Press Releases

Treasury Sanctions Key Timber and Pearl Enterprises in Burma

OFAC Action Impacts Military Regime Sources of Revenue

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated two Burmese state-owned enterprises, Myanma Timber Enterprise (MTE) and Myanmar Pearl Enterprise (MPE), which are responsible for timber and pearl exports from Burma. The timber and pearl industries are key economic resources for the Burmese military regime that is violently repressing pro-democracy protests in the country and that is responsible for the ongoing violent and lethal attacks against the people of Burma, including the killing of children. These sanctions are not directed at the people of Burma.

“The Burmese military derives significant funding from state-owned enterprises in the natural resources market. Today’s action demonstrates the United States’ commitment to targeting this specific funding channel and promoting accountability for those responsible for the coup and ongoing violence,” said Andrea Gacki, OFAC Director.

MTE and MPE are each designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14014, “Blocking Property With Respect to the Situation in Burma,” for being a political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of the Government of Burma.

Myanma Timber Enterprise is a state-owned enterprise under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC). It is responsible for the production and export of timber on behalf of the Burmese military regime. Through its regulatory role, MTE is a key generator of government revenue.

Myanmar Pearl Enterprise is a state-owned enterprise under MONREC. It is responsible for oyster fishing and collecting, artificial breeding of oysters, culturing and harvesting pearl, and selling pearl through the Myanmar Pearl Event. MPE also approves licenses for oyster fishing, collecting and sales of oyster shells, and registration of oyster diving vessels and pearl and oyster technicians. Through its regulatory role, MPE is a key generator of government revenue.

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the entities named above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.

Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or otherwise exempt, all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons are prohibited. The prohibitions include the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any blocked person or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

Click here to view more information on the persons designated today.