Frequently Asked Questions

957. Can non-U.S. companies ship food and agricultural products to Afghanistan? Can banks process these transactions?

Answer

Yes.  Both U.S. and non-U.S. companies can ship food to Afghanistan, and banks can process financial transfers and other transactions associated with food shipments to Afghanistan.

As described in FAQ 930, U.S. sanctions do not specifically prohibit the exportation or reexportation of agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical devices to Afghanistan.

OFAC has also issued Afghanistan-related General License (GL) 15, which authorizes U.S. persons to engage in all transactions that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the exportation or reexportation of agricultural commodities, medicine, medical devices, replacement parts, and components for medical devices, or software updates for medical devices to Afghanistan, as those terms are defined in GL 15, as well as to persons in third countries purchasing specifically for resale to Afghanistan, and that may involve the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, or any entity in which the Taliban or the Haqqani Network owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest subject to certain conditions.  FAQ 931 provides further guidance that non-U.S. persons may engage in or facilitate transactions that would be authorized for U.S. persons under GL 15.

GL 15 also authorizes U.S. persons to engage in transactions or activities that are ordinarily incident and necessary to authorized exports or reexports, including the processing of financial transactions and related clearing and settlement involving privately-owned and state-owned banks in Afghanistan.  

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 also covers shipments of food and agricultural products to Afghanistan and banks’ processing of these transactions.

As noted in FAQ 996, the authorization in Afghanistan-related GL 20 may overlap with the authorization in Afghanistan-related GL 15.  Where appropriate, U.S. persons may rely on the broader authorization in GL 20 instead of the authorization in GL 15. 

Date Updated: February 25, 2022

Date Released
February 2, 2022