranian economy or that enable the services described below or the activities described in FAQ 831 with respect to the textiles sector of the Iranian economy, including: looms, industrial sewing machines, industrial washers and dryers, and industrial embroidery machinery. Goods that ensure the protection of life and prevention of injuries to persons operating in the textiles sector of the Iranian economy are excluded from this definition, including personal protective equipment, safety devices, and alarm systems.

The term services used in connection with the textiles sector of the Iranian economy includes: procurement or supply of raw materials for textiles production, and design of textiles products. Services that ensure the protection of life and prevention of injuries to persons operating in the textiles sector of the Iranian economy are excluded from this definition, including cleaning services, safety inspections, and services necessary for use of protective goods described above. [06-05-2020]


833. How will the terms “knowingly” and “significant” be interpreted for purposes of Executive Order (E.O.) 13902?

As a general matter, the Department of the Treasury intends to rely, where applicable, on definitions of terms previously included in Treasury regulations.

For purposes of E.O. 13902, OFAC will rely on the definition of “knowingly” included in the Iranian Financial Sanctions Regulations at 31 C.F.R. § 561.314 (“The term knowingly, with respect to conduct, a circumstance, or a result, means that a person has actual knowledge, or should have known, of the conduct, the circumstance, or the result.”).

In determining whether goods or services used in connection with a sector of the Iranian economy identified pursuant to E.O. 13902 are “significant,” the Department of the Treasury may consider the totality of the facts and circumstances. As a general matter, the Department of the Treasury may consider some or all of the following broad factors: (a) the value and number of goods or value and frequency of services; (b) the nature of the good or services, including their type, complexity, and commercial purpose; (c) the level of awareness of management and whether the provision of goods or services is part of a pattern of conduct; (d) the involvement of designated persons in transactions involving goods and services defined in FAQ 832; (e) the impact of the provision of goods or services on the objectives of E.O. 13902; (f) whether the provision of the goods or services involved deceptive practices; and (g) other relevant factors that the Secretary of the Treasury deems relevant. [06-05-2020]

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