Frequently Asked Questions

541. What activities can trigger sanctions on a foreign financial institution (FFI) under section 5 of the Ukraine Freedom Support Act (UFSA), as amended by section 226 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), now incorporated into § 589.209 of the Ukraine-/Russia-Related Sanctions Regulations (URSR)?

Answer

Section 226 of CAATSA amended section 5 of UFSA to make the sanctions in that section, which were previously discretionary, mandatory.  This section is implemented in § 589.209 of the URSR.  Under § 589.209, FFIs face sanctions if the Secretary of the Treasury determines that they knowingly engage in significant transactions involving certain defense- and energy-related activities or knowingly facilitate significant financial transactions on behalf of any Russian person added to OFAC’s SDN List pursuant to UFSA, Executive Order (E.O.) 13660, E.O. 13661, E.O. 13662, E.O. 13865, or any other E.O. addressing the crisis in Ukraine.  FFIs will not be subject to sanctions under § 589.209 solely on the basis of knowingly facilitating significant financial transactions on behalf of persons listed on OFAC’s Sectoral Sanctions Identification List pursuant to § 589.202, 589.203, 589.204, or 589.205, or any earlier version of Directives 1-4 of E.O. 13662.

Unless the Secretary of State makes a determination that it is not in the national interest of the United States to do so, the Secretary of the Treasury shall prohibit the opening and prohibit or impose strict conditions on the maintaining in the United States of correspondent accounts or payable-through accounts for any FFI that the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, determines has engaged in sanctionable activity.

Date Updated: April 29, 2022

Date Released
October 31, 2018