On March 24, 2023, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued a final rule amending and reissuing the Belarus Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 548 (the “Regulations”), to implement Executive Order (“EO”) 14038, including Directive 1 issued pursuant to EO 14038. The final rule is effective as of March 27, 2023.

OFAC had previously sanctioned certain Belarussian parties as a result of Belarus’ support for and facilitation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. For more information on these designations and other Belarus-specific restrictions, please see our prior blog post here.

Background on EO 14038 and Directive 1

On August 9, 2021, President Biden issued EO 14038 “Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Belarus”, expanding sanctions against Belarus due to the US Government’s concerns related to its harmful activities aimed at suppressing democracy and human rights in the country. OFAC had also issued Directive 1 pursuant to EO 14038 prohibiting US Persons from dealings in new debt with a maturity of greater than 90 days issued on or after December 2, 2021 by the Ministry of Finance (“Ministry”) or the Development Bank of Belarus (“DBB”). Directive 1 does not prohibit any other activities involving the Ministry or the DBB, or their property or interests in property. This restriction also does not extend to entities owned 50% or more by the Ministry or DBB.  These have now been incorporated into the Regulations. 

Amendments to the Regulations

In addition to updating the Regulations to confirm with EO 14038 and Directive 1, OFAC also made the following key amendments to the Regulations:

  • Removing license requirement for legal services payments. OFAC updated its statement on its licensing policy, including removing the requirement that payment for legal services be specifically licensed. OFAC is adding a new authorization for payment for legal services from funds originating outside the United States.
  • Removing license requirement for certain emergency medical services.
  • Adding General License 3 to the Regulations: OFAC is also incorporating Belarus General License 3 to the Regulations, which authorizes certain transactions with the State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus and was previously issued on OFAC’s website on June 21, 2021 and will be removed from the website upon publication of this rule.
  • New Authority Delegation: Lastly, OFAC amended section 548.802 of the Regulations to add the delegation of the Director of OFAC or by other authorized parties the Secretary of the Treasury Department can delegate with certain authorities with respect to EO 14038.

Ms. Contini focuses her practice on export controls, trade sanctions, and anti-boycott laws. This includes advising US and multinational companies on trade compliance programs, risk assessments, licensing, review of proposed transactions and enforcement matters. Ms. Contini works regularly with companies across a wide range of industries, including the pharmaceutical/medical device, oil and gas, and nuclear sectors.


Meg's practice involves assisting multinational companies with export compliance related matters, specifically trade sanctions and export control classifications. Additionally, she assists companies with respect to customs laws, anti-boycott laws and other trade regulation issues in the US and abroad. She also helps obtain authorizations from the US government for activities subject to sanctions regulations and US export control regulations, including the Export Administration Regulations and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. Meg's practice extends to assistance in internal compliance reviews as well as enforcement actions and disclosures necessitated by US government action.


Andrea practices international commercial law with a focus on cross-border transactions including post-acquisition integration IP migrations and technology licensing. She also advises companies on export controls, sanctions, customs and international corporate compliance. Andrea also has an active pro bono practice, including helping organizations with international constitutional matters and victims of domestic abuse.