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 OFAC’s SDN List, and certain other blocked parties) under 560.210(b) of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (“ITSR”);
  • The supply to Iran of humanitarian goods, including medicine and medical devices, from the US or by US persons, US-owned or -controlled foreign entities, and non-US persons to Iran or the Government of Iran under various exemptions, exceptions, and authorizations to US sanctions law, including the general licenses in ITSR Section 560.530 which authorizes the export/reexport to Iran of agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical devices and related transactions;
  • The export or re-export by NGOs of services to or related to Iran in support of certain activities designed to directly benefit the Iranian people, including the provision of donated health-related services and distribution of donated articles such as medicine, under General License E; and
  • Other types of humanitarian activities or exports by US persons authorized by specific licenses from OFAC.

The guidance, and the underlying authorities it references, include a number of detailed conditions and terms, including various restrictions on transactions involving the Government of Iran, SDNs, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and others.

Author

Ms. Lis has extensive experience advising companies on US laws relating to exports and reexports of commercial goods and technology, defense trade controls and trade sanctions — including licensing, regulatory interpretations, compliance programs and enforcement matters. She also has advised clients on national security reviews of foreign investment administered by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), including CFIUS-related due diligence, risk assessment, and representation before the CFIUS agencies.

Author

Ms. Test advices clients on issues relating to licensing, regulatory interpretations, enforcement actions, internal investigations and compliance audits, as well as the design, implementation and administration of compliance programs. She also advises clients on the extra-territorial application of trade compliance-related regulations in cross-border transactions.

Author

Daniel Andreeff’s practice focuses on US economic and trade sanctions, including those targeting Iran, Russia, Cuba, Syria, and North Korea, export controls, and anti-boycott laws. He represents clients in national security reviews before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and has experience in federal court litigation and congressional investigations. His pro bono practice includes providing sanctions and export control advice to a global humanitarian NGO. * Admitted in New York only. Practice in the District of Columbia is under the supervision of a member of the District of Columbia Bar.