The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) recently announced the removal of General License 13E (“GL 13E”), authorizing certain activities involving Nynas AB, a Swedish manufacturer of specialty oils owned in part by PDVSA, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company.  The notice issued by OFAC states that Nynas AB “has undertaken a corporate

The United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) released a fact sheet that outlines exemptions, exceptions, and authorizations for humanitarian assistance and trade under the sanctions programs for Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, Syria, Cuba, and Ukraine/Russia. The fact sheet can assist with questions about exporting Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and

The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) recently issued General License 13E (“GL 13E”), authorizing certain activities involving Nynas AB, a Swedish manufacturer of specialty oils owned in part by PDVSA, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, which would normally be prohibited by Executive Order 13850 (“E.O. 13850”).  The notice issued by OFAC

The U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) has recently issued two new General Licenses to extend pre-existing authorizations for transactions with GAZ Group that would otherwise be prohibited under OFAC’s Ukraine- and Russia-related sanctions. General License 15H (“GL 15H”) authorizes certain activities necessary to maintenance or wind down of operations or existing contracts

On October 14, 2019, President Trump announced via Twitter his intention to authorize sanctions against Turkey and “any persons contributing to Turkey’s destabilizing actions in northeast Syria.” The announcement followed Turkey’s recent military operation against predominately Kurdish forces in northern Syria, which began following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region. Later in the day, President Trump issued an Executive Order (the “Syria-Turkey EO”) to formally implement those sanctions. Under the Syria-Turkey EO:

  • The U.S. Secretary of the Treasury is now authorized to impose blocking sanctions on any person that it determines to be: (i) responsible for or complicit in actions that threaten Syrian stability or abuse human rights, (ii) an official or agency of the Government of Turkey, or (iii) operating in sectors of the Turkish economy that the Secretary of Treasury might later decide to target with sanctions. The Syria-Turkey EO also authorizes the Treasury Secretary to impose blocking sanctions on any person (including non-U.S. persons) who provides material assistance, goods or services to or in support of any person sanctioned under the Syria-Turkey EO.
  • The U.S. Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to restrict or prohibit foreign financial institutions from opening or maintaining correspondent or payable through accounts in the U.S. if the Treasury Department determines that those foreign financial institutions have knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant financial transaction for or on behalf of any person who becomes subject to the above-described blocking sanctions.
  • The U.S. Secretary of State is now authorized to impose menu-based sanctions on any person the Secretary determines to have interfered with peacekeeping and restorative efforts in northern Syria. These authorized menu-based sanctions include (but are not limited to): blocking sanctions, denial of U.S. entry visas and financing-based sanctions.


Continue Reading President Trump Imposes Sanctions Against Turkey for its Syria Offensive

On Sunday, January 27, 2019, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) announced the lifting of sanctions imposed on En+ Group plc (“En+”), UC Rusal plc (“Rusal”) and JSC EuroSibEnergo (“ESE”).  As previously reported here, this announcement follows the Administration’s notification submitted to Congress on December 19, 2018.
Continue Reading OFAC Lifts Sanctions on EN+, Rusal and EuroSibEnergo

Today, January 8, 2019, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) added approximately 30 individuals and entities to its Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (the “SDN List”) due to their engagement in corrupt currency exchange transactions which enriched themselves by at least $2.4 billion at the expense of Venezuela’s citizens.  These sanctioned persons include two former Venezuelan National Treasurers – Claudia Patricia Diaz Guillen (“Diaz”) and Alejandro Jose Andrade Cedeno (“Andrade”) – who authorized a Venezuelan businessman named Raul Antonio Gorrin Belisario (“Gorrin”) to convert Venezuelan bolivars into U.S. dollars at highly favorable exchange rates at currency exchange houses under his control.  Gorrin then shared the resulting excess currency conversion profits with Diaz and Andrade by engaging in deceptive practices to purchase a wide variety of properties, aircraft and other luxury assets on behalf of Diaz, Andrade, their family members and their other business associates.  The Treasury Department published a diagram which explains the scheme in further detail.
Continue Reading OFAC Announces New Sanctions Related to Venezuela

On December 19, 2018, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) and the U.S. State Department took multiple sanctions actions related to Russia:

Proposed Delisting of En+ Group, UC Rusal and ESE

OFAC notified Congress of its intent to remove En+ Group plc (“En+ Group”), UC Rusal plc (“UC Rusal”) and JSC EuroSibEnergo (“ESE”) from its Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (the “SDN List”) within thirty (30) days from December 19, 2018.  OFAC first added these companies to the SDN List in April 2018 when it imposed sanctions on Oleg Deripaska due to his status as a senior Russian government official.  OFAC added these three companies to the SDN List because Deripaska was the majority owner of En+ Group (which, in turn, was the majority owner of both UC Rusal and ESE).  Under OFAC’s 50% ownership rule, these sanctions also extended to any subsidiaries in which En+ Group, UC Rusal or ESE held an ownership interest of 50% or greater. 
Continue Reading OFAC Announces Multiple Changes to Russia Related Sanctions

On December 7, 2018, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) further extended the expiration date of certain Ukraine-related general licenses related to EN+ Group plc (EN+), United Company RUSAL PLC (RUSAL), and GAZ Group (GAZ) as the entities continue discussions with OFAC to potentially effect “significant changes in control of these sanctioned entities.”   The new  General Licenses 13H (Authorizing Certain Transactions Necessary to Divest or Transfer Debt, Equity, or Other Holdings in Certain Blocked Persons), 14D (Authorizing Certain Activities Necessary to Maintenance or Wind Down of Operations or Existing Contracts with United Company RUSAL PLC), 15C (Authorizing Certain Activities Necessary to Maintenance or Wind Down of Operations or Existing Contracts with GAZ Group), and 16D (Authorizing Certain Activities Necessary to Maintenance or Wind Down of Operations or Existing Contracts with EN+ Group PLC or JSC EuroSibEnergo) supersede their previous versions by extending the expiration date from from January 7, 2019, to January 21, 2019.
Continue Reading OFAC Extends Expiration Date of Certain Ukraine-Related General Licenses by Two Weeks