Sylwia A. Lis


The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) has issued an FAQ providing guidance relating to the provision of humanitarian goods and assistance to Iran in response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 outbreak there. The guidance summarizes existing legal authorities that may authorize such humanitarian activities, which include: The making of humanitarian donations from the US or by US persons to recipients in Iran (other than to the Government of Iran, persons on…

On January 6, 2020, the US Department of State’s US Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (“DDTC”) published a set of Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) (available here), which provide long-awaited clarifications regarding the registration and authorization requirements of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR”) applicable to the provision of defense services abroad by natural US persons employed by foreign persons. The main points are summarized below: The FAQs clarify that no registration with DDTC is…

On January 13, 2020, the U.S. Department of Treasury (“Treasury”) issued two anticipated final rules (the “Final Rules”) that replace the existing regulations governing the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”). The Final Rules implement the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (“FIRRMA”) enacted in August 2018, which expanded the United States’ foreign investment review regime. FIRRMA mandated pre-closing notification of certain foreign investments and expanded the scope of transactions subject to CFIUS’ jurisdiction. The Final Rules largely follow the proposed rules released on September 17, 2019. Our analysis of the proposed rules is available here. Our earlier analyses of FIRRMA and the “critical technologies” pilot program implementing certain FIRRMA provisions on an interim basis are available here and here.

On November 5, 2019, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued a new Venezuela-related general license (General License No. 35) (“GL 35”) to authorize certain administrative transactions with the Government of Venezuela (“GOV”) prohibited by Executive Order (“EO”) 13884 (“Blocking Property of the Government of Venezuela”); issued General License No. 34A (“GL 34A”), which supersedes and replaces General License No. 34, and authorizes transactions involving certain GOV-related individuals prohibited by EO 13884; and identified five current GOV officials on the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (“SDN List”) pursuant to EO 13884.

Then, on November 21, 2019, OFAC announced the amendment of the Venezuela Sanctions Regulations (“VSR,” 31 C.F.R. Part 591) to incorporate additional EOs; make certain clarifying changes; add a GL authorizing US Government activities; and add an interpretive provision regarding activities related to judicial processes.  The VSR regulatory amendments took effect on November 22, 2019 concurrent with their publication in the Federal Register, available here.

These Venezuela sanctions developments are described in more detail below.  Our previous blog posts about US sanctions targeting Venezuela are available here.