On January 16, 2020, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) released a new frequently asked question (“FAQ”) regarding Iran-related sanctions. This FAQ comes on the heels of the US Government’s recent issuance of Executive Order 13902 (“EO 13902”) on January 10, 2020, which expanded secondary sanctions to target the Iranian construction, mining, manufacturing, and textile sectors and those parties engaged in “significant transactions” or providing “material support” to any parties designated pursuant to the order (“Sanctionable Transactions”). Our blog post regarding EO 13902 is available here. Secondary sanctions can be imposed on non-US parties operating wholly outside US jurisdiction, and thus are of relevance primarily to non-US parties engaged in Iranian transactions.
FAQ 816 explains that non-US parties engaged in any of the Sanctionable Transactions outlined above that could be targeted pursuant to EO 13902 have 90 days from the issuance of EO 13902 to wind down such activity. This wind-down period for EO 13902 ends on April 9, 2020 (“Wind-Down Period”). The Wind-Down Period is intended to allow non-US parties to wrap up any existing Iran-related transactions that may be targeted by these new US sanctions. Any new transactions engaged in during the Wind-Down Period could be viewed as sanctionable by OFAC.