Sanctions Targeting Venezuela


On May 12, 2020, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) announced the lifting of US sanctions on Nynas AB (“Nynas”) and the related revocation of General License No. 13E (“Authorizing Certain Activities Involving Nynas AB”) (“GL 13E”). We blogged about last month’s extension of GL 13E here. Nynas and its subsidiaries were previously subject to US sanctions because Nynas was indirectly owned and controlled by Petróleos de Venezuela SA (“PdVSA”) and,…

On April 28, 2020, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) published two new final rules and a proposed rule in the Federal Register amending the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) to tighten restrictions on exports of technology to China, Russia, and Venezuela. According to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, these actions are intended to combat efforts by entities in China, Russia, and Venezuela to use certain US technologies obtained through civilian supply chains…

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.

On October 17, 2019, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) re-issued and amended as General License No. 13D (“GL 13D”) to continue the validity period for transactions concerning Nynas AB and its affiliates (“Nynas”), as further described below.  In addition, on October 21, 2019, OFAC re-issued as General License No. 8D (“GL 8D”) to continue the validity period certain maintenance activities involving Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (“PdVSA”) where certain entities are involved, as further described below.  Finally, on October 24, 2019, OFAC re-issued and amended as General License No. 5A (“GL 5A”) to prohibit dealings or payments for three months related to a specific PdVSA bond.  Our blog post regarding previous amendments to these GLs is available here.