Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

Keeping pace with the rapidly changing geopolitics in the region, the last week has brought a series of Iran-related sanctions developments with which global businesses need to keep up.  First, on January 10, the United States further escalated sanctions against Iran, creating new designation authorities for those “operating in” Iran’s construction, mining, manufacturing, and textile

On December 31, 2019, a federal district court in Texas (the “District Court, or “Court”) overturned  a $2 million fine levied by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) against Exxon Mobil Corporation (“Exxon”) for alleged violations of the Ukraine-Related Sanctions Regulations (“URSR”).    OFAC had assessed that Exxon received a prohibited service from a designated

On October 14, 2019, the Trump Administration followed through on its recent threats by issuing a new Executive Order (EO) (as yet unnumbered) establishing sanctions that effectively target the Turkish Government in response to the latter’s military intervention into Northern Syria. Using this authority, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control

On September 20, 2019, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated the Central Bank of Iran, the National Development Fund of Iran, and the Etemad Tejarat Pars Co. under Executive Order 13224, OFAC’s counter-terrorism authority (E.O. 13224). The U.S. pointed to attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil fields as the catalyst for

On September 9, 2019, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) published amendments to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (the “Cuba Sanctions”) to limit “U-turn” transactions and remittances.

“U-turn” transaction is a reference to a Cuba Sanctions authorization (31 CFR § 515.584(d)) for banking institutions subject to U.S. jurisdiction to process

Over the course of the last week, the United States has escalated its sanctions programs targeting Russia and Venezuela. It began by implementing the long-delayed second round of sanctions on Russia mandated by the Chemical and Biological Weapons Act of 1991 (CBW Act) on Saturday, August 3, 2019. While the CBW sanctions will have a

On July 18th, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned seven companies and five individuals involved in the procurement of materials for sanctioned elements of Iran’s nuclear program.

Based in Iran, China, and Belgium, these persons allegedly obtained items for Iran’s Centrifuge Technology Company (TESA), an entity previously designated

On June 4, 2019, the Trump Administration formally implemented its previously announced intent to tighten its Cuban sanctions program. Specifically, on April 17, 2019 the Administration had announced that in response to Cuba’s alleged role in “destabilizing” activities throughout Latin America, particularly in Venezuela and Nicaragua, it would terminate aspects of the relaxations, primarily related

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is known for imposing hefty penalties for violations of US economic sanctions, with individual violations amounting to up to US $295,141 or twice the value of the transaction, whichever is greater, per prohibited transaction, and overall penalties sometimes running into the hundreds

Over the last week, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has issued two updated advisories, as well as issued a series of new designations of Specially Designated Nationals (SDNs), highlighting the sanctions-related risks for, and the focus on, the shipping community. Taken together, they provide important guidance for