Licenses

Eighth Biennial Report for Licensing Activities Undertaken Pursuant to the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (TSRA)

OFAC has released a Biennial Report of Licensing Activities pursuant to Section 906(c) of the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (TSRA), covering activities undertaken by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) under Section 906(a)(1) of the TSRA from October 2014 through September 2016.  Under the procedures established in its TSRA-related regulations, OFAC processes license applications requesting authorization to export agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical devices to Iran and Sudan under the specific licensing regime set forth in Section 906 of the TSRA.

Links:

OFAC Notice

TSRA Biennial Report

Earlier today, OFAC issued a new Venezuela General License “Authorizing Transactions Involving Certain Government of Venezuela Persons”:

GENERAL LICENSE NO. 34

Authorizing Transactions Involving Certain Government of Venezuela Persons

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this general license, all transactions and activities prohibited by Executive Order (E.O.) 13884 involving one or more individuals who meet the definition of the “Government of Venezuela,” as defined in E.O. 13884, including all transactions that involve property in which such individuals have an interest, are authorized, provided that the individuals are one or more of the following:

(1) United States citizens;

(2) Permanent resident aliens of the United States;

(3) Individuals in the United States who have a valid U.S. immigrant or nonimmigrant visa, other than individuals in the United States as part of Venezuela’s mission to the United Nations; or

(4) Former employees and contractors of the Government of Venezuela.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (c), all transactions necessary to unblock property or interests in property that were blocked solely pursuant to E.O. 13884, including the return or processing of funds, for individuals described in paragraph (a) of this general license are authorized.

(c) This general license does not authorize:

(1) The unblocking of any property blocked pursuant to E.O. 13884, or any part of 31 C.F.R. chapter V, except as authorized by paragraph (a) or (b); or

(2) Any transactions or dealings otherwise prohibited by E.O. 13884, or E.O. 13850 of November 1, 2018, E.O. 13835 of May 21, 2018, E.O. 13827 of March 19, 2018, E.O. 13808 of August 24, 2017, or E.O. 13692 of March 8, 2015, each as amended by E.O. 13857 of January 25, 2019, or any part of 31 C.F.R. chapter V, or any transactions or dealings with any blocked person, including persons meeting the definition of the “Government of Venezuela” in

E.O. 13884, other than the individuals described in paragraph (a) of this general license.

(d)U.S. persons unblocking property pursuant to paragraph (a) or (b) of this general license are required, within 10 business days from the date the property is unblocked, to file a report detailing the information required by 31 C.F.R. § 501.603(b)(3)(ii), with the Office of Foreign Assets Control, Office of Compliance and Enforcement, U.S. Department of the Treasury, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Freedman’s Bank Building, Washington, DC 20220, or via email to OFACReport@treasury.gov.

And amended FAQ 680:

680. Does the blocking of the Government of Venezuela impact the ability of U.S. persons to transact with the Government of Venezuela, or persons in which the Government of Venezuela owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest?

 

Yes. Unless exempt or authorized by OFAC, all property and interests in property of persons meeting the definition of the Government of Venezuela  (see section 6(d) of E.O. 13884 of August 5, 2019) that are in, or come within, the United States or the possession or control of a United States person are blocked, pursuant to E.O. 13884.  The term “Government of Venezuela,” as defined in E.O. 13884, includes the state and Government of Venezuela, any political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including the Central Bank of Venezuela and Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA), any person owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the foregoing, and any person who has acted or purported to act directly or
indirectly for or on behalf of, any of the foregoing, including as a member of the Maduro regime, 

OFAC has issued several General Licenses (GLs) that provide authorization for categories of persons blocked by E.O. 13884.  GL 34 authorizes transactions with certain Government of Venezuela individuals, including United States citizens; permanent resident aliens of the United States; individuals in the United States who have a valid U.S. immigrant or nonimmigrant visa, other than individuals in the United States as part of Venezuela’s mission to the United Nations; and former employees and contractors of the Government of Venezuela.  In addition, GL 22 authorizes certain transactions related to Venezuela’s mission to the United Nations, and GL 31 provides authorization related to the Government of the Interim President of Venezuela. 

Without authorization from OFAC, U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with the Government of Venezuela, or persons in which the Government of Venezuela owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest. U.S. persons are not prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the country or people of Venezuela, provided blocked persons or any conduct prohibited by any other Executive order imposing sanctions measures related to the situation in Venezuela, are not involved.

Please note that persons meeting the definition of Government of Venezuela and persons that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by the Government of Venezuela are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13884, regardless of whether the person appears on the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list (SDN List), unless exempt or authorized by OFAC. 

As a general matter, OFAC expects financial institutions to conduct due diligence on their own direct customers (including, for example, their ownership structure) to confirm that those customers are not persons whose property and interests in property are blocked.  With regard to other types of transactions where a financial institution is acting solely as an intermediary and fails to block transactions involving a sanctions target, OFAC will consider the totality of the circumstances surrounding the bank’s processing of the transaction to determine what, if any, regulatory response is appropriate. [09-09-2019]

Links:

OFAC Notice

General License 34

FAQ 680

Guidance Related to the Provision of Humanitarian Assistance and Support to the Venezuelan People

Date: August 6, 2019

As the illegitimate former Maduro regime continues to usurp power and plunder assets that rightfully belong to the Venezuelan people, the United States has implemented Venezuela- related sanctions to preserve such assets for the Venezuelan people. These sanctions are designed to limit the Maduro regime’s sources of revenue and hold accountable those who stand in the way of restoring democracy in Venezuela, while also ensuring that the flow of humanitarian goods and services to the Venezuelan people is not prohibited by U.S. sanctions. The United States stands with the Venezuelan people and interim President Juan Guaidó in opposition to the Maduro regime.

In its administration of economic sanctions related to Venezuela, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is committed to ensuring that humanitarian support can flow to the people of Venezuela and that access to communications services critical to democracy is unfettered. To that end, OFAC maintains several authorizations to ensure that U.S. persons1 may continue to support the people of Venezuela. OFAC encourages U.S. persons to avail themselves of these authorizations. This guidance underscores that humanitarian assistance and activities to promote democracy are not the target of U.S. sanctions and are generally excepted from sanctions, so long as such activity meets the requirements outlined in each authorization. Likewise, sanctions do not prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in transactions involving the country or people of Venezuela, provided blocked persons or proscribed conduct are not involved.2

Overview of Authorizations

U.S. persons are subject to a number of prohibitions regarding dealings with certain Venezuelan individuals and entities. OFAC’s regulations allow U.S. persons to continue to provide unimpeded humanitarian support to the Venezuelan people. This includes transactions through the U.S. financial system for authorized activity described below.3 For additional information, we encourage you to review OFAC Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 519 and 665.

• Food, agricultural commodities, medicine, medical devices, and humanitarian items: 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. Likewise, Executive Order of August 5, 2019, which blocks the property and interests in property of the Government of Venezuela, does not prohibit 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. Those involved in exports or reexports related to these authorizations should also consult the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security to ensure eligibility of exportation or reexportation under its authorities.

• Remittances: General License 16B authorizes all transactions and activities ordinarily incident and necessary to processing noncommercial, personal remittances involving certain financial institutions. As of August 5, 2019, these financial institutions include 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.

• International organizations: General License 20A 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.

• Telecommunications and mail: General License 24 authorizes transactions involving the Government of Venezuela incident to the receipt and transmission of telecommunications, as well as transactions of common carriers involving the Government of Venezuela incident to the receipt or transmission of mail and packages between the United States and Venezuela. Those involved in exports or reexports related to this authorization should consult the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security to ensure eligibility of exportation or reexportation under its authorities.

• Internet: General License 25 authorizes the exportation or reexportation, directly or indirectly, from the United States or by U.S. persons, wherever located, to or involving the Government of Venezuela of services, software, hardware, and technology incident to the exchange of communications over the Internet, such as instant messaging, chat and email, social networking, sharing of photos and movies, web browsing, blogging, web hosting, and domain name registration services. Those involved in exports or reexports related to this authorization should consult the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security to ensure eligibility of exportation or reexportation under its authorities.

• Medical services: 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.

• Nongovernmental organizations: General License 29 authorizes nongovernmental 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.

Statement of Licensing Policy

For transactions not otherwise authorized by OFAC general licenses, OFAC maintains a long- standing, favorable specific licensing policy supporting the provision of humanitarian assistance through which U.S. persons can request OFAC approval for such transactions. OFAC considers specific licenses on a case-by-case basis and prioritizes license applications, compliance questions, and other requests related to humanitarian support for the Venezuelan people.

If you have any questions regarding the scope of any Venezuela-related sanctions requirements, or the applicability or scope of any humanitarian-related general license, please contact OFAC’s Sanctions Compliance and Evaluation Division at (800) 540-6322 or (202) 622-2490.

Link:

Guidance Document

OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL

Executive Order 13808 of August 24, 2017

Imposing Additional Sanctions with Respect to the Situation in Venezuela

Executive Order 13850 of November 1, 2018

Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela

Executive Order of August 5, 2019 Blocking Property of the Government of Venezuela

GENERAL LICENSE 3F

Authorizing Transactions Related to, Provision of Financing for, and Other Dealings in Certain Bonds

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (e) and (f) of this general license, all transactions related to, the provision of financing for, and other dealings in bonds specified in the Annex to this general license (GL 3F Bonds) that would be prohibited by Subsection 1(a)(iii) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13808, or by E.O. 13850, each as amended by E.O. 13857 of January 25, 2019, or by E.O. of August 5, 2019, are authorized, provided that any divestment or transfer of, or facilitation of divestment or transfer of, any holdings in such bonds must be to a non-U.S. person.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (f) of this general license, U.S. persons are authorized to engage in all transactions prohibited by Subsection l(a)(iii) of E.O. 13808 or by E.O. 13850, each as amended, or by E.O. of August 5, 2019 that are ordinarily incident and necessary to facilitating, clearing, and settling trades of holdings in GL 3F Bonds, provided such trades were placed prior to 4:00 p.m. eastern standard time on February 1, 2019.

(c) Except as provided in paragraph (f) of this general license, all transactions and activities prohibited by Section l(a)(iii) of E.O. 13808 or by E.O. 13850, each as amended, or by E.O. of August 5, 2019 that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the wind down of financial contracts or other agreements that were entered into prior to 4:00 p.m. eastern standard time on February 1, 2019, involving, or linked to, GL 3F Bonds are authorized. This authorization is valid through 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, September 30, 2019.

(d) Except as provided in paragraph (f) of this general license, all transactions related to, the provision of financing for, and other dealings in bonds that were issued both (i) prior to August 25, 2017 (the effective date of E.O. 13808), and (ii) by U.S. person entities owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the Government of Venezuela, other than Nynas AB, PDV Holding, Inc. (PDVH), CITGO Holding, Inc., and any of their subsidiaries, are authorized.

(e) Paragraph (a) of this general license does not authorize:

(1) U.S. persons to sell, or to facilitate the sale of, GL3F Bonds to, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13850, as amended, or E.O. of August 5, 2019.

(2) U.S. persons to purchase or invest in, or to facilitate the purchase of or investment in, directly or indirectly, GL 3F Bonds, other than purchases of or investments in GL 3F Bonds that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the divestment or transfer of holdings in GL 3F Bonds.

(f) This general license does not authorize:

(1) The unblocking of any property blocked pursuant to any part of 31 C.F.R. chapter V,

except as authorized by paragraphs (a), (b), (c), and (d); or

(2) Any transaction that is otherwise prohibited by E.O. of August 5, 2019, or E.O. 13850, E.O. 13835 of May 21, 2018, E.O. 13827 of March 19, 2018, E.O. 13808, or E.O. 13692

of March 8, 2015, each as amended, or any part of 31 C.F.R. chapter V, or any transactions or dealings with any blocked person other than the transactions involving the Government of Venezuela, including Banco Central de Venezuela, that are described in this general license.

(g) Effective August 5, 2019, General License No. 3E, dated April 17, 2019, is replaced and superseded in its entirety by this General License No. 3F.

The Annex of permissible securities was updated as well.

Link:

General License 3F

OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL

Executive Order 13808 of August 24, 2017

Imposing Additional Sanctions with Respect to the Situation in Venezuela

Executive Order of August 5, 2019 Blocking Property of the Government of Venezuela

GENERAL LICENSE 2A

Authorizing Certain New Debt, New Equity, and Securities Transactions Involving PDV Holding, Inc. and CITGO Holding, Inc.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this general license, all transactions and activities prohibited by Subsections 1(a)(i), 1(a)(ii), and 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13808, as amended by E.O. 13857 of January 25, 2019, or E.O. of August 5, 2019, where the only Government of Venezuela entities involved are PDV Holding, Inc. (PDVH), CITGO Holding, Inc., or any of their subsidiaries, are authorized.

(b) This general license does not authorize any transaction that is otherwise prohibited by E.O. of August 5, 2019, or E.O. 13835 of May 21, 2018, E.O. 13827 of March 19, 2018, E.O.

13850 of November 1, 2018, E.O. 13808, or E.O. 13692 of March 8, 2015, each as amended by E.O. 13857, or by any part of 31 C.F.R. chapter V.

(c) Effective August 5, 2019, General License No. 2, dated August 25, 2017, is replaced and superseded in its entirety by this General License No. 2A.

Link:

General License 2A

OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL

Executive Order 13850 of November 1, 2018

Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela

GENERAL LICENSE NO. SB

Authorizing Transactions Involving Petr6leos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA) Necessary for Maintenance of Operations for Certain Entities in Venezuela

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this general license, all transactions and activities ordinarily incident and necessary to the maintenance of operations, contracts, or other agreements in Venezuela involving PdVSA or any entity in which PdVSA owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest prohibited by Executive Order (E.O.) 13850, as amended by E.O. 13857 of January 25, 2019, and that were in effect prior to July 26, 2019, are authorized through 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, October 25, 2019 for the following entities and their subsidiaries:

• Chevron Corporation

• Halliburton

• Schlumberger Limited

• Baker Hughes, a GE Company

• Weatherford International, Public Limited Company

(b) This general license does not authorize:

(1) Any transactions or dealings related to the exportation or reexportation of diluents, directly or indirectly, to Venezuela; or

(2) Any transaction that is otherwise prohibited by E.O. 13850, E.O. 13835 of May 21, 2018, E.O. 13827 of March 19, 2018, E.O. 13808 of August 24, 2017, E.O. 13692 of March 8, 2015, or any part of 31 C.F.R. chapter V, or any transactions or dealings with any blocked person other than the blocked persons described in paragraph (a) of this general license.

(c) Effective July 26, 2019, General License No. 8A, dated June 6, 2019, is replaced and superseded in its entirety by this General License 8B.

So, basically, the expiration date went from Saturday (July 27) to October 25…

Link:

Venezuela General License 8B

Issuance of Amended Venezuela-related General License; Temporary Extension of Ukraine-related General Licenses

The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is amending Venezuela-related

Today OFAC extended the expiration date of two general licenses related to GAZ Group by issuing General License No. 13L – Authorizing Certain Transactions Necessary to Divest or Transfer Debt, Equity, or Other Holdings in Certain Blocked Persons, and General License No. 15F – Authorizing Certain Activities Necessary to Maintenance or Wind Down of Operations or Existing Contracts with GAZ Group, or Certain Automotive Safety Activities.

In addition, General License No. 15F includes a new authorization for certain safety-related activity.

Links:

OFAC Notice

Venezuela General License 13B

Ukraine-Related General License 13L

Ukraine-Related General License 15F