Frequently Asked Questions

949. Do sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on the Taliban and the Haqqani Network prohibit the sending of personal remittances to Afghanistan?

Answer

No.  The Taliban are designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended.  The Haqqani Network is designated as an SDGT under E.O. 13224, as amended, and a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).  These sanctions do not prohibit U.S. persons from exporting or reexporting goods or services (including noncommercial, personal remittances) to Afghanistan, provided that the transactions do not involve sanctioned individuals or entities, or property in which a blocked person has an interest, unless exempt from regulation or authorized by OFAC.  For example, U.S. sanctions do not prohibit the hand-carrying of noncommercial, personal remittances to an individual in Afghanistan or ordinarily resident in Afghanistan, other than a blocked individual.

OFAC has also issued Afghanistan-related General License (GL) 16 to facilitate the transfer of noncommercial, personal remittances to individuals in Afghanistan.  GL 16 authorizes U.S. persons to engage in transactions that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the transfer of noncommercial, personal remittances, including through Afghan depository institutions, and that may involve the Taliban or the Haqqani Network, or any entity in which the Taliban or the Haqqani Network owns, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, a 50 percent or greater interest, that are prohibited by the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 594 (GTSR), the Foreign Terrorist Organizations Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 597 (FTOSR), or E.O. 13224, as amended.

In addition, OFAC has issued Afghanistan-related GL 20, which, to the extent authorization is required, authorizes all transactions involving Afghanistan or governing institutions in Afghanistan prohibited under the GTSR, the FTOSR, or E.O. 13224, as amended, subject to limited conditions set forth in GL 20 paragraph (b).  GL 20 therefore also covers the sending of personal remittances to Afghanistan.

As noted in FAQ 996, the authorization in Afghanistan-related GL 20 may overlap with the authorization in Afghanistan-related GL 16.  Where appropriate, U.S. persons may rely on the broader authorization in GL 20 instead of the authorizations in GL 16.  However, GLs 16 and 20 do not authorize any debit to a blocked account of the Taliban or the Haqqani Network, or any entity in which the Taliban or the Haqqani Network owns, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, a 50 percent or greater interest, on the books of a U.S. financial institution.  In addition, GLs 16 and 20 do not authorize financial transfers to the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, or any entity in which the Taliban or the Haqqani Network owns, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, a 50 percent or greater interest, other than for the purpose of effecting the payment of reasonable and customary taxes, fees, or other duties as described in the respective GLs.  Transactions that are ordinarily incident and necessary to give effect to the activities authorized in GLs 16 and 20, including clearing, settlement, and transfers through, to, or otherwise involving privately-owned and state-owned Afghan depository institutions, are also authorized pursuant to GLs 16 and 20.  GL 20 also does not authorize transfers of luxury items or services to the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, any entity in which the Taliban or the Haqqani Network owns, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, a 50 percent or greater interest, or any blocked individual who is in a leadership role of a governing institution in Afghanistan.  

For activity outside the scope of GLs 16 or 20, OFAC may issue specific licenses on a case-by-case basis to authorize certain transactions involving U.S. persons or the U.S. financial system that may otherwise be prohibited by OFAC sanctions, provided those transactions are in the foreign policy interests of the United States. 

Date Updated: February 25, 2022

Date Released
December 10, 2021