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Another day, another set of Russia-related Frequently Asked Questions

Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions

1068. For the purposes of the determination made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 on May 8, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services” (“the determination”), do accounting services include tax preparation and filing?

Yes.  U.S. persons, wherever located, are prohibited from exporting, reexporting, selling, or supplying, directly or indirectly, accounting services, which would include tax preparation and filing services, to any person located in the Russian Federation, unless otherwise exempt or authorized by OFAC.  Please see FAQ 1059 for more information.  Please note the determination excludes the provision by a U.S. person of any service to an entity located in the Russian Federation that is owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a United States person, and any service in connection with the wind down or divestiture of an entity located in the Russian Federation that is not owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a Russian person.

As noted in FAQ 1067, this determination does not prohibit the export, reexport, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, of tax preparation-related software to the Russian Federation, as distinct from tax  preparation and filing services.  Please see FAQ 1067for more information. 
 

Released on 06/09/2022

Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions

1067. Do the prohibitions imposed by the determination made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 on May 8, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services” (“the determination”), prohibit U.S. persons from providing software related to accounting, management consulting, or trust and corporate formation to persons located in the Russian Federation? 

The determination does not prohibit U.S. persons from exporting, reexporting, selling, or supplying, directly or indirectly, software to the Russian Federation, nor does the determination prohibit U.S. persons from providing services associated with the export of such software, such as software design and engineering, provided that such associated services do not fall within the categories of management consulting, accounting, or trust and corporate formation. 
For example, the following scenario describes activities that would not be prohibited under the determination:

  • A U.S. software company signs a contract with a company located in the Russian Federation (“Russian company”) for design, engineering, licensing, and delivery of software that the Russian company uses to perform its internal accounting.  As part of the contract, the U.S. company provides continuing updates and technical support services related to the software (setting up new users, troubleshooting errors, etc.).

The following scenarios illustrate activities that would be prohibited under the determination:

  • A U.S. management consulting company signs a contract with a Russian company to assist the Russian company in selecting a new enterprise application software.  This contract includes assessing the needs of the Russian company, providing a list of possible software choices to the company, and providing continuing advisory services on the implementation and use of the software to optimize the Russian company’s profits.  

Released on 06/09/2022

Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions

1066. Do the prohibitions imposed by the determination made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 on May 8, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services,” prohibit the provision of educational services, such as online university courses, on the subjects of accounting, management consulting, or trust and corporate formation to persons located in the Russian Federation?

No, provided such services do not evade or avoid the prohibition on providing the underlying services to persons located in the Russian Federation. 

Released on 06/09/2022

Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions

1065. Do the prohibitions imposed by the determination made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 on May 8, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services,” prohibit U.S. persons from serving as voting trustees on behalf of, or for shares of, persons located in the Russian Federation? 

Yes, unless otherwise exempt or authorized by OFAC. 

Released on 06/09/2022

Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions

1064. Are executive search and vetting services included in the prohibition on management consulting services imposed by the determination made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 on May 8, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services”?

Yes.  For the purposes of this determination, OFAC interprets management consulting services to include services related to strategic business advice; organizational and systems planning, evaluation, and selection; development or evaluation of marketing programs or implementation; mergers, acquisitions, and organizational structure; staff augmentation and human resources policies and practices; and brand management.  Please see FAQ 1034 for more information.

Released on 06/09/2022

Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions

1063. Do the prohibitions imposed by the determination made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 on May 8, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services” (“the determination”), apply only with respect to the formation of new trusts and companies or do the prohibitions also apply with respect to existing trusts and companies?

The prohibitions imposed by the determination do not distinguish between new and existing trusts and companies.  Under the determination, U.S. persons are prohibited from providing trust and corporate formation services to persons located in the Russian Federation, regardless of whether the services are performed as part of the formation of a new trust or company, or as part of the administration or maintenance of an existing trust or company.  Please see FAQ 1034 for more information.

In addition, please note that the determination excludes from the scope of the aforementioned services: (1) any service to an entity located in the Russian Federation that is owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a United States person; and (2) any service in connection with the wind down or divestiture of an entity located in the Russian Federation that is not owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a Russian person. 

Released on 06/09/2022

Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions

1062. Do the prohibitions imposed by the determination made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 on May 8, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services,” apply to services provided to a parent company located in the Russian Federation by a U.S. subsidiary?

Yes.  The prohibitions apply to services provided to a company located in the Russian Federation (the “Russian company”) by any U.S. person, including the Russian company’s U.S. subsidiary.

Released on 06/09/2022

Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions

1061. Does the determination made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 on May 8, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services” (“the determination”), prohibit U.S. persons from working as employees of entities located in the Russian Federation?

Not necessarily.  Under the determination, U.S. persons are prohibited from exporting, reexporting, selling, or supplying, directly or indirectly, management consulting, trust and corporate formation services, and accounting services to persons located in the Russian Federation.  Thus, U.S. persons are prohibited from providing these services to companies located in the Russian Federation (“Russian companies”) in their capacity as employees.  However, the determination does not prohibit U.S. persons from providing other services not covered by this determination as part of their employment by Russian companies.  

In addition, please note that the determination excludes from the scope of the aforementioned services:  (1) any service to an entity located in the Russian Federation that is owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a United States person; and (2) any service in connection with the wind down or divestiture of an entity located in the Russian Federation that is not owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a Russian person.
 

Released on 06/09/2022

Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions

1060. Does the determination made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 on May 8, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services” (“the determination”), prohibit U.S. persons from serving as directors of companies located in the Russian Federation?

Under the determination, U.S. persons are prohibited from exporting, reexporting, selling, or supplying, directly or indirectly, trust and corporate formation services to persons located in the Russian Federation.  This prohibition on trust and corporate formation services does not, in and of itself, prohibit U.S. persons from serving on the board of directors of a company located in the Russian Federation.   

However, this determination would prohibit U.S. persons from providing nominee officer or director services in which a U.S. person is contracted to serve as a nominee officer, director, shareholder, or signatory of a legal person on behalf of a person located in the Russian Federation. 

Released on 06/09/2022

Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions

1059. Does the determination made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 on May 8, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services” (“the determination”), prohibit U.S. persons from providing services to persons located outside of the Russian Federation that are owned or controlled by persons located in the Russian Federation?

No, provided that the provision of services is not an indirect export to a person located in the Russian Federation.  For the purposes of this determination, OFAC interprets the “indirect” provision of the prohibited services to include when the benefit of the services is ultimately received by a “person located in the Russian Federation.”

In contrast, OFAC would not consider to be prohibited the provision of services to a non-Russian company that has a physical presence and operations outside of the Russian Federation, including such a company owned or controlled by persons located in the Russian Federation, provided that the services will not be further exported or reexported to persons located in the Russian Federation.

For example, the following scenarios describe services that would be prohibited under the determination:

  • A U.S. corporate service provider administers a trust established under the laws of a U.S. state, where the trust exists predominantly to hold, sell, or purchase assets on behalf of a settlor, trustor, or beneficiary who is an individual ordinarily resident in Russia. 
  • A U.S. corporate service provider registers a limited liability company in a third country on behalf of an individual ordinarily resident in Russia for the purpose of holding real estate assets, and this company has no other physical presence or operations in the third country. 

The following scenarios illustrate services to a non-Russian subsidiary of a Russian person that would not be prohibited under the determination:

  • A U.S. accounting firm provides tax advisory and preparation services to the U.S. subsidiary of a Russian company.  This U.S. subsidiary has an office and employees in the United States and conducts business in the United States, and the services will not be exported or reexported to the Russian parent company.
  • A U.S. management consulting firm provides strategic business advice to the subsidiary of a Russian company located in a third country.  This subsidiary has an office and employees in the third country and conducts business in this third country, and the services will not be reexported to the Russian parent company. 
     

Released on 06/09/2022

Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions

1058. For the purposes of section 1(a)(ii) of Executive Order (E.O.) 14071, what is meant by the term “person located in the Russian Federation”?

For the purposes of section 1(a)(ii) of E.O. 14071, OFAC interprets “person located in the Russian Federation” to include persons in the Russian Federation, individuals ordinarily resident in the Russian Federation, and entities incorporated or organized under the laws of the Russian Federation or any jurisdiction within the Russian Federation.  

Please note that section 1(a)(ii) of E.O. 14071 prohibits the direct or indirect exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, of such services determined pursuant to E.O. 14071.  For the purposes of E.O. 14071, OFAC interprets the “indirect” provision of such services to include when the benefit of the services is ultimately received by a “person located in the Russian Federation.”  Please see FAQ 1059 for more information.

Released on 06/09/2022

Links:

OFAC Notice

New FAQs

Categories: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Guidance OFAC Updates Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions

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