Frequently Asked Questions

954. Are purchases of fuel, payment for telecommunications services, payment for security services, payment of rent, and payment of utilities by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) considered ordinarily incident and necessary to authorized activities under Afghanistan-related General Licenses (GLs) 14, 15, and 19?  Are such transactions covered by Afghanistan-related GL 20?

Answer

The purchases of fuel, payment for telecommunications services, payment for security services, payment of rent, and payment of utilities may be authorized under 14, 15, and 19 provided that they are ordinarily incident and necessary to effectuate the activities authorized by the GLs.  As with all OFAC GLs, GLs 14, 15, and 19 are “self-executing,” meaning that persons who determine that such activities are ordinarily incident and necessary to their authorized activity within the scope of the GL may proceed without further assurance from OFAC.  

OFAC has also issued Afghanistan-related GL 17 to authorize all transactions that are for the conduct of the official business of the United States Government by employees, grantees, or contractors and that 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.  OFAC also issued GL 18 to authorize all transactions that are for the conduct of official business by employees, grantees, or contractors of certain international organizations (IOs) and that 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.

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 Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 594 (GTSR), the Foreign Terrorist Organizations Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 597 (FTOSR), or Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended, subject to limited conditions set forth in GL 20 paragraph (b).  GL 20 therefore covers purchases of fuel, payment for telecommunications services, payment for security services, payment of rent, and payment of utilities by NGOs or other persons.   

As noted in FAQ 996, the authorization in Afghanistan-related GL 20 may overlap with the authorizations in Afghanistan-related GLs 14, 15, and 19.  Where appropriate, U.S. persons may rely on the broader authorization in GL 20 instead of the authorizations in GLs 14, 15, and 19.  In all cases, authorized transactions and activities must comply with the terms and conditions set forth in GLs 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, and 20.  Notably, these GLs explicitly do not authorize financial transfers to the Taliban or the Haqqani Network, other than for the purpose of effecting the payment of taxes, fees, or import duties, or the purchase or receipt of permits, licenses, or public utility services related to the authorized activities as described in the respective GLs.  In addition, these GLs do not relieve any person from compliance with other U.S. federal laws or requirements of other federal agencies, or from applicable international obligations.

If individuals, entities, international organizations, or financial institutions have questions about engaging in or processing transactions related to these authorizations, they can contact OFAC’s Sanctions Compliance and Evaluation Division most efficiently via email at OFAC_Feedback@treasury.gov.  Sanctions Compliance and Evaluation may also be reached via phone at (800) 540-6322 or (202) 622-2490.  OFAC prioritizes license applications, compliance questions, and other requests that are related to humanitarian support.

Date Updated: February 25, 2022

Date Released
December 22, 2021