WASHINGTON – The United States and Swiss Governments today finalized the terms of the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA), which is now fully operational. The SHTA will further facilitate the flow of humanitarian goods to the Iranian people while safeguarding against the Iranian regime’s diversion of humanitarian trade for malign purposes. The SHTA is the first operational channel established under the framework announced by the U.S. Department of State and the Treasury in October 2019 to facilitate humanitarian trade with Iran. Initial transactions were successfully conducted in late January 2020 to demonstrate the viability and effectiveness of the SHTA.
“The Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement will help ensure that humanitarian goods continue to reach the Iranian people without diversion by the regime,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “We thank our Swiss counterparts for their dedicated efforts in establishing the SHTA and we look forward to our continued collaboration.”
While the United States maintains broad exceptions and authorizations for the conduct of humanitarian trade with Iran, the SHTA presents a voluntary option for facilitating payment for exports of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, and medical devices to Iran in a manner that ensures the upmost transparency. Under the SHTA, participating financial institutions commit to conducting enhanced due diligence to ensure that humanitarian goods reach the people of Iran and are not misused by the Iranian regime.
Companies within Swiss jurisdiction may reach out to Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) at SHTA@seco.admin.ch for further details on requirements and instructions for participating in the SHTA. This includes entities that are owned or controlled by U.S. and third-country persons and domiciled in Switzerland. Parties may continue to avail themselves of existing exceptions and authorizations to conduct humanitarian trade with Iran outside of the humanitarian channel.
Foreign governments and foreign financial institutions interested in establishing a humanitarian mechanism consistent with the guidance published on October 25, 2019, should reach out to the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control for more information or to provide a proposed framework for evaluation. Such proposals should demonstrate careful consideration of the illustrative list of potential enhanced due diligence and reporting expectations described in the October 25, 2019 guidance.