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Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions

886. What does Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Blocking Property with Respect to Specified Harmful Foreign Activities of the Government of the Russian Federation” do?

E.O . 14024 establishes a new national emergency under which sanctions may be imposed against individuals and entities furthering specified harmful foreign activities of the Russian Federation.  This national emergency is separate from the national emergency relating to the crisis in Ukraine, declared in E.O. 13660 and further addressed in E.O.s 13661, 13662, 13685, and 13849.   E.O. 14024 addresses national security threats posed by specified harmful foreign activities of the Russian Federation, including:  its efforts to undermine the conduct of free and fair democratic elections and democratic institutions in the United States and its allies and partners; engaging in and facilitating malicious cyber-enabled activities against the United States and its allies and partners; fostering and using transnational corruption to influence foreign governments; pursuing extraterritorial activities targeting dissidents or journalists; undermining security in countries and regions important to United States national security; and violating well-established principles of international law, including respect for the territorial integrity of states. 

Like any other blocking Executive order, E.O. 14024 permits the United States to impose blocking and short-of-blocking sanctions.  The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued several directives under E.O. 14024 specifying certain prohibitions relating to persons determined to be subject to the applicable directive.  OFAC recommends reviewing the sanctions lists maintained by OFAC, including the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List), the List of Foreign Financial Institutions Subject to Correspondent Account or Payable-Through Account Sanctions (CAPTA List), and the Non-SDN Menu-Based Sanctions List (NS-MBS List), to determine which sanctions are applicable.

Date Updated: February 24, 2022

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887. Are persons identified pursuant to Executive order (E.O.) 13662 as subject to Directive 3 for operating in the defense and related materiel sector of the Russian Federation economy blocked pursuant to the E.O. of April 15, 2021?

Persons identified pursuant to E.O. 13662 as subject to Directive 3 for operating in the defense and related materiel sector of the Russian Federation economy are not subject to prohibitions under the E.O. of April 15, 2021 unless those persons are also sanctioned pursuant to the E.O. of April 15, 2021.  For more information regarding Directive 3, please review applicable OFAC public guidance, such as FAQ 411.

The E.O. of April 15, 2021 provides for blocking sanctions on persons operating in the technology sector or the defense and related materiel sector of the Russian Federation economy, or any other sectors determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State.  The identification of a sector pursuant to the E.O. of April 15, 2021 provides notice that persons operating in the identified sector are exposed to sanctions risk; however, such identification does not automatically block all persons operating in the sector.  Only persons designated pursuant to the E.O. of April 15, 2021 for operating in the defense and related materiel sector of the Russian economy (or any other sector identified under the E.O.) are subject to blocking sanctions and will appear on the SDN List.

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888. What does Directive 1A under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Sovereign Debt of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive) do?

Pursuant to the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive, the following activities by a U.S. financial institution are prohibited:

  1. As of June 14, 2021, participation in the primary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued after June 14, 2021 by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation; 
  2. As of June 14, 2021, lending ruble or non-ruble denominated funds to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation; and
  3. As of March 1, 2022, participation in the secondary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued after March 1, 2022 by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.

Further, except to the extent otherwise provided by law or unless authorized by OFAC or exempt, the following are also prohibited pursuant to the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive:  (1) any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions of the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive; and (2) any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions of the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive. 

Independent of the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive, OFAC has imposed prohibitions on certain Russia-related entities subject to the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive, pursuant to Russia-related directives under Executive Order (E.O.) 13883 and E.O. 14024.

Date Updated: March 02, 2022

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889. Does Directive 1A under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Sovereign Debt of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive) prohibit participation in the secondary market for bonds issued by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation?

Yes (see FAQ 888 and FAQ 965).

Date Updated: February 22, 2022

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890. Prior to June 14, 2021, are U.S. financial institutions prohibited from participating in the primary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued by, or lending ruble or non-ruble denominated funds to, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation?

Even prior to June 14, 2021, “U.S. banks” were prohibited from participating in the primary market for non-ruble denominated bonds issued by the Russian sovereign (including the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation), and from lending non-ruble denominated funds to the Russian sovereign pursuant to the Russia-related Directive under Executive Order 13883 (“CBW Act Directive”), which was issued on August 2, 2019 and went into effect on August 26, 2019.  However, the CBW Act Directive does not prohibit “U.S. banks” (as defined in the CBW Act Directive) from participating in the primary market for ruble denominated bonds issued by the Russian sovereign, or the lending of ruble denominated funds to the Russian sovereign.

Pursuant to Directive 1A under (E.O.) 14024 , “Prohibitions Related to Certain Sovereign Debt of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive), after June 14, 2021, U.S. financial institutions (as defined in the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive) are prohibited from participating in the primary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued by, or the lending of ruble or non-ruble denominated funds to, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, unless otherwise authorized by OFAC or exempt.  Pursuant to the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive, as of March 1, 2022, U.S. financial institutions are also prohibited from participating in the secondary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued after March 1, 2022 by these entities. 

Note that the prohibitions found in the CBW Act Directive remain in effect and are separate from the prohibitions of the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive, or other directives under E.O. 14024.  For more information on the CBW Act Directive, please see FAQs 673 - 678.

Date Updated: March 02, 2022

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891. Does the 50 Percent Rule apply to Directive 1A under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Sovereign Debt of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive)?

No.  The prohibitions of the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive apply only to bonds issued by, or loans made to, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.  The prohibitions of the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive do not apply to the property or interests in property of those three entities.

Date Updated: February 22, 2022

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894. What does Russia-related General License (GL) 1A authorize?

Russia-related GL 1A authorizes U.S. persons to engage in certain transactions and activities otherwise prohibited by Executive Order (E.O.) of August 20, 2021, “Blocking Property with Respect to Certain Russian Energy Export Pipelines,” or the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act of 2019, 22 U.S.C. 9526 note, as amended (PEESA).  A prior version of Russia-related GL 1A was issued on May 21, 2021 (GL 1).  On August 20, 2021, GL 1 was amended and reissued as Russia-related GL 1A to ensure that the scope of activities authorized with respect to the Federal State Budgetary Institution Marine Rescue Service (MRS) includes E.O. of August 20, 2021.  Russia-related GL 1A replaces and supersedes GL 1 effective August 20, 2021.  Specifically, GL 1A authorizes U.S. persons to engage in transactions and activities involving MRS, or any entity in which MRS owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest, that are not related to the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, the TurkStream pipeline project, or any project that is a successor to either such project.  GL 1A does not, however, authorize any transactions or activities with any vessels identified on the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List) as blocked property of MRS, including vessels identified as blocked property of any entity in which MRS owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest.

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921. What is the purpose of Executive Order (E.O.) of August 20, 2021, “Blocking Property with Respect to Certain Russian Energy Export Pipelines”?

The Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act of 2019, 22 U.S.C. 9526 note, as amended (PEESA), requires the imposition of sanctions with respect to the provision of vessels engaged in specified activities for the construction of certain Russian energy export pipelines, including the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, the TurkStream pipeline project, or any project that is a successor to either such project.  E.O. of August 20, 2021, issued under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of State to further implement those sanctions and directs agencies of the United States government to take all appropriate measures within their authority to ensure the full implementation of those sanctions.

Among other things, E.O. of August 20, 2021 enables Treasury to promulgate regulations and provides for blocking of PEESA-designated persons without the exception relating to the importation of goods in Section 7503(e) of PEESA.  All property and interests in property of persons designated pursuant to E.O. of August 20, 2021 that are or come within the United States or the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.  Additionally, entities owned 50 percent or more, individually or in the aggregate, directly or indirectly, by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. 

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964. Does the financial services sector determination made by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024 mean that all persons that operate or have operated in the financial services sector of the Russian Federation economy are sanctioned by OFAC?

No.  The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, has issued a determination pursuant to E.O. 14024 that authorizes sanctions against persons that operate or have operated in the financial services sector of the Russian Federation economy.  The technology sector and defense and related materiel sector of the Russian Federation economy were identified in E.O. 14024 when it was issued on April 15, 2021. 

A sector determination pursuant to E.O. 14024 exposes persons who operate or have operated in an identified sector to sanctions risk; however, a sector determination does not automatically impose sanctions on all persons who operate or have operated in the sector.  Only persons determined, pursuant to E.O. 14024, by the Secretary of the Treasury in consultation with the Secretary of State, or by the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, to operate or have operated in the above-identified sectors are subject to sanctions.

Persons sanctioned pursuant to E.O. 14024 for operating or having operated in an identified sector are added to one or more OFAC sanctions lists based on the type of sanction, including the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List), the List of Foreign Financial Institutions Subject to Correspondent Account or Payable-Through Account Sanctions (CAPTA List), and the Non-SDN Menu-Based Sanctions List (NS-MBS List).

Date Updated: February 24, 2022

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965. How does Directive 1A under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Sovereign Debt of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive) change prohibitions relating to U.S. financial institution dealings in Russian sovereign debt pursuant to Directive 1 under E.O. 14024 of April 15, 2021?

Directive 1 under E.O. 14024 of April 15, 2021 imposed prohibitions on participation in the primary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued by, or the lending of ruble or non-ruble denominated funds to, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.  The Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive replaces and supersedes Directive 1 under E.O. 14024 of April 15, 2021.  It expands upon the existing prohibitions to also prohibit, as of March 1, 2022 , participation in the secondary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued by these entities after March 1, 2022.  Please see FAQ 888 for additional details on the effective dates of these prohibitions.

The Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive also includes technical revisions to the definition of “U.S. financial institution” to expand the definition.

Independent of the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive, OFAC has imposed prohibitions on certain Russia-related entities subject to the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive, pursuant to Russia-related directives under E.O. 13883 and E.O. 14024.

Date Updated: March 02, 2022

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966. What actions did Treasury take in February 2022 related to Russia’s financial services sector pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024?

Treasury took expansive sanctions actions related to Russia’s financial services sector in February 2022 as detailed below.

  • Financial services sector determination.  On February 22, 2022, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, issued a determination pursuant to E.O. 14024 that authorizes sanctions against persons determined to operate or to have operated in the financial services sector of the Russian Federation economy (see FAQ 964).  
  • Correspondent or payable-through account and payment processing prohibitions.  On February 24, 2022, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued Directive 2 under E.O. 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Correspondent or Payable-Through Accounts and Processing of Transactions Involving Certain Foreign Financial Institutions” (Russia-related CAPTA Directive), which prohibits U.S. financial institutions from:  (i) the opening or maintaining of a correspondent account or payable-through account for or on behalf of foreign financial institutions determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive; and (ii) the processing of transactions involving foreign financial institutions determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive.  Annex 1 to the Russia-related CAPTA Directive identifies Public Joint Stock Company Sberbank of Russia and other foreign financial institutions owned 50 percent or more by this bank as subject to these prohibitions, which become effective on March 26, 2022 (see FAQs 964, 967, 968, 969, 970, 971, 972 and 973).
  • Blocking certain Russian financial institutions.  OFAC designated specified Russian financial institutions pursuant to E.O. 14024, including the State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs Vnesheconombank (VEB), VTB Bank Public Joint Stock Company, Public Joint Stock Company Bank Financial Corporation Otkritie, Promsvyazbank Public Joint Stock Company, Sovcombank Open Joint Stock Company, Joint Stock Commercial Bank Novikombank, and several of these financial institutions’ subsidiaries.  As a result, all property and interests in property of these entities in the possession or control of U.S. persons, including U.S. financial institutions, or within U.S. jurisdiction, are blocked and must be reported to OFAC.  In addition, all property and interests in property of any entity that is owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.  Accordingly, U.S. persons, including U.S. financial institutions, are prohibited from transacting with these entities unless exempt or authorized by OFAC (see FAQs 974, 975, 976, 977, 978, 979, 980, 981, and 982).  
  • Expanding sovereign debt prohibitions to include the secondary market.  On February 22, 2022, OFAC issued Directive 1A under E.O. 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Sovereign Debt of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive), replacing and superseding Directive 1 under E.O. 14024 of April 15, 2021, to extend existing sovereign debt prohibitions to cover participation in the secondary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued after March 1, 2022 by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation (see FAQs 888, 889, 890, 891, 965, and 983).  
  • New debt and equity restrictions involving certain Russia-related entities.  On February 24, 2022, OFAC imposed additional debt and equity restrictions involving Russia-related entities by issuing Directive 3 under E.O. 14024, “Prohibitions Related to New Debt and Equity of Certain Russia-related Entities” (Russia-related Entities Directive), to prohibit certain dealings by U.S. persons, or within the United States, in new debt of longer than 14 days maturity or new equity of Russia-related entities determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive.  OFAC determined on February 24, 2022 that the entities listed in Annex 1 to the Russia-related Entities Directive, which include certain major Russian state-owned enterprises and large privately owned financial institutions, are subject to the prohibitions of this directive for new debt or equity issued on or after March 26, 2022 (see 983, 984, 985, 986, 987, 988 and 989). 

  • General Licenses (GLs).  OFAC issued several Russia-related GLs authorizing certain transactions otherwise prohibited by E.O. 14024 (see FAQs 974, 975, 976, 977, 978, 979981982, and 990).

  • New restrictions on sovereign transactions.  On February 28, 2022, OFAC issued Directive 4 under E.O. 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Transactions Involving the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive) to prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in any transaction involving the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, including any transfer of assets to such entities or any foreign exchange transaction for or on behalf of such entities (see FAQs 998 – 1003).

Date Updated: March 02, 2022

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967. What does Directive 2 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Correspondent or Payable-Through Accounts and Processing of Transactions Involving Certain Foreign Financial Institutions” (Russia-related CAPTA Directive) prohibit?

The Russia-related CAPTA Directive prohibits U.S. financial institutions from:  (i) the opening or maintaining of a correspondent account or payable-through account for or on behalf of foreign financial institutions determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive; and (ii) the processing of transactions involving foreign financial institutions determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive.  Please see the Russia-related CAPTA Directive for the definition of the terms “U.S. financial institution” and “foreign financial institution” for purposes of this directive.  Please see FAQ 969 regarding the applicability of OFAC’s 50 Percent Rule with respect to this directive.

Annex 1 to the Russia-related CAPTA Directive lists the foreign financial institutions determined to be subject to the prohibitions as of March 26, 2022.  Foreign financial institutions determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, including the foreign financial institutions listed in Annex 1, can be found on the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s (OFAC) List of Foreign Financial Institutions Subject to Correspondent Account or Payable-Through Account Sanctions (CAPTA List).  Relevant entries on the CAPTA List will denote when a foreign financial institution became subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, as well as when the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive come into effect with respect to that foreign financial institution.

The below table identifies the dates the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive take effect for (i) foreign financial institutions listed in Annex 1 to the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, and (ii) foreign financial institutions otherwise determined to be subject to its prohibitions and added to the CAPTA List.  

 

Foreign Financial Institution Type Relevant Sanctions Effective Date
Foreign financial institutions listed in Annex 1 to the Russia-related CAPTA Directive 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on March 26, 2022
Foreign financial institution otherwise determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive 12:01 a.m. eastern time on the date that is 30 days after the date of such determination

 

U.S. financial institutions must close any correspondent or payable-through account maintained for or on behalf of foreign financial institutions determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, or their property or interests in property, by the relevant effective date.  Separately, as of the relevant effective date, U.S. financial institutions may not process transactions involving foreign financial institutions determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, or their property or interests in property, and must reject such transactions unless exempt or authorized by OFAC.

Accordingly, after the relevant effective date, U.S. financial institutions must reject any transaction involving a foreign financial institution determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive or involving that foreign financial institution’s property or interests in property.  This includes rejecting transactions related to any securities (including depositary receipts) issued by a foreign financial institution determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, including secondary market trading. For certain authorized securities-related transactions, see GL 9C and FAQ 981.  By virtue of the prohibition on the processing of transactions for or on behalf of foreign financial institutions determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, U.S. financial institutions are also prohibited from engaging in transactions with a covered foreign financial institution in connection with the foreign financial institution’s role as a local custodian for depositary receipt issuances.

The Russia-related CAPTA Directive does not impose blocking sanctions and, thus, does not require U.S. financial institutions (or other U.S. persons) to block the assets of foreign financial institutions determined to be subject to the prohibitions of this directive.  However, U.S. persons should be aware that foreign financial institutions subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive may also be subject to additional prohibitions under other sanctions authorities, such as additional directives under E.O. 14024  or E.O. 13662.

OFAC issued several Russia-related general licenses (GLs) authorizing certain transactions involving the foreign financial institutions subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, including: 

  • GL 6B: authorizing transactions related to (1) the production, manufacturing, sale, or transport of agricultural commodities, agricultural equipment, medicine, medical devices, replacement parts and components for medical devices, or software updates for medical devices; (2) the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of COVID-19 (including research or clinical studies relating to COVID-19); or (3) ongoing clinical trials and other medical research activities; 
  • GL 7A: authorizing overflight payments, emergency landings, and air ambulance services;
  • GL 8C: authorizing transactions related to energy; and
  • GL 27: authorizing transactions in support of nongovernmental organizations’ activities
     

On March 1, 2022, OFAC issued the Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 587 (RuHSR), which incorporate GL 5 in section 587.510 of the RuHSR.

For additional information, please see FAQs 976, 977, 978, 979981, 982 and 990.

Date Updated: July 14, 2022

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968. What foreign financial institutions are listed in Annex 1 to Directive 2 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Correspondent or Payable-Through Accounts and Processing of Transactions Involving Certain Foreign Financial Institutions” (Russia-related CAPTA Directive)?  

Annex 1 to the Russia-related CAPTA Directive identifies Public Joint Stock Company Sberbank of Russia as well as many of its foreign financial institution subsidiaries.  The foreign financial institutions listed in Annex 1 have been determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive for operating or having operated in the financial services sector of the Russian Federation economy, or for being foreign financial institutions that are 50 percent or more owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, by one or more foreign financial institutions subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive.  Please see FAQ 969 regarding the applicability of OFAC’s 50 Percent Rule to these entities.

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969. Does OFAC’s 50 Percent Rule apply to foreign financial institutions listed in Annex 1 to Directive 2 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Correspondent or Payable-Through Accounts and Processing of Transactions Involving Certain Foreign Financial Institutions” (Russia-related CAPTA Directive)?

Yes.  The prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive apply to any foreign financial institution listed in Annex 1 to the Russia-related CAPTA Directive or otherwise determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, “or their property or interests in property,” which includes foreign financial institutions 50 percent or more owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, by one or more foreign financial institutions determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive.  As stated in the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, the prohibitions of this directive apply only with respect to a U.S. financial institution’s opening or maintaining of a correspondent account or payable-through account for or on behalf of, or processing of a transaction involving, a “foreign financial institution,” as defined in the Russia-related CAPTA Directive.  Thus, for purposes of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, the prohibitions of this directive do not apply to non-“foreign financial institutions,” even if those non-“foreign financial institutions” are 50 percent or more owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, by one or more “foreign financial institutions” determined to be subject to this directive.

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970. Are foreign financial institutions (FFIs) located outside of Russia potentially subject to the prohibitions of Directive 2 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Correspondent or Payable-Through Accounts and Processing of Transactions Involving Certain Foreign Financial Institutions” (Russia-related CAPTA Directive)?

Yes.  The prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive apply to a U.S. financial institution’s opening or maintaining of a correspondent account or payable-through account for or on behalf of, or processing of a transaction involving, any FFI, wherever located outside of the United States, determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, or their property or interests in property—which includes FFIs 50 percent or more owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, by one or more FFIs determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive.  This includes, for example, banking subsidiaries that are 50 percent or more owned by Public Joint Stock Company Sberbank of Russia and located outside of the United States.  

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971. Are the prohibitions of Directive 2 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Correspondent or Payable-Through Accounts and Processing of Transactions Involving Certain Foreign Financial Institutions” (Russia-related CAPTA Directive) limited to transactions denominated in U.S. dollars? 

No.  The prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive apply with respect to any currency.  For example, a foreign branch of a U.S. financial institution may not open or maintain a correspondent account for or on behalf of, or process a transaction involving, a foreign financial institution determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, even if that account is denominated in a currency other than U.S. dollars, such as euros.  

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972. Do non-U.S. financial institutions have to comply with the prohibitions of Directive 2 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Correspondent or Payable-Through Accounts and Processing of Transactions Involving Certain Foreign Financial Institutions” (Russia-related CAPTA Directive)?

Under the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, U.S. financial institutions are prohibited from the opening or maintaining of a correspondent account or payable-through account for or on behalf of, or from processing of a transaction involving, a foreign financial institution determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related CAPTA Directive.  The term “U.S. financial institution,” as defined in the directive, includes foreign branches of U.S. financial institutions, but not their foreign subsidiaries.  Note, however, that the Russia-related CAPTA Directive prohibits any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions of this directive, as well as any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions of this directive.  OFAC will not view as “evading or avoiding” efforts by non-U.S. persons to comply with U.S. sanctions by replacing sanctioned suppliers or service providers (including financial institutions) with non-sanctioned persons.

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973. I am a U.S. individual or company that maintains an account at a foreign financial institution sanctioned pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024.  What are my obligations? 

With respect to foreign financial institutions subject to the prohibitions of Directive 2 under E.O. 14024 , “Prohibitions Related to Correspondent or Payable-Through Accounts and Processing of Transactions Involving Certain Foreign Financial Institutions” (Russia-related CAPTA Directive ), including Public Joint Stock Company Sberbank of Russia, obligations under this directive apply to U.S. financial institutions only.  U.S. individuals and companies that are not “U.S. financial institutions,” as defined in the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, are not prohibited from processing transactions involving foreign financial institutions subject to the Russia-related CAPTA Directive.  

With respect to the Russian financial institutions blocked on February 22 and 24, 2022 pursuant to E.O. 14024, General Licenses (GLs) 3 and 11 authorize U.S. persons to engage in transactions ordinarily incident   and necessary to terminate their relationship with specified blocked Russian financial institutions, including withdrawing funds and securities, cancelling letters of credit, and amending or cancelling performance guarantees.  For additional information, please see FAQ 975.  Upon the respective expiration of GLs 3 and 11, U.S. persons are prohibited from transacting with the blocked Russian financial institutions, unless exempt or authorized by OFAC. 
 

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974. What Russian financial institutions were blocked in February 2022 pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, and what activities are prohibited as a result?

On February 22, 2022, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated specified Russian financial institutions pursuant to E.O. 14024 , including the State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs Vnesheconombank (VEB), Promsvyazbank Public Joint Stock Company, and many of their subsidiaries.  OFAC designated additional Russian financial institutions on February 24, 2022, including VTB Bank Public Joint Stock Company, Public Joint Stock Company Bank Financial Corporation Otkritie (Otkritie), Sovcombank Open Joint Stock Company (Sovcombank), Joint Stock Commercial Bank Novikombank, and many of these financial institutions’ subsidiaries.  As a result, all property and interests in property of these entities in the possession or control of U.S. persons, including U.S. financial institutions, or within U.S. jurisdiction, are blocked and must be reported to OFAC.  In addition, all property and interests in property of any entity that is owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.  Accordingly, U.S. persons, including U.S. financial institutions, are prohibited from transacting with these entities unless exempt or authorized by OFAC.  

OFAC issued several Russia-related general licenses (GLs) authorizing transactions involving specified blocked Russian financial institutions, including:
•    GL 2 : authorizing certain transactions involving VEB related to servicing obligations of certain Russian sovereign debt; 
•    GL  3: authorizing the wind down of certain transactions involving VEB until 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, March 24, 2022;
•    GL  11: authorizing the wind down of certain transactions involving VTB Bank Public Joint Stock Company, Otkritie, and Sovcombank until 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, March 26, 2022; and
•    GL  12: authorizing the rejection (rather than blocking) of certain transactions involving VTB Bank Public Joint Stock Company, Otkritie, and Sovcombank until 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, March 26, 2022.

Note that these GLs do not authorize certain activities with all blocked Russian financial institutions; nor does each GL authorize certain activities with the same group of blocked Russian financial institutions.  For example, the GLs listed above do not authorize any transactions involving Promsvyazbank Public Joint Stock Company or Joint Stock Commercial Bank Novikombank, and GLs 2 and 3  relate only to VEB.  

Other GLs that may be applicable to one or more of the Russian financial institutions blocked in February 2022 include:

•    GL  5: authorizing transactions related to the official business of certain international organizations and other entities; 
•    GL  6: authorizing certain transactions related to the exportation or reexportation of agricultural commodities, medicine, medical devices, replacement parts and components, or software updates, or the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of COVID-19; 
•    GL  7: authorizing overflight payments, emergency landings, and air ambulance services;

•    GL  8A: authorizing transactions related to energy; 
•    GL  9A: authorizing transactions related to dealings in certain debt and equity until 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, May 25, 2022; and
•    GL  10A: authorizing certain transactions related to derivative contracts until 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, May 25, 2022. 

Please consult each GL for further information regarding its scope.  

On March 1, 2022, OFAC issued the Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 587 (RuHSR), which incorporate GL 5 in section 587.510 of the RuHSR.

Additionally, consistent with section 9 of E.O. 14024, transactions for the conduct of the official business of the Federal Government or the United Nations (including its specialized agencies, programs, funds, and related organizations) by employees, grantees, and contractors thereof are exempt from the sanctions prohibitions of E.O. 14024.

Date Updated: March 02, 2022

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975. Is there a wind-down period for transactions involving the Russian financial institutions blocked in February 2022 pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024? What transactions are authorized during the wind-down period?  

For certain Russian financial institutions blocked in February 2022 pursuant to E.O. 14024, a short-term wind-down period is authorized.  General License (GL) 3 authorizes a wind-down period of 30 days for transactions involving State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs Vnesheconombank (VEB), and GL 11 authorizes a wind-down period of 30 days for transactions involving VTB Bank Public Joint Stock Company, Public Joint Stock Company Bank Financial Corporation Otkritie, or Sovcombank Open Joint Stock Company.  These authorizations also apply to any entity in which these financial institutions own, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, a 50 percent or greater interest. 

GLs 3 and 11 authorize U.S. persons to engage in transactions ordinarily incident and necessary to exit operations, contracts, or other agreements that were in effect prior to the date of blocking involving the specified blocked Russian financial institutions, provided that such transactions do not involve a debit to a blocked account on the books of a U.S. financial institution (see FAQ 990).  For example, a U.S. financial institution may take steps necessary to collect on outstanding loans made to a blocked person, including exercising rights to any collateral related thereto, as authorized wind-down activity, provided the transaction does not involve a debit to a blocked account on the books of a U.S. financial institution (unless separately authorized).  A U.S. financial institution may also take steps necessary to pay outstanding loans, provided that, if such payment is for the benefit of a blocked person, it must be transferred into a blocked account.  Similarly, a U.S. financial institution may take steps necessary to close a correspondent account maintained for a blocked person; however, funds in the correspondent account may not be returned to the blocked person, and must remain blocked, absent separate authorization from OFAC.

GLs 3 and 11 authorize only new or continued business activities that are ordinarily incident and necessary to wind-down activities.  Wind-down activities do not include the continued processing of funds transfers, securities trades, or other transactions involving a blocked person that were part of ongoing business activities prior to the imposition of sanctions, unless separately authorized (see, e.g., GLs 8, 9, and 10).  Moreover, GLs 3 and 11 do not apply to all Russian financial institutions blocked in February 2022, such as Promsvyazbank Public Joint Stock Company or Joint Stock Commercial Bank Novikombank, or transactions involving other persons blocked pursuant to E.O. 14024, other than the blocked Russian financial institutions specified in GLs 3 and 11.

In addition to GLs 3 and 11, OFAC issued GL 12 to authorize U.S. persons to reject, rather than block, prohibited transactions involving specified blocked Russian financial institutions for 30 days.  This authorizes, for example, a U.S. financial institution to reject, rather than block, an attempted unauthorized funds transfer until the expiration of GL 12.  The authorization provided in GL 3 expires at 12:01 eastern daylight time, March 24, 2022.  The authorizations provided in GLs 11 and 12 expire at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, March 26, 2022.

For more information on the prohibitions that apply to Russian financial institutions blocked pursuant to E.O. 14024 in February 2022, or related authorizations, please see FAQ 974.

For guidance regarding transactions involving securities and derivatives contracts related to the blocked persons listed above, see FAQ 982.
 

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976. Can a U.S. financial institution process transactions related to energy where a Russian financial institution sanctioned pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024 is involved?  

General License (GL) 8C authorizes certain transactions “related to energy” (as defined in the GL; see also FAQ 977) involving the following entities (collectively, “Covered Entities”):

  • State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs Vnesheconombank (VEB);
  • Public Joint Stock Company Bank Financial Corporation Otkritie;
  • Sovcombank Open Joint Stock Company;
  • Public Joint Stock Company Sberbank of Russia;
  • VTB Bank Public Joint Stock Company; 
  • Any entity owned 50 percent or more, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, by one of the above entities; and
  • The Central Bank of the Russian Federation.

GL 8C does not authorize any transaction prohibited by Directive 1A under E.O. 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Sovereign Debt of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive).  In addition, GL 8C does not authorize any debit to an account on the books of a U.S. financial institution of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.  Further, GL 8C does not authorize a U.S. financial institution to maintain (or open) a correspondent account or payable-through account for or on behalf of foreign financial institutions subject to the prohibitions of Directive 2 under E.O. 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Correspondent or Payable-Through Accounts and Processing of Transactions Involving Certain Foreign Financial Institutions” (the “Russia-related CAPTA Directive”).  Consequently, in order for a U.S. financial institution to engage in transactions authorized by GL 8C, all funds transfers related to energy involving one or more Covered Entities must be processed indirectly through a non-sanctioned, non-U.S. financial institution.  Please see FAQ 978 for examples of authorized and prohibited transactions flows under certain GLs, including GL 8C.

For purposes of assessing whether certain transactions are authorized under GL 8C, U.S. persons may rely upon the information available to them in the ordinary course of business, including reasonable reliance on information about the underlying transaction provided by the parties thereto.  

GL 8C is valid until 12:01 eastern standard time, December 5, 2022 unless renewed.  Persons unable to wind down prohibited transactions with the Covered Entities by December 5, 2022 are encouraged to approach the Office of Foreign Assets Control, which may consider renewing GL 8C.  Please see FAQs 977, 978, 1010, 1111, and 1012 for additional guidance related to GL 8C.

GL 8C provides authorization solely under E.O. 14024.  Therefore, U.S. financial institutions that rely on the authorization provided in GL 8C to process transactions related to energy must also comply with the prohibitions of E.O. 14066, E.O. 14068, and E.O. 14071 (see FAQs 1013, FAQ 1014 and FAQ 1015).

Updated: June 14, 2022

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977. What are transactions “related to energy” for purposes of Russia-related General License (GL) 8C? 

For the purposes of GL 8C,  the term “related to energy” means the extraction, production, refinement, liquefaction, gasification, regasification, conversion, enrichment, fabrication, transport, or purchase of petroleum, including crude oil, lease condensates, unfinished oils, natural gas liquids, petroleum products, natural gas, or other products capable of producing energy, such as coal, wood, or agricultural products used to manufacture biofuels, or uranium in any form, as well as the development, production, generation, transmission, or exchange of power, through any means, including nuclear, thermal, and renewable energy sources. This definition remains unchanged from GL 8.

Updated: June 14, 2022

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978. For transactions authorized under Russia-related General Licenses (GL) 6A, 7A, or 8C what is an example of a permissible funds transfer involving a foreign financial institution sanctioned pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024? 

GLs 6A, 7A, and 8C do not authorize a U.S. financial institution to maintain (or open) a correspondent account or payable-through account for or on behalf of entities subject to the prohibitions of Directive 2 under E.O.  14024 , “Prohibitions Related to Correspondent or Payable-Through Accounts and Processing of Transactions Involving Certain Foreign Financial Institutions” (Russia-related CAPTA Directive).  Consequently, in order for a U.S. financial institution to engage in transactions authorized under these GLs (e.g., a funds transfer related to energy), all such funds transfers must be processed indirectly through a non-sanctioned, non-U.S. financial institution.  

Examples of authorized and prohibited funds transfers under GLs 6A, 7A, and 8C include:

 

Payment from third-country originator

Authorized payment from third-country originator to beneficiary with an account at a sanctioned institution:

Prohibited payment from third-country originator to beneficiary with an account at a sanctioned institution: 

 

Payment from U.S. originator

Authorized payment from U.S. originator to beneficiary with an account at a sanctioned institution:

Prohibited payment from U.S. originator to beneficiary with an account at a sanctioned institution: 

In each of the above examples, the underlying funds transfer must be authorized under the applicable GL.
 

Updated: June 14, 2022

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979. I am a U.S. person.  Can I rely on a person sanctioned pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024 in connection with transactions for official business of an international organization, certain humanitarian-related trade, or the response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic?

Yes, U.S. persons supporting activities undertaken for the official business of certain international organizations or entities, certain humanitarian-related trade, or the response to the COVID-19 pandemic may continue to engage in such activity involving persons sanctioned pursuant to E.O. 14024 through a variety of OFAC authorizations or exemptions, as described below.

Consistent with section 9 of E.O. 14024, transactions for the conduct of the official business of the Federal Government or the United Nations (including its specialized agencies, programs, funds, and related organizations) by employees, grantees, and contractors thereof are exempt from the sanctions prohibitions of E.O. 14024.

Additionally, OFAC has issued General License (GL) 5, authorizing transactions for the conduct of the official business of certain international organizations and entities.  

OFAC also issued GL 6, which authorizes, subject to certain conditions, transactions that are ordinarily incident and necessary to:  (1) the exportation or reexportation of agricultural commodities, medicine, medical devices, replacement parts and components for medical devices, or software updates for medical devices to, from, or transiting the Russian Federation; or (2) the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of COVID-19 (including research or clinical studies relating to COVID-19).

While certain Russian financial institutions are subject to sanctions under E.O. 14024, the financial services sector of the Russian Federation economy is not comprehensively sanctioned (see FAQ 964).  Accordingly, U.S. persons may also use non-sanctioned Russian financial institutions to process these transactions.

Note that the authorizations and exemptions described above do not extend to prohibitions applied to persons sanctioned pursuant to any other sanctions authorities implemented by OFAC, such as E.O. 13662.

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980. Do non-U.S. persons risk being sanctioned for engaging in activity with persons sanctioned pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024? 

OFAC evaluates a range of factors when developing sanctions targets, consistent with foreign policy and national security goals.  In the context of blocking sanctions, non-U.S. persons may be exposed to sanctions risk in relation to activities with persons subject to blocking sanctions pursuant to E.O. 14024.  Under E.O. 14024, non-U.S. persons may be designated if they have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, certain activities, a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 14024, or (in certain circumstances) a blocked government.  Please see sections 1(a)(vi) and 1(b) of E.O. 14024. 

Non-U.S. persons generally do not risk exposure to U.S. blocking sanctions under E.O. 14024 for engaging in transactions with persons subject to the prohibitions of the directives under E.O. 14024.  Moreover, non-U.S. persons generally do not risk exposure to U.S. blocking sanctions under E.O. 14024 for engaging in transactions with blocked persons, where those transactions would not require a specific license if engaged in by a U.S. person.  Note, however, that E.O. 14024 and the directives under E.O. 14024 prohibit any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions of those directives, as well as any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions of those directives.  OFAC will not view as “evading or avoiding” efforts by non-U.S. persons to comply with U.S. sanctions by replacing sanctioned suppliers or service providers (including financial institutions) with non-sanctioned persons.
 

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981. What does General License (GL) 9A authorize with respect to the debt and equity of certain Russian financial institutions sanctioned pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024?  What are the implications for U.S. and non-U.S. persons? 

General License (GL) 9A authorizes U.S. persons, until 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time May 25, 2022, to engage in transactions prohibited by the Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 587, that are ordinarily incident and necessary to dealings in debt or equity issued prior to February 24, 2022 of one or more of the following entities (“covered debt or equity”), provided that any divestment or transfer of, or facilitation of divestment or transfer of, covered debt or equity must be to a non-U.S. person:

  • State Corporation Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs Vnesheconombank (VEB);
  • Public Joint Stock Company Bank Financial Corporation Otkritie; 
  • Sovcombank Open Joint Stock Company;
  • Public Joint Stock Company Sberbank of Russia;
  • VTB Bank Public Joint Stock Company;
  • Any entity owned 50 percent or more, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, by one of the above entities.

This authorization includes the facilitation, clearing, and settling of transactions ordinarily incident and necessary to divest covered debt or equity to a non-U.S. person, including on behalf of U.S. persons.  Also, as part of a divestment transaction to a non-U.S. person, U.S. persons may engage in purchases of or investment in covered debt or equity if ordinarily incident and necessary to buy to cover a short position in such holdings.

To allow the closing of trades initiated before February 24, 2022, paragraph (b) of GL 9A authorizes all transactions that are ordinarily incident and necessary to facilitating, clearing, and settling trades of covered debt or equity through 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time May 25, 2022, provided such trades were placed prior to 4:00 p.m. eastern standard time on February 24, 2022, including debits to accounts on the books of U.S. financial institutions of certain blocked entities.  

GL 9A also authorizes U.S. persons to receive interest, dividend, or maturity payments on debt or equity of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation through 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on May 25, 2022.  After May 25, 2022, U.S. persons would require a specific license to continue to receive such payments.  

Certain transactions otherwise prohibited by the Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 587, are not authorized by GL 9A.  Please see GL 9A for additional details.  Please also see GL 10A with respect to authorizations related to certain derivative contracts. 

For purposes of assessing whether certain transactions are authorized under GL 9A or GL 10A, U.S. persons—including financial institutions, registered broker-dealers in securities, securities exchanges, and other market intermediaries and participants—may rely upon the information available to them in the ordinary course of business, including reasonable reliance on information about the underlying transaction provided by the parties thereto.  However, U.S. persons should also exercise caution in engaging in foreign exchange transactions on the Moscow Exchange given the current heightened risk that the Central Bank of the Russia Federation could be a counterparty to such transactions (see FAQ 1002). 

Date Updated: March 02, 2022

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982. Are U.S. funds allowed to buy or sell debt or equity of blocked Russian financial institutions?  Are U.S. investors allowed to invest in a fund that holds debt or equity of a blocked Russian financial institution?

Except as authorized under General License (GL) 9A (see FAQ 981), U.S. persons may not buy or sell debt or equity of the Russian financial institutions blocked in February 2022 pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024.  Accordingly, a U.S. fund may not buy, sell, or otherwise engage in transactions related to debt or equity of the blocked Russian financial institutions and must block such holdings, unless exempt, authorized under GL 9A or separately authorized by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).  However, a U.S. fund that contains such blocked holdings generally is not itself considered a blocked entity as long as the blocked holdings represent less than a predominant share by value of debt or equity of blocked persons.  As a result, U.S. persons may continue to invest in the fund and the fund may continue to operate.  The fund may divest itself of blocked holdings as authorized under GL 9A or separately authorized by OFAC.

Date Updated: March 02, 2022

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983. What actions did the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) take in February 2022 with respect to new debt or equity restrictions pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024? 

In February 2022, OFAC issued two directives under E.O. 14024 regarding restrictions related to new debt or equity involving certain Russian Federation or Russia-related entities:

  • On February 22, 2022, OFAC issued Directive 1A under E.O. 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Sovereign Debt of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive), replacing and superseding Directive 1 under E.O. 14024 of April 15, 2021, to extend existing sovereign debt prohibitions to cover participation in the secondary market for ruble and non-ruble denominated bonds issued after March 1, 2022 by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation (see FAQs 888 and 965).
  • On February 24, 2022, OFAC issued Directive 3 under E.O. 14024, “Prohibitions Related to New Debt and Equity of Certain Russia-related Entities” (Russia-related Entities Directive) to prohibit all transactions in, provision of financing for, and other dealings in new debt of longer than 14 days maturity or new equity issued on or after 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, March 26, 2022 by the entities listed in Annex 1 to that directive, or their property or interests in property.  These same prohibitions also apply to any entity subsequently determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive, or its property or interests in property, beginning on or after 12:01 a.m. eastern time on the date that is 30 days after the date of such determination (see FAQ 984).

Entities determined to be subject to the prohibitions of these directives will be listed on the Non-SDN Menu-Based Sanctions List (NS-MBS List) (in addition to any other applicable sanctions lists maintained by OFAC).  Please see FAQ 985 regarding the applicability of OFAC’s 50 Percent Rule with respect to the Russia-related Entities Directive.  Listings on the NS-MBS List will denote when an entity has been determined to be subject to prohibitions, as well as when the prohibitions come into effect with respect to each entity.
 

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984. What does Directive 3 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to New Debt and Equity of Certain Russia-related Entities” (Russia-related Entities Directive) prohibit?

The Russia-related Entities Directive prohibits certain dealings by U.S. persons or within the United States in new debt of longer than 14 days maturity or new equity of Russian entities determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the directive or their property or interests in property.  The prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive are effective beginning on 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, March 26, 2022 for entities listed in Annex 1 to the Russia-related Entities Directive, or their property or interests in property.  For entities subsequently determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive, the prohibitions are effective 12:01 a.m. eastern time 30 days following such determination.

Specifically, the Russia-related Entities Directive prohibits the following activities by U.S. persons or within the United States:  all transactions in, provision of financing for, and other dealings in new debt with a maturity of greater than 14 days or new equity of entities listed in Annex 1 to the Russia-related Entities Directive or otherwise determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive, or their property or interests in property, where such debt or equity is issued on or after the relevant sanctions effective date.  Please see FAQ 985 regarding the applicability of OFAC’s 50 Percent Rule with respect to this directive.

 

Entity Type

Relevant Sanctions Effective Date

Entities listed in Annex 1 to the Russia-related Entities Directive, or their property or interests in property

On or after 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on March 26, 2022

Entities otherwise determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive, or their property or interests in property

On or after 12:01 a.m. eastern time on the date that is 30 days after the date of such determination

 

These prohibitions apply to all new debt with a maturity of greater than 14 days and new equity irrespective of currency denomination.

In addition, the Russia-related Entities Directive prohibits:  (1) any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive; and (2) any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive. 

Some entities determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive may also be subject to prohibitions in other sanctions authorities, such as prohibitions of other directives issued under E.O. 14024, or directives issued under E.O. 13662.  It is important to note that each directive operates independently of the others.  For example, if a transaction involves a person subject to two separate directives, a U.S. person engaging in that transaction must comply with both directives.  

 

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985. Does the 50 Percent Rule apply to Directive 3 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to New Debt and Equity of Certain Russia-related Entities” (Russia-related Entities Directive)?

Yes.  The prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive apply to any entity listed in Annex 1 to the Russia-related Entities Directive or otherwise determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive, or their property or interests in property, which includes entities 50 percent or more owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, by one or more entities determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive.

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986. What constitutes debt or equity for purposes of Directive 3 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to New Debt and Equity of Certain Russia-related Entities” (Russia-related Entities Directive)?

The term “debt” includes bonds, loans, extensions of credit, loan guarantees, letters of credit, drafts, bankers acceptances, discount notes or bills, or commercial paper.

The term “equity” includes stocks, share issuances, depositary receipts, or any other evidence of title or ownership.
 

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987. If a U.S. person entered into a revolving credit facility or long-term loan agreement for an entity determined to be subject to Russia-related Directive 3 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to New Debt and Equity of Certain Russia-related Entities” (Russia-related Entities Directive) prior to the relevant sanctions effective date described in the Russia-related Entities Directive, what are the restrictions on drawdowns from that facility?  Do all drawdowns and disbursements pursuant to the parent agreement need to carry repayment terms of 14 days or less?

If a U.S. person entered into a long-term credit facility or loan agreement prior to the relevant sanctions effective date described in the Russia-related Entities Directive, drawdowns and disbursements with repayment terms of 14 days or less are permitted.  In addition, drawdowns and disbursements whose repayment terms exceed 14 days are not prohibited if the terms of such drawdowns and disbursements (including the length of the repayment period, the interest rate applied to the drawdown, and the maximum drawdown amount) were contractually agreed to prior to the relevant sanctions effective date and are not modified on or after the relevant sanctions effective date.  U.S. persons may not deal in a drawdown or disbursement initiated on or after the relevant sanctions effective date with a repayment term that is longer than 14 days if the terms of the drawdown or disbursement were negotiated on or after the relevant sanctions effective date.  Such a newly negotiated drawdown or disbursement would constitute a prohibited extension of credit.  

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988. Does Russia-related Directive 3 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to New Debt and Equity of Certain Russia-related Entities” (Russia-related Entities Directive) prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in all activities with entities subject to it?

No.  The Russia-related Entities Directive prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in only certain activities related to new debt of longer than 14 days maturity or new equity of the entities listed in Annex 1 to the Russia-related Entities Directive, or of entities otherwise determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive, as explained in FAQ 984.  Please see FAQ 985 regarding the applicability of OFAC’s 50 Percent Rule with respect to this directive.

Some entities determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive may also be subject to additional prohibitions under other sanctions authorities, such as additional directives under E.O. 14024 or E.O. 13662.  It is important to note that each directive operates independently of the others.  For example, if a transaction involves a person subject to two separate directives, a U.S. person engaging in that transaction must comply with both directives.  
 

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989. Does Russia-related Directive 3 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to New Debt and Equity of Certain Russia-related Entities” (Russia-related Entities Directive) prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in dealings related to debt or equity issued before the relevant sanctions effective date by entities subject to it?

No, so long as the terms of such debt (including the repayment period, the interest rate, and the amount) were contractually agreed to before the relevant sanctions effective date described in the Russia-related Entities Directive  and are not modified on or after the relevant sanctions effective date (FAQ 984).  As stated in FAQ 956, loans, contracts, or other agreements that use London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) as a reference rate that are modified to replace such benchmark reference rate will not be treated as new debt for OFAC sanctions purposes, so long as no other material terms of the loan, contract, or agreement are modified. 

Some entities determined to be subject to the prohibitions of the Russia-related Entities Directive may also be subject to additional prohibitions under other sanctions authorities, such as additional directives under E.O. 14024 or E.O. 13662.  It is important to note that each directive operates independently of the others.  For example, if a transaction involves a person subject to two separate directives, a U.S. person engaging in that transaction must comply with both directives.  
 

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990. May a debit to an account of a person blocked pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024 be authorized as a transaction that is ordinarily incident and necessary to a licensed transaction?

An authorization for transactions that are ordinarily incident and necessary to a transaction licensed pursuant to E.O. 14024 does not implicitly authorize a debit to a blocked account on the books of a U.S. financial institution.  Debits to an account on the books of a U.S. financial institution of a blocked person are only authorized as transactions ordinarily incident and necessary to a licensed transaction if such license explicitly authorizes such debits.

For example, General Licenses (GLs) 9 and 10  explicitly state that debits to accounts on the books of a U.S. financial institution of the blocked entities listed in the GLs are authorized to the extent ordinarily incident and necessary to effect the specified transactions authorized therein.  By contrast, GLs 3 and 11 do not explicitly authorize debits to accounts on the books of a U.S. financial institution of the blocked entities.
 

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998. What does Directive 4 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Transactions Involving the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive) do?

The Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in any transaction involving the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation (collectively, “Directive 4 entities”), including any transfer of assets to such entities or any foreign exchange transaction for or on behalf of such entities.  Effective February 28, 2022, U.S. persons may not engage in any transactions involving these entities unless exempt or authorized by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).  This includes both direct and indirect transactions involving any Directive 4 entity.  Prohibited transactions include trade or financial transactions and other dealings in which U.S. persons may not engage unless exempt or expressly authorized by OFAC.

The Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive also prohibits:  (1)  any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions of the Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive; and (2) any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions of the Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive.

This action effectively immobilizes any assets of the Directive 4 entities that are held in the United States or by U.S. persons, wherever located, unless exempt or authorized by OFAC.  Effective February 28, 2022, U.S. financial institutions must reject transactions involving any Directive 4 entity, unless exempt or authorized by OFAC.  OFAC issued general licenses that authorize certain limited transactions involving the Directive 4 entities (see FAQ 999).

Entities determined to be subject to the Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive are listed on OFAC’s Non-SDN Menu-Based Sanctions (NS-MBS) List.

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999. What authorizations exist for entities subject to Directive 4 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Transactions Involving the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive)?

OFAC issued Russia-related General License (GL) 8A to authorize certain energy-related transactions involving the Central Bank of the Russian Federation that would be prohibited by the Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive (see FAQs 976 and 977). 

OFAC issued GL 13 to authorize U.S. persons to pay taxes, fees, or import duties and purchase or receive permits, licenses, registrations, or certifications, to the extent such transactions are prohibited by the Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive, provided such transactions are ordinarily incident and necessary to such persons’ day-to-day operations in the Russian Federation.  GLs 8A and 13 expire at 12:01am eastern daylight time, June 24, 2022.

In addition, OFAC issued GLs 9A and 10A.  GL 9A authorizes all transactions prohibited by the Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the receipt of interest, dividend, or maturity payments in connection with debt or equity of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation (collectively, “Directive 4 entities”).  GL 10A authorizes all transactions prohibited by the Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the wind down of derivative contracts, repurchase agreements, or reverse repurchase agreements entered into prior to 12:01 a.m. eastern standard time, March 1, 2022, that include a Directive 4 entity as a counterparty.  Note that neither GL 9A nor GL 10A authorizes any debit to an account on the books of a U.S. financial institution of a Directive 4 entity.  In addition, the prior authorizations of GLs 9 and 10 remain unchanged.  GLs 9A and 10A expire at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, May 25, 2022.

OFAC also issued GL 14 authorizing certain transactions involving any Directive 4 entity where the Directive 4 entity’s sole function in the transaction is to act as an operator of a clearing and settlement system.  GL 14 does not authorize any transfer of assets to or from any Directive 4 entity, or any transaction where a Directive 4 entity is either a counterparty or beneficiary to the transaction.  In addition, GL 14 does not authorize any debit to an account on the books of a U.S. financial institution of any Directive 4 entity.  (See FAQ 1003)

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1000. What sanctions are applicable to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation? 

The Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation are subject to several restrictions under the following directives:

  • Effective February 28, 2022, Directive 4 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Transactions Involving the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive), prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in any transaction involving these entities, including any transfer of assets to such entities or any foreign exchange transaction for or on behalf of such entities (see FAQ 998).
  • Pursuant to Directive 1A under E.O. 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Sovereign Debt of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive), the following activities by a U.S. financial institution are prohibited:
    • As of June 14, 2021, participation in the primary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued after June 14, 2021 by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation; 
    • As of June 14, 2021, lending ruble or non-ruble denominated funds to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation; and
    • As of March 1, 2022, participation in the secondary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued after March 1, 2022 by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation (see FAQ 888).
  • Effective August 19, 2019, the Russia-Related Directive (the “CBW Act Directive”) prohibits U.S. banks from participating in the primary market for non-ruble denominated bonds issued by the Russian sovereign and also prohibits U.S. banks from lending non-ruble denominated funds to the Russian sovereign.  The CBW Act Directive defines the term “Russian sovereign” as any ministry, agency, or sovereign fund of the Russian Federation, including the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation (see FAQs 675 and 676).   

The Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive includes prohibitions more expansive than the Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive and the CBW Act Directive; however, it is important to note that each directive operates independently of the others and may have different effective dates.  Transactions involving these entities must comply with all three directives described above
 

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1001. Does the 50 Percent Rule apply to Directive 4 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Transactions Involving the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive)?

No.

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1002. Can U.S. persons engage in indirect transactions with persons subject to Directive 4 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Transactions Involving the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive)?

No.  The Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive prohibits U.S. persons from engaging in any transaction involving the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, including any transfer of assets to such entities or any foreign exchange transaction for or on behalf of such entities.  Effective February 28, 2022, U.S. persons may not engage in any transactions involving these entities unless exempt or authorized by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).  This includes both direct and indirect transactions.  The Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive also prohibits:  (1) any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions of the Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive; and (2) any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions of the Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive.  

In light of the current economic situation in Russia, U.S. persons should be on alert for nonroutine foreign exchange transactions that may indirectly involve entities subject to the Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive, including transactions that are inconsistent with activity over the 12 months prior to February 28, 2022.  For example, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation may seek to use import or export companies to engage in foreign exchange transactions on its behalf and obfuscate its involvement.  U.S. persons should also exercise caution in engaging in foreign exchange transactions on the Moscow Exchange given the current heightened risk that the Central Bank of the Russia Federation could be a counterparty to such transactions. 

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1003. Are transactions where the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation serves solely as the operator of a clearing and settlement system authorized?

Yes.  Please see General License 14 and FAQ 999.

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1004. Are U.S. persons required to block transactions involving entities subject to Directive 4 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Transactions Involving the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive)?

No.  Although the prohibitions of Directive 4 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Transactions Involving the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive) effectively immobilize any assets of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation (collectively, the “Directive 4 entities”) that are held in the United States or by U.S. persons, wherever located, the Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive does not impose blocking sanctions on the Directive 4 entities.  Rather, U.S. persons must reject transactions involving the Directive 4 entities, unless exempt or authorized by OFAC.

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1005. Does Directive 4 under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Transactions Involving the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive) prohibit trading in the secondary markets for Russian sovereign debt?

No, the Russia-related Sovereign Transactions Directive does not prohibit trading in the secondary markets for debt or equity of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation (collectively, “Directive 4 entities”), provided that no Directive 4 entity is a counterparty to such a transaction.  Please note, however, that Directive 1A under E.O. 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Sovereign Debt of the Russian Federation” (Russia-related Sovereign Debt Directive), prohibits U.S. financial institutions from participation in the secondary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued after March 1, 2022 by the Directive 4 entities.  Moreover, the “new investment” prohibitions of E.O. 14066, E.O. 14068, and E.O. 14071 prohibit U.S. persons from purchasing debt and equity securities issued by an entity in the Russian Federation.  Please see FAQ 1054.

With respect to the receipt of interest, dividend, or maturity payments made in connection with debt or equity of the Directive 4 entities, please see General License 9A and FAQ 981.

Updated: June 06, 2022

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1010. My company transports Russian oil for sale to the United States and third countries.  Can I continue to transport or sell Russian-origin oil without violating sanctions pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024?

The energy sector of the Russian Federation economy itself is not subject to comprehensive sanctions.  However, prohibitions or restrictions may apply to certain energy-related transactions under several sanctions authorities, including prohibitions issued pursuant to E.O. 13662, E.O. 14024, E.O. 14066, E.O. 14071, and E.O. 14068.

Pursuant to E.O. 14066, the import into the United States of crude oil; petroleum; petroleum fuels, oils, and products of their distillation; liquefied natural gas; coal; and coal products of Russian Federation origin is prohibited; and U.S. persons, wherever located, are prohibited from new investment in the energy sector in the Russian Federation, among other things. 

E.O. 14066 does not prohibit transactions such as the unwinding of contracts or other business-related activities by U.S. persons to comply with the import ban imposed under E.O. 14066.  Likewise, E.O. 14066 does not prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in transactions to sell or re-direct shipments that were laden on or after March 8, 2022 and previously destined for the United States.  The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has also authorized until April 22, 2022 certain transactions prohibited by E.O. 14066 (see FAQs 1013 – 1020).

In addition, pursuant to E.O. 14024, OFAC has imposed expansive sanctions on persons that operate or have operated in the financial services sector of the Russian Federation economy (see FAQ 966).  To limit the degree to which these financial services sector sanctions may inhibit energy-related transactions, OFAC has issued Russia-related General License (GL) 8C authorizing U.S. persons to process energy-related transactions involving the sanctioned Russian financial institutions identified in GL 8C.  GL 8C expires at 12:01 a.m. eastern standard time, December 5, 2022, unless renewed (see FAQs 976, 977, 978,  1011, and 1012).

Energy-related transactions authorized in GL 8C include payments connected with a variety of upstream and downstream activities, including the extraction, production, refinement, liquefaction, gasification, regasification, conversion, enrichment, fabrication, transport, or purchase of energy for import from the Russian Federation to countries other than the United States or for export to the Russian Federation, as well as financing, loading, or unloading related to such processes (see FAQ 977).  However, transactions related to new investment in the energy sector in the Russian Federation are not authorized pursuant to GL 8C.

Updated: June 14, 2022

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1011. My U.S. bank refused to process a requested payment related to energy despite the authorization in Russia-related General License (GL) 8C under Executive Order (E.O.) 14024.  What can I do?

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) encourages persons to connect with their financial institution regarding the status of any payment.  In addition, persons with questions about engaging in or processing transactions related to GL 8C 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. 

Updated: June 14, 2022

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1012. Do I have to wind down energy-related transactions by the expiration date of Russia-related General License (GL) 8C?

GL 8C authorizes energy-related transactions through 12:01 a.m. eastern standard time, December 5, 2022, unless renewed.  In the event that GL 8C is not renewed, OFAC intends to issue a general license authorizing the orderly wind down of activities covered by GL 8C.

Updated: June 14, 2022

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1013. What does Executive Order (E.O.) of March 8, 2022, “Prohibiting Certain Imports and New Investments With Respect to Continued Russian Federation Efforts to Undermine the Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of Ukraine,” do?

E.O. of March 8, 2022 prohibits the following activities:

  • the importation into the United States of crude oil; petroleum; petroleum fuels, oils, and products of their distillation; liquefied natural gas; coal; and coal products of Russian Federation origin;
  • new investment in the energy sector in the Russian Federation by a United States person, wherever located; and
  • any approval, financing, facilitation, or guarantee by a United States person, wherever located, of a transaction by a foreign person where the transaction by that foreign person would be prohibited by E.O. of March 8, 2022, if performed by a United States person or within the United States.

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1014. Are all energy imports from Russia now prohibited by Executive Order (E.O.) of March 8, 2022, “Prohibiting Certain Imports and New Investments With Respect to Continued Russian Federation Efforts to Undermine the Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of Ukraine”?

No, only imports of crude oil; petroleum; petroleum fuels, oils, and products of their distillation; liquefied natural gas; coal; and coal products of Russian Federation origin into the United States are prohibited by E.O. of March 8, 2022, “Prohibiting Certain Imports and New Investments With Respect to Continued Russian Federation Efforts to Undermine the Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of Ukraine.”  Imports of other forms of energy of Russian Federation origin are not prohibited by E.O. of March 8, 2022.  In addition, E.O. of March 8, 2022 does not prohibit imports of non-Russian Federation origin, even if such items transit through or depart from the Russian Federation.  However, targeted prohibitions or restrictions may apply to certain energy-related dealings with specified Russian persons under other sanctions authorities, such as E.O. 13662 or E.O. 14024.

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1015. Is there a period for U.S. persons to continue imports prohibited by Executive Order (E.O.) of March 8, 2022, “Prohibiting Certain Imports and New Investments With Respect to Continued Russian Federation Efforts to Undermine the Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of Ukraine”?

Through 12:01 eastern daylight time, April 22, 2022, Russia-related General License (GL) 16 authorizes all transactions prohibited by E.O. of March 8, 2022 that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the importation of crude oil; petroleum; petroleum fuels, oils, and products of their distillation; liquefied natural gas; coal; and coal products of Russian Federation origin pursuant to written contracts or written agreements entered prior to March 8, 2022.  GL 16 does not authorize entry into new contracts.

Additionally, E.O. of March 8, 2022 does not prohibit transactions such as the unwinding of contracts or other business-related activities by U.S. persons to comply with the import ban imposed under E.O. of March 8, 2022.  Likewise, E.O. of March 8, 2022 does not prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in transactions to sell or re-direct shipments that were laden on or after March 8, 2022 and previously destined for the United States.

Note that all other prohibitions specified in E.O. of March 8, 2022 are effective immediately.

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1016. I have a shipment of a product or products listed in Executive Order (E.O.) of March 8, 2022, “Prohibiting Certain Imports and New Investments With Respect to Continued Russian Federation Efforts to Undermine the Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of Ukraine,” en route to the United States that was contracted prior to March 8, 2022.  Can I find a new buyer for this shipment, re-direct the shipment to a country other than the United States, or import the product and comply with the import ban?

Yes.  E.O. of March 8, 2022 prohibits the importation into the United States of crude oil; petroleum; petroleum fuels, oils, and products of their distillation; liquefied natural gas; coal; and coal products of Russian Federation origin.  It does not prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in transactions to sell or re-direct shipments that were previously destined for the United States.  In addition, the Office of Foreign of Assets Control (OFAC) has issued General License (GL) 16 to authorize the limited import of these items pursuant to pre-existing written contracts or written agreements through April 22, 2022 (see FAQ 1015).  Such shipments into the United States can still be imported in compliance with E.O. of March 8, 2022.  OFAC may issue specific licenses on a case-by-case basis to authorize shipments occurring after April 22, 2022 or other activity outside the scope of GL 16.

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1017. Does Russia-related General License (GL) 8C remain valid following the issuance of Executive Order (E.O.) 14066, “Prohibiting Certain Imports and New Investments With Respect to Continued Russian Federation Efforts to Undermine the Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of Ukraine”?

Yes.  GL 8C, which authorizes certain transactions “related to energy” involving specified Russian financial institutions, remains in effect until 12:01 eastern standard time, December 5, 2022, unless renewed.  However, GL 8C does not authorize any transactions prohibited by E.O. 14066 (see FAQs 976-978 and 1,010-1,012).

Updated: June 14, 2022

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1018. Are non-U.S. persons exposed to sanctions if they continue to import to non-U.S. jurisdictions certain products of Russian Federation origin that are banned from the United States pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) of March 8, 2022, “Prohibiting Certain Imports and New Investments With Respect to Continued Russian Federation Efforts to Undermine the Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of Ukraine”?

E.O. of March 8, 2022 prohibits the importation into the United States of crude oil; petroleum; petroleum fuels, oils, and products of their distillation; liquefied natural gas; coal; and coal products of Russian Federation origin.  To the extent the import of such products of Russian Federation origin outside of the United States does not involve a sanctioned person or an otherwise prohibited transaction, non-U.S. persons are not exposed to sanctions under E.O. of March 8, 2022.  However, targeted prohibitions or restrictions may apply to certain energy-related dealings with specified Russian persons under other sanctions authorities, such as E.O. 13662 or E.O. 14024.

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1019. For the purposes of Executive Order (E.O.) 14066, what is meant by the term “Russian Federation origin”?

For the purposes of E.O. 14066, the Office of Foreign Assets Control anticipates publishing regulations defining the term “Russian Federation origin” to include goods produced, manufactured, extracted, or processed in the Russian Federation, excluding any Russian Federation origin good that has been incorporated or substantially transformed into a foreign-made product.

For information on prohibitions related to new investment pursuant to Russia-related E.O. 14066, E.O. 14068, and E.O. 14071, please see FAQs 1049-1055.

Updated: June 06, 2022

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1020. Does Executive Order (E.O.) 14066 prohibit dealing in Kazakh-origin crude oil of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (“CPC”)?

No.  The importation prohibition of E.O. 14066 applies to the import of certain products of Russian Federation origin to the United States and excludes imports that are not of Russian Federation origin, even if such items transit through or depart from the Russian Federation.  The CPC transports crude oil through the CPC pipeline that is predominantly of Kazakh origin and that is marketed and loaded with a certificate of origin verifying that the crude is of Kazakh origin.  Any crude oil that is primarily of Russian Federation origin is marketed and loaded separately and certified as Russian origin.  For purposes of assessing whether crude oil marketed by the CPC is of Russian origin, U.S. persons may reasonably rely upon a certificate of origin, but should exercise caution if they have a reason to believe such certificate has been falsified.

Date Updated: 03/18/2022

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1021. Do the prohibitions of Executive Order (E.O.) 14024 and other Russia-related sanctions extend to virtual currency? 

Yes.  The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed expansive sanctions actions against certain Russian entities and individuals pursuant to E.O. 14024, in addition to other authorities.  All U.S. persons are required to comply with OFAC regulations, regardless of whether a transaction is denominated in traditional fiat currency or virtual currency (see FAQ 560).

Sanctioned Russian persons are known to employ a wide variety of measures in their efforts to evade U.S. and international sanctions.  As such, U.S. persons, wherever located, including firms that process virtual currency transactions, must be vigilant against attempts to circumvent OFAC regulations and must take risk-based steps to ensure they do not engage in prohibited transactions.  For additional information regarding sanctions compliance best practices for the virtual currency industry, please see OFAC’s Sanctions Compliance Guidance for the Virtual Currency Industry.

U.S. persons, including virtual currency exchanges, virtual wallet hosts, and other service providers, such as those that provide nested services for foreign exchanges, are generally prohibited from engaging in or facilitating prohibited transactions, including virtual currency transactions in which blocked persons have an interest.  U.S. persons are further prohibited from engaging in or facilitating any transaction by a non-U.S. person that would be prohibited if performed by a U.S. person or within the United States, including virtual currency transactions involving the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.  Among other activities, U.S. financial institutions are also generally prohibited from processing transactions, including virtual currency transactions, involving foreign financial institutions that are determined to be subject to the prohibitions of Directive 2 under Executive Order 14024, “Prohibitions Related to Correspondent or Payable-Through Accounts and Processing of Transactions Involving Certain Foreign Financial Institutions” (Russia-related CAPTA Directive).  For additional information regarding the Russia-related CAPTA Directive, please see FAQ 967.

Non-U.S. persons are also subject to certain OFAC prohibitions.  Such persons, for example, are prohibited from causing or conspiring to cause U.S. persons to violate U.S. sanctions, as well as engaging in conduct that evades or avoids a violation of OFAC sanctions.  Violations of OFAC regulations may result in criminal or civil penalties.

E.O. 14024 further authorizes sanctions against persons determined to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged or attempted to engage in, deceptive or structured transactions or dealings to circumvent U.S. sanctions, including through the use of digital currencies or assets, or the use of physical assets.  E.O. 14024 also authorizes sanctions against persons determined to operate or to have operated in the financial services or technology sectors of the Russian Federation economy, as well as persons that have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, blocked persons.

OFAC is closely monitoring any efforts to circumvent or violate Russia-related sanctions, including through the use of virtual currency, and is committed to using its broad enforcement authorities to act against violations and to promote compliance.

For additional information regarding the application of sanctions to virtual currency, please see FAQs 559, 560, 561, 562, 563, 594, 646, 647, and 971, as well as OFAC’s Sanctions Compliance Guidance for the Virtual Currency Industry.

For additional Treasury guidance on Russia and sanctions evasion, please see FinCEN’s Alert on Increased Vigilance for Potential Russian Sanctions Evasion Attempts.

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1022. What does Executive Order (E.O.) of March 11, 2022, “Prohibiting Certain Imports, Exports, and New Investment With Respect to Continued Russian Federation Aggression,” do?

E.O. of March 11, 2022 prohibits the following activities:

  • the importation into the United States of the following products of Russian Federation origin:  fish, seafood, and preparations thereof; alcoholic beverages; non-industrial diamonds; and any other products of Russian Federation origin as may be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Commerce;
  • the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, of luxury goods, and any other items as may be determined by the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury, to any person located in the Russian Federation;
  • new investment in any sector of the Russian Federation economy as may be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, by a United States person, wherever located;
  • the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, of U.S. dollar-denominated banknotes to the Government of the Russian Federation or any person located in the Russian Federation; and
  • any approval, financing, facilitation, or guarantee by a United States person, wherever located, of a transaction by a foreign person where the transaction by that foreign person would be prohibited by sections 1(a)(i)-(iv) of E.O. of March 11, 2022 if performed by a United States person or within the United States.

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1023. Is there a period of time for U.S. persons to continue importing products prohibited by Executive Order (E.O.) 14068?

Russia-related General License (GL) 17A  authorizes until March 25, 2022 transactions that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the importation into the United States of alcoholic beverages or non-industrial diamonds of Russian Federation origin pursuant to written contracts or written agreements entered into prior to March 11, 2022.  GL 17A also authorizes until June 23, 2022 transactions that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the importation into the United States of fish, seafood, and preparations thereof of Russian Federation origin pursuant to written contracts or written agreements entered into prior to March 11, 2022.  GL 17A does not authorize entry into new contracts.

Additionally, E.O. 14068 does not prohibit transactions such as the unwinding of contracts or other business-related activities by U.S. persons to comply with the import ban imposed under E.O. 14068.  Likewise, E.O. 14068 does not prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in transactions to sell or re-direct shipments outside the United States of prohibited imports previously destined for the United States.

Note that other prohibitions specified in E.O. 14068 are effective immediately. Additionally, with respect to the export prohibitions set forth in section 1(a)(ii) of E.O. 14068, please consult the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, for guidance.

(Updated March 24, 2022)

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1024. I have a shipment of a certain product(s) listed in Executive Order (E.O.) 14068 en route to the United States that were contracted prior to March 11, 2022.  Can I find a new buyer for this shipment, re-direct the shipment to a country other than the United States, or import the product(s) and comply with the import ban?

Yes.  E.O. 14068 prohibits the importation into the United States of fish, seafood, and preparations thereof; alcoholic beverages; and non-industrial diamonds of Russian Federation origin.  It does not prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in transactions to sell or re-direct shipments outside the United States that were previously destined for the United States.

In addition, the Office of Foreign of Assets Control (OFAC) has issued Russia-related General License (GL) 17A to authorize the import, for a limited time, of certain items pursuant to pre-existing written contracts or written agreements (see FAQ 1023).  GL 17A provides such authorization for importing alcoholic beverages or non-industrial diamonds of Russian Federation origin until March 25, 2022 and authorization for importing fish, seafood, and preparations thereof of Russian Federation origin until June 23, 2022.  OFAC may issue specific licenses on a case-by-case basis to authorize shipments occurring after the expiry of GL 17A or for other activity outside the scope of this GL. 

(Updated March 24, 2022)

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1025. Executive Order (E.O.) of March 11, 2022, “Prohibiting Certain Imports, Exports, and New Investment With Respect to Continued Russian Federation Aggression” prohibits the importation into the United States of fish, seafood, and preparations thereof of Russian Federation origin.  How does this affect Russia-related General License (GL) 6?

Russia-related GL 6 (“Transactions Related to the Exportation or Reexportation of Agricultural Commodities, Medicine, Medical Devices, Replacement Parts and Components, or Software Updates, or the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic”) remains valid and authorizes, among other things, transactions ordinarily incident and necessary to (1) the exportation or reexportation of agricultural commodities, including products such as fish, seafood, or preparations thereof — to the extent they fall within the definition of agricultural commodities provided in GL 6 — to, from, or transiting the Russian Federation (see FAQ 979).  However, GL 6 does not authorize any transactions prohibited by E.O. of March 11, 2022.  As such, U.S. persons can continue to rely on GL 6 for transactions otherwise prohibited by E.O. 14024 involving agricultural commodities, such as fish, seafood, and preparations thereof, provided such transactions are not for the importation of these Russian origin products into the United States, unless otherwise authorized by OFAC.

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1026. Are non-U.S. persons exposed to sanctions if they continue to import to non-U.S. jurisdictions certain products of Russian Federation origin that are banned from the United States pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) of March 11, 2022, “Prohibiting Certain Imports, Exports, and New Investment With Respect to Continued Russian Federation Aggression”?

E.O. of March 11, 2022 prohibits the importation into the United States of fish, seafood, and preparations thereof; alcoholic beverages; and non-industrial diamonds of Russian Federation origin.  To the extent the import of such products of Russian Federation origin to jurisdictions outside of the United States does not involve a sanctioned person or an otherwise prohibited transaction, non-U.S. persons are not exposed to sanctions under E.O. of March 11, 2022.

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1027. For the purposes of Executive Order (E.O.) of March 11, 2022, “Prohibiting Certain Imports, Exports, and New Investment With Respect to Continued Russian Federation Aggression,” what is meant by the terms “Russian Federation origin,” “fish, seafood, and preparations thereof,” “alcoholic beverages,” and “non-industrial diamonds”?

For the purposes of E.O. of March 11, 2022, the Office of Foreign Assets Control anticipates publishing regulations defining these terms to include the following:

  • “Russian Federation origin” – see FAQ 1,019.
  • “fish, seafood, and preparations thereof” – articles defined at Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheadings 0301.11.00 to 0301.99.03; 0302.11.00 to 0302.99.00; 0303.11.00 to 0303.99.00; 0304.31.00 to 0304.99.91; 0305.20.20 to 0305.79.00; 0306.11.00 to 0306.99.01; 0307.11.00 to 0307.99.03; 0308.11.00 to 0308.90.01; 0309.10.05 to 0309.90.90; 1603.00.10; 1603.00.90; 1604.11.20 to 1604.32.40; 1605.10.05 to 1605.69.00; 0508.00.0000; 2301.20.0010; 2310.20.0090; 1504.10.20 to 1504.20.60; and 2106.90.9998, including any subsequent revisions to the list of HTSUS classifications.
  • “alcoholic beverages” – articles defined at HTSUS subheadings 2203.00.00; 2204.10.00 to 2204.30.00; 2205.10.30 to 2205.90.60; 2206.00.15 to 2206.00.90; 2207.10.30 to 2207.20.00; and 2208.20.10 to 2208.90.80, including any subsequent revisions to the list of HTSUS classifications.
  • “non-industrial diamonds” – articles defined at HTSUS subheadings 7102.31.00 and 7102.39.00, including any subsequent revisions to the list of HTSUS classifications.

With respect to the export prohibitions set forth in section 1(a)(ii) of E.O. of March 11, 2022, please consult the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security, for guidance.

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1028. Does the U.S. dollar-denominated banknote export ban imposed by Executive Order (E.O.) of March 11, 2022, “Prohibiting Certain Imports, Exports, and New Investment With Respect to Continued Russian Federation Aggression,” prohibit sending noncommercial, personal remittances denominated in U.S. dollars to the Russia Federation (or to individuals ordinarily resident in the Russia Federation)?

E.O. of March 11, 2022 prohibits the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, of U.S. dollar-denominated banknotes to the Government of the Russian Federation or any person located in the Russian Federation.  However, Russia-related General License (GL) 18 authorizes certain transactions that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the transfer of U.S. dollar-denominated banknotes for noncommercial, personal remittances from:  (i) the United States or a U.S. person, wherever located, to an individual located in the Russian Federation; or (ii) a U.S. person who is an individual located in the Russian Federation.

GL 18 authorizes methods of payment including withdrawals of U.S. dollar-denominated banknotes via automated teller machines and the hand carrying of U.S. dollar-denominated banknotes. 

Note that GL 18 does not authorize U.S. financial institutions to process transactions for the provision of U.S. dollar-denominated banknotes to foreign financial institutions for further distribution or supply to the Government of the Russian Federation or any person located in the Russian Federation.
 

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1029. How do the prohibitions of Executive Order (E.O.) 14024 and other Russia-related sanctions impact gold-related transactions or persons participating in the gold market? 

Gold-related transactions involving the Russian Federation may be sanctionable under E.O. 14024 or other Russia-related sanctions authorities.  For example, E.O. 14024 authorizes sanctions against:

  • Persons determined to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged or attempted to engage in, deceptive or structured transactions or dealings to circumvent U.S. sanctions, including through the use of assets such as gold or other precious metals;  
  • Persons determined to operate or to have operated in the financial services sector of the Russian Federation economy, which could include those engaging in gold-related transactions involving the Russian Federation; and 
  • Persons that have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, persons blocked under E.O. 14024.  This could include transactions in gold or other precious metals that involve such blocked persons.

In addition, gold-related transactions involving Russia or the Russian Federation may be prohibited under E.O. 14024 or other Russia-related sanctions authorities.  For example:

Sanctioned Russian persons are known to employ a wide variety of measures in their efforts to evade U.S. and international sanctions.  As such, U.S. persons, wherever located, including persons that process or facilitate gold-related transactions, must be vigilant against attempts to circumvent OFAC regulations and must take risk-based steps to ensure they do not engage in prohibited transactions. 

Violations of OFAC regulations may result in criminal or civil penalties.  OFAC is closely monitoring any efforts to circumvent or violate Russia-related sanctions, including through the use of gold or other precious metals, and is committed to using its authorities to act against sanctions evaders, and promote compliance.
 

Date Updated: June 28, 2022

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1030. What obligations do operators of credit card systems have under the Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 587 (RuHSR), and the Belarus Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 548 (BSR), with regard to payment cards issued by sanctioned Russian financial institutions?

Pursuant to the RuHSR and BSR, U.S. persons, including U.S. operators of credit card systems and U.S. acquirers, are prohibited from processing transactions involving certain sanctioned foreign financial institutions, unless exempt or authorized by OFAC.  Non-U.S. operators of credit card systems whose payment cards are issued by sanctioned foreign financial institutions may also be in violation of OFAC-administered sanctions regulations if they allow those cards to be used in the United States.

OFAC encourages U.S. persons, including U.S. operators of credit card systems and U.S. acquirers, to exercise caution and due diligence in dealing with non-U.S. operators of credit card systems that are known to host payment cards issued by sanctioned foreign financial institutions and whose payment cards are accepted in the United States.  Examples of due diligence measures may include requesting Bank Identification Numbers (BINs) associated with sanctioned foreign financial institutions, disabling those BINs from operation in the United States, and requesting that non-U.S. operators of credit card systems prevent the use of payment cards issued by sanctioned foreign financial institutions in the United States at the network level.
 

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1033. What actions were taken on May 8, 2022 related to certain accounting, trust and corporate formation, and management consulting services?

On May 8, 2022, the Director of OFAC, in consultation with the Department of State, issued a determination pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services,” prohibiting the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, of certain accounting, trust and corporate formation, and management consulting services to any person located in the Russian Federation.  This determination takes effect June 7, 2022.  For more information, please see FAQ 1034.

On May 8, 2022, the Director of OFAC, in consultation with the Department of State, also issued a sectoral determination pursuant to E.O. 14024 that authorizes the imposition of economic sanctions on individuals and entities that operate or have operated in the accounting, trust and corporate formation services, or management consulting sectors of the Russian Federation economy.  This determination takes effect on May 8, 2022.  For further information, please see FAQ 1037.  

Date Updated: September 15, 2022

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1034. For the purposes of the determination of May 8, 2022 made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services,” what is meant by the terms “accounting,” “trust and corporate formation,” and “management consulting” services?

For the purposes of the determination of May 8, 2022 made pursuant to E.O. 14071, OFAC anticipates publishing regulations defining these terms to include the following:

  • “Accounting services” includes services related to the measurement, processing, and evaluation of financial data about economic entities.  Please note that OFAC has issued General License 35 to authorize certain transactions ordinarily incident and necessary to the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, of credit rating or auditing services to any person located in the Russian Federation through 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, August 20, 2022.  See FAQ 1035.
  • “Trust and corporate formation services” – includes services related to assisting persons in forming or structuring legal persons, such as trusts and corporations; acting or arranging for other persons to act as directors, secretaries, administrative trustees, trust fiduciaries, registered agents, or nominee shareholders of legal persons; providing a registered office, business address, correspondence address, or administrative address for legal persons; and providing administrative services for trusts.  Please note that all of these activities are common activities of trust and corporate service providers (TCSPs), although they may be provided by other persons.
  • “Management consulting services” – includes services related to strategic business advice; organizational and systems planning, evaluation, and selection; development or evaluation of marketing programs or implementation; mergers, acquisitions, and organizational structure; staff augmentation and human resources policies and practices; and brand management.

This determination excludes from the scope of the aforementioned services:  (1) any service to an entity located in the Russian Federation that is owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a United States person; and (2) any service in connection with the wind down or divestiture of an entity located in the Russian Federation that is not owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a Russian person.

For the purposes of the prohibitions set forth in in the determination of May 8, 2022 made pursuant to E.O. 14071, OFAC anticipates publishing regulations defining the term “person located in the Russian Federation” as set forth in FAQ 1058.  For the purposes of the exclusion set forth in the determination of May 8, 2022 made pursuant to E.O. 14071, OFAC anticipates publishing regulations defining the term “Russian person” to mean an individual who is a citizen or national of the Russian Federation, or an entity organized under the laws of the Russian Federation.

Date Updated: September 15, 2022

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1035. For the purposes of Russia-related General License 35 what is meant by the terms “credit rating services” and “auditing services?”

The term “credit rating services” means services related to assessments of a borrower’s ability to meet financial commitments, including analysis of general creditworthiness or with respect to a specific debt or financial obligation.

The term “auditing services” means examination or inspection of business records by an auditor, including checking and verifying accounts, statements, or other representation of the financial position or regulatory compliance of the auditee.

General License 35 authorizes certain transactions ordinarily incident and necessary to the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, of credit rating or auditing services to any person located in the Russian Federation through 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, August 20, 2022. 

Updated: May 11, 2022

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1036. When do the prohibitions imposed by the determination of May 8, 2022 made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services,” take effect?  

The prohibitions imposed by the determination of May 8, 2022 made pursuant to E.O. 14071take effect at 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time June 7, 2022.

In addition, OFAC has issued General License 34 to authorize all transactions ordinarily incident and necessary to the wind down of the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, of accounting, trust and corporate formation, and management consulting services to any person located in the Russian Federation, through 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, July 7, 2022.

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1037. Does the determination of May 8, 2022 made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024 with regard to the accounting, trust and corporate formation services, and management consulting sectors of the Russian Federation economy mean that all persons that operate or have operated in these sectors of the Russian Federation economy are sanctioned by OFAC? 

No.  The Director of OFAC, in consultation with the State Department, has issued a determination pursuant to E.O. 14024 that authorizes the imposition of economic sanctions against persons that operate or have operated in the accounting, trust and corporate formation services, or management consulting sectors of the Russian Federation economy.  

A sector determination pursuant to E.O. 14024 exposes persons that operate or have operated in an identified sector to sanctions risk; however, a sector determination does not automatically impose sanctions on all persons who operate or have operated in the sector.  Only persons determined, pursuant to E.O. 14024, by the Secretary of the Treasury in consultation with the Secretary of State, or by the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, or their delegates, to operate or have operated in the above-identified sectors are subject to sanctions.

Persons sanctioned pursuant to E.O. 14024 for operating or having operated in an identified sector are added to one or more OFAC sanctions lists based on the type of sanction, including the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List), the List of Foreign Financial Institutions Subject to Correspondent Account or Payable-Through Account Sanctions (CAPTA List), and the Non-SDN Menu-Based Sanctions List (NS-MBS List).

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1038. For the purposes of the determination of May 8, 2022 made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, what is meant by the terms “accounting,” “trust and corporate formation services,” and “management consulting” sectors of the Russian Federation economy?

For the purposes of the determination of May 8, 2022 made pursuant to E.O. 14024, OFAC interprets the following terms to include activities related to products and services in or involving the Russian Federation in the following:

  • “Accounting sector” – includes the measurement, processing, and evaluation of financial data about economic entities.  
  • “Trust and corporate formation services sector” – includes assisting persons in forming or structuring legal persons, such as trusts and corporations; acting or arranging for another person to act as directors, secretaries, administrative trustees, trust fiduciaries, registered agents, or nominee shareholders of legal persons; providing a registered office, business address, correspondence address, or administrative address for legal persons; and providing administrative services for trusts.
  • “Management consulting sector” – includes strategic business advice; organizational and systems planning, evaluation, and selection; development or evaluation of marketing programs or implementation; mergers, acquisitions, and organizational structure; staff augmentation and human resources policies and practices; and brand management.

The determination regarding these sectors pursuant to E.O. 14024 takes effect immediately.

Updated: May 11, 2022

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1039. Are transactions ordinarily incident and necessary to the exportation or reexportation of agricultural commodities to, from, or transiting the Russian Federation that involve Agropromyshlennyi Kompleks Voronezhskii OOO, Anninskii Elevator OOO, and Azovskaya Zernovaya Kompaniya OOO authorized under OFAC sanctions?

Yes.  On May 8, 2022, OFAC designated Agropromyshlennyi Kompleks Voronezhskii OOO, Anninskii Elevator OOO, and Azovskaya Zernovaya Kompaniya OOO pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024 for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Joint Stock Company Moscow Industrial Bank (MIB), which was also designated on May 8, 2022 pursuant to E.O. 14024 for operating or having operated in the financial services sector of the Russian Federation economy.  Russia-related General License (GL) 6B authorizes, among other activities, certain transactions prohibited by the Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 587 (RuHSR), that are related to the sale, or transport of agricultural commodities, which includes transactions ordinarily incident and necessary to the exportation or reexportation of agricultural commodities to, from, or transiting the Russian Federation.  For additional information, please see the text of GL 6B.

For further information on relevant authorizations, exemptions, and public guidance, please review OFAC’s Fact Sheets, “Preserving Agricultural Trade, Access to Communication, and Other Support to Those Impacted by Russia’s War Against Ukraine ” and “Russia Sanctions and Agricultural Trade”.

Date Updated: July 14, 2022

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1040. Are transactions related to telecommunications and certain internet-based communications that involve persons designated pursuant to Executive Order 14024 authorized by Russia-related General License (GL) 25C?

GL 25C authorizes certain transactions ordinarily incident and necessary to the receipt or transmission of telecommunications involving the Russian Federation that are prohibited by the Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 587 (RuHSR).  In addition, GL 25C authorizes certain transactions from the United States or by U.S. persons, wherever located, to the Russian Federation that are incident to the exchange of communications over the internet and that are prohibited by the RuHSR.  However, GL 25C explicitly excludes from the authorization any transactions involving Joint Stock Company Channel One Russia, Television Station Russia-1, Joint Stock Company NTV Broadcasting Company, Limited Liability Company Algoritm, New Eastern Outlook, or Oriental Review, which are designated pursuant to Executive Order 14024

For further information on relevant authorizations, exemptions, and public guidance, please review OFAC’s Fact Sheet, “Preserving Agricultural Trade, Access to Communication, and Other Support to Those Impacted by Russia’s War Against Ukraine.” 

Date Updated July 14, 2022

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1049. For the purposes of Russia-related Executive Order (E.O.) 14066, E.O. 14068, or E.O. 14071 (collectively, “the respective E.O.s”), what is meant by the term “new investment”?

For the purposes of the respective E.O.s, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) views “investment” as the commitment of capital or other assets for the purpose of generating returns or appreciation.  OFAC interprets “new” investment as such a commitment made on or after the effective date of the respective E.O. prohibitions.  As a general matter, new investment includes such commitments that are pursuant to an agreement entered on or after the effective dates of the respective E.O. prohibitions.  New investment also includes such commitments pursuant to the exercise of rights under an agreement entered into before the effective dates of the respective E.O. prohibitions, where such commitment is made on or after the effective dates of the respective E.O. prohibitions.  We note, however, that new investment does not include the maintenance of an investment made prior to the applicable effective dates of the respective E.O. prohibitions (see FAQ 1050). 

Unless exempt or otherwise authorized by OFAC, transactions that OFAC considers to be “new investment” for the purposes of the respective E.O. prohibitions include:

  • The purchase or acquisition of real estate in the Russian Federation, other than for noncommercial, personal use; 
  • Entry into an agreement requiring the commitment of capital or other assets for the establishment or expansion of projects or operations in the Russian Federation, including the formation of joint ventures or other corporate entities in the Russian Federation;
  • Entry into an agreement providing for the participation in royalties or ongoing profits in the Russian Federation;
  • The lending of funds to persons located in the Russian Federation for commercial purposes, including when such funds are intended to be used to fund a new or expanded project or operation in the Russian Federation;
  • The purchase of an equity interest in an entity located in the Russian Federation (see FAQs 1054 and 1055); and
  • The purchase or acquisition of rights to natural resources or exploitation thereof in the Russian Federation.

Examples of transactions that OFAC does not consider to be “new investment” for the purposes of the respective E.O. prohibitions include:

  • Entry into, performance of, or financing of a contract, pursuant to ordinary commercial sales terms, to sell or purchase goods, services, or technology to or from an entity in the Russian Federation (e.g., a payment of an invoice for goods, where payment is made within the contracted time period and such payment does not involve participation in royalties or ongoing profits);
  • Maintenance of an investment in the Russian Federation, where the investment was made prior to the effective date of the respective E.O. prohibitions, including maintenance of pre-existing entities, projects, or operations, including associated tangible property, in the Russian Federation (see FAQ 1050); and
  • Wind down or divestment of a pre-existing investment, such as a pre-existing investment in an entity, project, or operation, including any associated tangible property, located in the Russian Federation (see FAQs 1053 and 1054).

Even if a transaction is not a prohibited form of “new investment” pursuant to the respective E.O.s, U.S. persons engaging in the transaction must comply with all other relevant sanctions prohibitions, including those pursuant to Ukraine-/Russia-Related Sanctions Regulations and Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions Regulations (see, e.g., FAQ 415).  For example, the respective E.O.s include provisions prohibiting any approval, financing, facilitation, or guarantee by a United States person, wherever located, of a transaction by a foreign person where the transaction by that foreign person would be prohibited if performed by a United States person or within the United States.  For more information, see FAQ 1053.

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1050. What types of transactions are considered to be “maintenance” activities described in FAQ 1049 and therefore outside the scope of the “new investment” prohibitions of Russia-related Executive Order (E.O.) 14066, E.O. 14068, or E.O. 14071 (collectively, “the respective E.O.s”)?

For the purposes of the respective E.O. prohibitions, “new investment” generally excludes the maintenance of investments in the Russian Federation that were made prior to the effective dates of the respective E.O. prohibitions (“pre-existing projects or operations”).  “Maintenance” of investments includes:  

  • Transactions to ensure continuity of pre-existing projects or operations located in the Russian Federation, including payments to employees, suppliers, landlords, lenders, and partners;
  • The preservation and upkeep of pre-existing tangible property in the Russian Federation; and
  • Activities associated with maintaining pre-existing capital investments or equity investments. 

As a general matter, “maintenance” includes all transactions ordinarily incident to performing under an agreement in effect prior to the effective date of the respective E.O. prohibitions (“pre-existing agreement”), provided that such transactions are consistent with previously established practices and support pre-existing projects or operations.  However, “maintenance” does not include the expansion of pre-existing projects or operations beyond those in effect prior to the effective dates of the respective E.O. prohibitions, even if pursuant to a pre-existing agreement, where such expansion occurs on or after the effective dates of the respective E.O. prohibitions.  Nor does “maintenance” include commitments pursuant to the exercise of rights under a pre-existing agreement where such commitment is made on or after the effective dates of the respective E.O. prohibitions.

In connection with maintenance activity, U.S. persons also may modify or alter pre-existing agreements, or enter into new contracts or agreements, provided that any transaction under such contracts or agreements are consistent with previously established practices and support pre-existing projects or operations.  For example, a pre-existing agreement may be modified, or new contract established, to substitute suppliers, conduct maintenance or repairs, or comply with new environmental or safety standards.  In assessing whether activity is consistent with past practice, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) will consider all relevant facts and circumstances, including the transaction history between contract parties prior to the effective date of the respective E.O.s.

Note that maintenance activities must not involve blocked persons or other prohibited transactions unless exempt or otherwise authorized by OFAC.

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1051. Is the export to the Russian Federation or import from the Russian Federation of goods, services, or technology considered “new investment” for the purposes of Russia-related Executive Order (E.O.) 14066, E.O. 14068, or E.O. 14071 (collectively, “the respective E.O.s”)?

The prohibitions on “new investment” pursuant to the respective E.O.s do not prohibit the export or import of goods, services, or technology, or related sales or purchases, to or from the Russian Federation, provided that such transaction is made pursuant to ordinary commercial sales terms (e.g., a payment of an invoice for goods made within the contracted time period, where such payment does not involve ongoing participation in royalties or ongoing profits) (see FAQ 1049).  Such transactions can be supported through traditional trade finance products, including commercial letters of credit and documentary collections.  U.S. persons are not prohibited pursuant to the respective E.O.s from entering into new contracts or agreements for such transactions.

However, please note that U.S. persons are prohibited or restricted from exporting, reexporting, or importing certain goods and services involving the Russian Federation, as described by law (see, for example, section 1(a)(i) of E.O. 14068; see also FAQ 415).

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1052. Can U.S. persons continue to fund their subsidiaries and affiliates with projects or operations located in the Russian Federation prior to the effective dates of the new investment prohibitions of Executive Order (E.O.) 14066, E.O. 14068, or E.O. 14071 (collectively, “the respective E.O.s”)?

Yes, provided that the use of the funds by the subsidiary or affiliate is consistent with maintenance, as described in FAQ 1050.  “Maintenance” does not include the expansion of pre-existing projects or operations beyond those in effect prior to the effective dates of the respective E.O. prohibitions.  Therefore, U.S. persons may not fund new or expanded projects or operations undertaken by their subsidiaries and affiliates located in the Russian Federation after the effective dates of the respective E.O. prohibitions.

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1053. Under the new investment prohibitions of Russia-related Executive Order (E.O.) 14066, E.O. 14068, or E.O. 14071 (collectively, “the respective E.O.s”), are transactions related to divestment in a project or operation in the Russian Federation permissible?

Yes.  Transactions related to the divestment or the facilitation of divestment of a pre-existing investment in a project or operation in the Russian Federation are not prohibited by the new investment prohibitions of the respective E.O.s.  Such transactions may not involve a blocked person or otherwise prohibited transactions unless exempt or authorized by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

The respective E.O.s prohibit any approval, financing, facilitation, or guarantee by a United States person, wherever located, of a transaction by a foreign person where the transaction by that foreign person would be prohibited if performed by a United States person or within the United States.  Such provisions do not prohibit U.S. persons from facilitating the wind down or divestment of an existing investment  in a project or operation in the Russian Federation.  For example, a U.S. financial institution is not prohibited from advising a client that seeks to divest from a project or operation in the Russian Federation (i.e., the seller in a transaction).  However, a U.S. person is prohibited from providing any approval, financing, facilitation, or guarantee to a non-U.S. person that seeks to invest in a project or operation in the Russian Federation (i.e., the buyer in such a transaction).  

Such provisions also do not prohibit U.S. persons from advising on the requirements of U.S. sanctions laws consistent with OFAC’s Guidance on the Provision of Certain Services Relating to the Requirements of U.S. Sanctions Laws.

For guidance related to divestment transactions in the secondary market involving debt or equity securities issued by an entity in the Russian Federation, please see FAQ 1054.

Updated: July 22, 2022

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1054. Do the new investment prohibitions of Executive Order (E.O.) 14066, E.O. 14068, or E.O. 14071 (collectively, “the respective E.O.s”) prohibit U.S. persons from purchasing debt or equity securities issued by an entity in the Russian Federation?

Yes, the respective E.O.s prohibit U.S. persons from purchasing both new and existing debt and equity securities issued by an entity in the Russian Federation.  However, the new investment prohibitions of the respective E.O.s do not prohibit U.S. persons from selling or divesting debt or equity securities issued by an entity in the Russian Federation to a non-U.S. person (see FAQ 1049), including purchases of such debt or equity securities if ordinarily incident and necessary to the divestment or transfer of the debt or equity securities to a non-U.S. person.  U.S. financial institutions may clear and settle, or otherwise serve as market intermediaries in, divestment transactions on the secondary market—including transactions between non-U.S. persons.  

Please note that U.S. persons are not required to divest such securities and may continue to hold such previously acquired securities.  Moreover, the conversion of depositary receipts to underlying local shares of non-sanctioned Russian issuers would not be considered a prohibited “new investment” in the Russian Federation under the respective E.O.s.  

Additionally, the purchase of shares in a U.S. fund that contains debt or equity securities issued by entities in the Russian Federation generally would not be considered a prohibited “new investment,” under the respective E.O.s, so long as these holdings represent less than a predominant share by value of debt or equity securities issued by entities in the Russian Federation.  As a result, U.S. persons may continue to invest in the fund, and the fund may continue to operate.  Generally, the fund may also divest itself of these prohibited holdings.  

OFAC has also issued General License (GL) 45, authorizing transactions ordinarily incident and necessary to the wind down of financial contracts entered into on or before June 6, 2022 that involve, or are linked to, debt or equity securities issued by an entity in the Russian Federation, until 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, October 20, 2022.  The purpose of GL 45 is to authorize the close out of financial contracts entered into on or before June 6, 2022 that might not otherwise be considered a divestment of debt or equity securities issued by entities in the Russian Federation.  For further information, please see FAQ 1071.  

Please note that transactions to divest debt or equity securities issued by an entity in the Russian Federation to a non-U.S. person, or transactions to wind down pre-existing financial contracts pursuant to GL 45, must not involve blocked persons or other prohibited transactions unless exempt or otherwise authorized by OFAC.

Updated: July 22, 2022

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1055. Do the new investment prohibitions of Executive Order (E.O.) 14066, E.O. 14068, or E.O. 14071 (collectively, “the respective E.O.s”) prohibit U.S. persons from lending funds to, or purchasing an equity interest in, entities located outside of the Russian Federation?  

No, provided that (i) such funds are not specifically intended for new projects or operations in the Russian Federation and (ii) the revenues of the entity located outside the Russian Federation are not predominantly derived from its investments in the Russian Federation.  For the purposes of assessing the foregoing, U.S. persons, including U.S. financial institutions, may reasonably rely upon the information available to them in the ordinary course of business.

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1058. For the purposes of section 1(a)(ii) of Executive Order (E.O.) 14071, what is meant by the term “person located in the Russian Federation”?

For the purposes of section 1(a)(ii) of E.O. 14071, OFAC interprets “person located in the Russian Federation” to include persons in the Russian Federation, individuals ordinarily resident in the Russian Federation, and entities incorporated or organized under the laws of the Russian Federation or any jurisdiction within the Russian Federation.  

Please note that section 1(a)(ii) of E.O. 14071 prohibits the direct or indirect exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, of such services determined pursuant to E.O. 14071.  For the purposes of E.O. 14071, OFAC interprets the “indirect” provision of such services to include when the benefit of the services is ultimately received by a “person located in the Russian Federation.”  Please see FAQ 1059 for more information.

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1059. Do the determinations made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 on May 8, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services,” and on September 15, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Quantum Computing Services” (“the determinations”), prohibit U.S. persons from providing services to persons located outside of the Russian Federation that are owned or controlled by persons located in the Russian Federation?

No, provided that the provision of services is not an indirect export to a person located in the Russian Federation.  For the purposes of these determinations, OFAC interprets the “indirect” provision of the prohibited services to include when the benefit of the services is ultimately received by a “person located in the Russian Federation.”

In contrast, OFAC would not consider to be prohibited the provision of services to a non-Russian company that has a physical presence and operations outside of the Russian Federation, including such a company owned or controlled by persons located in the Russian Federation, provided that the services will not be further exported or reexported to persons located in the Russian Federation.

For example, the following scenarios describe services that would be prohibited under the determination:

  • A U.S. corporate service provider administers a trust established under the laws of a U.S. state, where the trust exists predominantly to hold, sell, or purchase assets on behalf of a settlor, trustor, or beneficiary who is an individual ordinarily resident in Russia. 
  • A U.S. corporate service provider registers a limited liability company in a third country on behalf of an individual ordinarily resident in Russia for the purpose of holding real estate assets, and this company has no other physical presence or operations in the third country. 

The following scenarios illustrate services to a non-Russian subsidiary of a Russian person that would not be prohibited under the determination:

  • A U.S. accounting firm provides tax advisory and preparation services to the U.S. subsidiary of a Russian company.  This U.S. subsidiary has an office and employees in the United States and conducts business in the United States, and the services will not be exported or reexported to the Russian parent company.
  • A U.S. management consulting firm provides strategic business advice to the subsidiary of a Russian company located in a third country.  This subsidiary has an office and employees in the third country and conducts business in this third country, and the services will not be reexported to the Russian parent company.

Date Updated: September 15, 2022 

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1060. Does the determination made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 on May 8, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services” (“the determination”), prohibit U.S. persons from serving as directors of companies located in the Russian Federation?

Under the determination, U.S. persons are prohibited from exporting, reexporting, selling, or supplying, directly or indirectly, trust and corporate formation services to persons located in the Russian Federation.  This prohibition on trust and corporate formation services does not, in and of itself, prohibit U.S. persons from serving on the board of directors of a company located in the Russian Federation.   

However, this determination would prohibit U.S. persons from providing nominee officer or director services in which a U.S. person is contracted to serve as a nominee officer, director, shareholder, or signatory of a legal person on behalf of a person located in the Russian Federation. 

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1061. Do the determinations made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 on May 8, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services,” and on September 15, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Quantum Computing Services” (“the determinations”), prohibit U.S. persons from working as employees of entities located in the Russian Federation?

Not necessarily.  Under the determinations, U.S. persons are prohibited from exporting, reexporting, selling, or supplying, directly or indirectly: management consulting; trust and corporate formation services; accounting services; or quantum computing services to persons located in the Russian Federation.  Thus, U.S. persons are prohibited from providing these services to companies located in the Russian Federation (“Russian companies”) in their capacity as employees.  However, the determinations do not prohibit U.S. persons from providing other services not covered by these determinations as part of their employment by Russian companies.

In addition, please note that the determinations exclude from the scope of the aforementioned services:  (1) any service to an entity located in the Russian Federation that is owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a United States person; and (2) any service in connection with the wind down or divestiture of an entity located in the Russian Federation that is not owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a Russian person.

Date Updated: September 15, 2022 

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1062. Do the prohibitions imposed by the determinations made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 on May 8, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services,” and on and on September 15, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Quantum Computing Services,” apply to services provided to a parent company located in the Russian Federation by a U.S. subsidiary?

Yes.  The prohibitions apply to services provided to a company located in the Russian Federation (the “Russian company”) by any U.S. person, including the Russian company’s U.S. subsidiary.

Date Updated: September 15, 2022 

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1063. Do the prohibitions imposed by the determination made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 on May 8, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services” (“the determination”), apply only with respect to the formation of new trusts and companies or do the prohibitions also apply with respect to existing trusts and companies?

The prohibitions imposed by the determination do not distinguish between new and existing trusts and companies.  Under the determination, U.S. persons are prohibited from providing trust and corporate formation services to persons located in the Russian Federation, regardless of whether the services are performed as part of the formation of a new trust or company, or as part of the administration or maintenance of an existing trust or company.  Please see FAQ 1034 for more information.

In addition, please note that the determination excludes from the scope of the aforementioned services: (1) any service to an entity located in the Russian Federation that is owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a United States person; and (2) any service in connection with the wind down or divestiture of an entity located in the Russian Federation that is not owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a Russian person. 

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1064. Are executive search and vetting services included in the prohibition on management consulting services imposed by the determination made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 on May 8, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services”?

Yes.  For the purposes of this determination, OFAC interprets management consulting services to include services related to strategic business advice; organizational and systems planning, evaluation, and selection; development or evaluation of marketing programs or implementation; mergers, acquisitions, and organizational structure; staff augmentation and human resources policies and practices; and brand management.  Please see FAQ 1034 for more information.

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1065. Do the prohibitions imposed by the determination made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 on May 8, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services,” prohibit U.S. persons from serving as voting trustees on behalf of, or for shares of, persons located in the Russian Federation? 

Yes, unless otherwise exempt or authorized by OFAC. 

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1066. Do the prohibitions imposed by the determination made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 on May 8, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services,” prohibit the provision of educational services, such as online university courses, on the subjects of accounting, management consulting, or trust and corporate formation to persons located in the Russian Federation?

No, provided such services do not evade or avoid the prohibition on providing the underlying services to persons located in the Russian Federation. 

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1067. Do the prohibitions imposed by the determination made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 on May 8, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services” (“the determination”), prohibit U.S. persons from providing software related to accounting, management consulting, or trust and corporate formation to persons located in the Russian Federation? 

The determination does not prohibit U.S. persons from exporting, reexporting, selling, or supplying, directly or indirectly, software to the Russian Federation, nor does the determination prohibit U.S. persons from providing services associated with the export of such software, such as software design and engineering, provided that such associated services do not fall within the categories of management consulting, accounting, or trust and corporate formation. 
For example, the following scenario describes activities that would not be prohibited under the determination:

  • A U.S. software company signs a contract with a company located in the Russian Federation (“Russian company”) for design, engineering, licensing, and delivery of software that the Russian company uses to perform its internal accounting.  As part of the contract, the U.S. company provides continuing updates and technical support services related to the software (setting up new users, troubleshooting errors, etc.).

The following scenarios illustrate activities that would be prohibited under the determination:

  • A U.S. management consulting company signs a contract with a Russian company to assist the Russian company in selecting a new enterprise application software.  This contract includes assessing the needs of the Russian company, providing a list of possible software choices to the company, and providing continuing advisory services on the implementation and use of the software to optimize the Russian company’s profits.  

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1068. For the purposes of the determination made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 on May 8, 2022, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Accounting, Trust and Corporate Formation, and Management Consulting Services” (“the determination”), do accounting services include tax preparation and filing?

Yes.  U.S. persons, wherever located, are prohibited from exporting, reexporting, selling, or supplying, directly or indirectly, accounting services, which would include tax preparation and filing services, to any person located in the Russian Federation, unless otherwise exempt or authorized by OFAC.  Please see FAQ 1059 for more information.  Please note the determination excludes the provision by a U.S. person of any service to an entity located in the Russian Federation that is owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a United States person, and any service in connection with the wind down or divestiture of an entity located in the Russian Federation that is not owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a Russian person.

As noted in FAQ 1067, this determination does not prohibit the export, reexport, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, of tax preparation-related software to the Russian Federation, as distinct from tax  preparation and filing services.  Please see FAQ 1067 for more information. 
 

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1070. What does the gold-related determination pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14068 prohibit?

The determination of June 28, 2022 issued pursuant to section 1(a)(i) of E.O. 14068, “Prohibitions Related to Imports of Gold of Russian Federation Origin,” prohibits the importation into the United States of gold of Russian Federation origin.  Please note that per the determination, the importation into the United States of gold of Russian Federation origin that was located outside of the Russian Federation prior to June 28, 2022 is not prohibited.  For information regarding the term “Russian Federation origin,” please see FAQ 1019.

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1071. Can I wind down financial contracts that may involve transactions prohibited pursuant to section (1)(a)(i) of Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 related to the purchase or receipt of debt or equity securities issued by an entity in the Russian Federation?

Through 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, October 20, 2022, Russia-related General License (GL) 45 authorizes all transactions prohibited by section (1)(a)(i) of E.O. 14071 that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the wind down of financial contracts or other agreements that were entered into on or before June 6, 2022 and involve, or are linked to, debt or equity securities issued by an entity in the Russian Federation.

The authorized transactions include the purchase, or facilitating the purchase, by U.S. persons of debt or equity securities issued by an entity in the Russian Federation, if that purchase is ordinarily incident and necessary to the wind down of a financial contract or agreement entered into on or before June 6, 2022.  For example, U.S. persons may purchase securities issued by an entity in the Russian Federation in order to cover or close out a short position, per a securities lending agreement, if such agreement was entered into on or before June 6, 2022.  Please see FAQ 1054 for additional information on the scope of the prohibition in section 1(a)(i) of E.O. 14071, including permissible transactions related to the divestment or transfer of debt or equity securities to a non-U.S. person. 

Note that Russia-related GL 46 separately authorizes transactions related to the settlement of credit derivative transactions referencing “the Russian Federation” via an auction process.  For further information, please see FAQ 1072.  GL 45 does not authorize any transactions involving blocked persons, unless separately authorized.

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1072. What does Russia-related General License (GL) 46 authorize with respect to credit derivative transactions referencing “the Russian Federation”? 

Russia-related GL 46 authorizes transactions otherwise prohibited by section (1)(a)(i) of Executive Order (E.O.) 14071 related to the establishment, administration, participation in, and execution of an auction process, as announced by the EMEA Credit Derivatives Determination Committee, to settle credit derivative transactions with a reference entity of “the Russian Federation” (“the auction”).  

Examples of transactions that may be related to the auction include the submission and acceptance of bids and offers and physical settlement requests by auction participants and their customers, or the delivery and acceptance of the Russian Federation debt obligations and corresponding settlement amounts.

To promote the proper functioning of such auction, GL 46 also authorizes U.S. persons to purchase or receive Russian Federation debt obligations for the period beginning two business days prior to the announced date of the auction and ending eight business days after the conclusion of the auction. 

GL 46 also authorizes financial institutions, among others, to facilitate, clear, and settle transactions authorized by GL 46, including the transfer to, or purchase or receipt by, U.S. persons of Russian Federation debt obligations.  GL 46 does not require the clearance and settlement of such transactions to be completed within eight business days after the conclusion of the auction.  For example, a purchase by a U.S. person of Russian Federation debt obligations made on the seventh business day after the conclusion of the auction does not have to be settled or cleared by the eighth business day.  Accordingly, U.S. financial institutions may continue settling or clearing such transactions after the eighth business day following the conclusion of the auction. 

Financial institutions processing transactions pursuant to GL 46 may reasonably rely upon the information available to them in the ordinary course of business for the purposes of assessing whether a transaction is authorized by GL 46, provided that the financial institution does not know or have reason to know that a transaction is not in compliance with GL 46.  

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1073. Is Sheremetyevo International Airport blocked as a result of the designation of Alexander Anatolevich Ponomarenko?

No.  OFAC has not designated Sheremetyevo International Airport and, based on information available to OFAC, Sheremetyevo International Airport is not owned 50% or more by blocked persons or otherwise considered the blocked property of Alexander Anatolevich Ponomarenko.

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1074. Is EuroChem Group AG blocked as a result of the designation of Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko?

No.  OFAC has not designated EuroChem Group AG and, based on information available to OFAC, EuroChem Group AG is not owned 50% or more by blocked persons or otherwise considered the blocked property of Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko. 

As a general matter, agricultural and medical trade are not the target of sanctions imposed by the United States on Russia in response to its unprovoked and brutal war against Ukraine, and OFAC has issued General License 6B to authorize certain transactions prohibited by the Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions Regulations (RuHSR) related to agricultural commodities (including fertilizer), agricultural equipment, medicine, and medical devices, among other things.  For information on exemptions and authorizations pursuant to the RuHSR related to fertilizer and other agricultural commodities, please see “OFAC Food Security Fact Sheet: Russia Sanctions and Agricultural Trade” and “Fact Sheet: Preserving Agricultural Trade, Access to Communication, and Other Support to Those Impacted by Russia’s War Against Ukraine.
 

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1075. Is PhosAgro PJSC blocked as a result of the designation of Andrey Grigoryevich Guryev and Andrey Andreevich Guryev? 

No.  OFAC has not designated PhosAgro PJSC and, based on information available to OFAC, PhosAgro PJSC is not owned 50% or more by blocked persons or otherwise considered the blocked property of Andrey Grigoryevich Guryev and Andrey Andreevich Guryev. 

As a general matter, agricultural and medical trade are not the target of sanctions imposed by the United States on Russia in response to its unprovoked and brutal war against Ukraine, and OFAC has issued General License 6B to authorize certain transactions prohibited by the Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions Regulations (RuHSR) related to agricultural commodities (including fertilizer), agricultural equipment, medicine, and medical devices, among other things.  For information on exemptions and authorizations pursuant to the RuHSR related to fertilizer and other agricultural commodities, please see “OFAC Food Security Fact Sheet: Russia Sanctions and Agricultural Trade” and “Fact Sheet: Preserving Agricultural Trade, Access to Communication, and Other Support to Those Impacted by Russia’s War Against Ukraine.”  
 

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1080. I am a U.S. person with an account at a Russian financial institution blocked pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024.  What am I required or allowed to do under OFAC sanctions with respect to such accounts? 

Since Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine beginning in February 2022, OFAC has blocked a number of Russian financial institutions pursuant to E.O. 14024 for operating or having operated in the financial services sector of the Russian Federation economy (see FAQ 966).  In addition, all property and interests in property of any financial institution that is owned, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.  Accordingly, U.S. persons are prohibited from transacting with these financial institutions unless the activity is exempt or authorized by OFAC.  

In practice, this means that accounts held by U.S. persons at any blocked Russian financial institutions generally are themselves considered blocked property, unless exempt.  This includes, for example, checking and savings accounts, credit cards, CDs, loans, and mortgages.  U.S. persons must stop utilizing such accounts and treat them as blocked, even if the designated Russian financial institution does not.  Additionally, within 10 business days of the blocking of the account or other property, U.S. persons are required to file a blocking report with OFAC describing any property or interests in property (e.g., accounts, etc.).  Information on the requirement to report blocked property, including accounts, and on filing initial and annual reports of blocked property with OFAC can be found at FAQs 49, 50, and 646, respectively, and 31 CFR § 501.603.  Please note that the annual filing requirement for 2022 applies only to persons holding blocked property as of June 30 of this year.

On August 19, 2022, OFAC issued Russia-related General License (GL) 50 authorizing individuals, wherever located, to engage in all transactions ordinarily incident and necessary to close their individual accounts held at a financial institution blocked pursuant to E.O. 14024.  GL 50 also authorizes the unblocking and lump sum transfer to the account holder of all remaining funds and other assets in the account at the blocked financial institution, including to an account held at a non-blocked financial institution.  Individuals may avail themselves of GL 50 to terminate their accounts with Russian financial institutions blocked pursuant to E.O. 14024 and repatriate the proceeds of any account closures.  Individuals who have filed a blocking report with OFAC and are availing themselves of GL 50 must file an unblocking report with OFAC within 10 business days of the unblocking in accordance with 31 CFR § 501.603(b)(3).

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1081. Am I required to show official documentation that I’ve closed my account at a Russian financial institution blocked pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024 in order to take advantage of Russia-related General License (GL) 50? 

No. GL 50 authorizes individuals with accounts at Russian financial institutions blocked pursuant to E.O. 14024 to unblock and lump sum transfer funds to an account at a non-designated financial institution.  Individuals do not need to provide official documentation proving they have closed their account at the blocked Russian financial institution when utilizing the GL.

Individuals who have filed a blocking report with OFAC and are availing themselves of GL 50 must file an unblocking report with OFAC within 10 business days of the unblocking in accordance with 31 CFR § 501.603(b)(3).  For guidance related to filing an initial report of blocked property, an annual report of blocked property, and an unblocking report, please see FAQs 49, 50, and 646, respectively, and 31 C.F.R. § 501.603.  Please note that the annual filing requirement for 2022 applies only to persons holding blocked property as of June 30 of this year.

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1082. National Payment Card System Joint Stock Company (NSPK) is not a blocked entity under the Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 587 (RuHSR).  Do non-U.S. financial institutions risk exposure to sanctions for contracting or otherwise dealing with NSPK? 

NSPK is the operator of Russia’s MIR National Payment System, which clears and settles payments between consumers, merchants, and banks for debit and credit card payments, primarily in the Russian Federation.  NSPK and the MIR National Payment System process transactions for designated Russian banks and may be used to process transactions involving other sanctioned persons or activity under the RuHSR.  Accordingly, those non-U.S. financial institutions that enter into new or expanded agreements with NSPK risk supporting Russia’s efforts to evade U.S. sanctions through the expanded use of the MIR National Payment System outside the territory of the Russian Federation.

The RuHSR authorizes OFAC to impose blocking sanctions on persons determined to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of (i) any activity sanctionable under the RuHSR, including deceptive or structured transactions or dealings to circumvent any United States sanctions or (ii) any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to the RuHSR.  OFAC is prepared to use these targeting authorities in response to supporters of Russia’s sanctions evasion, including Russia’s efforts to expand the use of NSPK or the MIR National Payment System outside of the territory of the Russian Federation.  

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1083. What actions were taken on September 15, 2022 related to certain quantum computing services? 

On September 15, 2022, the Director of OFAC, in consultation with the Department of State, issued a determination pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Quantum Computing Services,” prohibiting the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, of certain quantum computing services to any person located in the Russian Federation.  This determination takes effect on October 15, 2022.  This determination excludes from the scope of the prohibited services: (1) any service to an entity located in the Russian Federation that is owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a United States person; and (2) any service in connection with the wind down or divestiture of an entity located in the Russian Federation that is not owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a Russian person.  For more information, please see FAQ 1084.  

On September 15, 2022, the Director of OFAC, in consultation with the Department of State, also issued a sectoral determination pursuant to E.O. 14024 that authorizes the imposition of economic sanctions on individuals and entities that are determined to operate or have operated in the quantum computing sector of the Russian Federation economy.  The determination regarding this sector pursuant to E.O. 14024 takes effect immediately.
 

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1084. For the purposes of the determination of September 15, 2022 made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14071, “Prohibitions Related to Certain Quantum Computing Services” (“the determination”),  what is meant by the term “quantum computing services”?

For the purposes of the determination, OFAC anticipates publishing regulations defining this term to include any of the following services when related to quantum computing, quantum computers, electronic assemblies thereof, or cryogenic refrigeration systems related to quantum computing:  infrastructure, web hosting, or data processing services; custom computer programming services; computer systems integration design services; computer systems and data processing facilities management services; computing infrastructure, data processing services, web hosting services, and related services; repairing computer, computer peripherals, or communication equipment; other computer-related services; as well as services related to the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, of quantum computing, quantum computers, electronic assemblies thereof, or cryogenic refrigeration systems related to quantum computing to any person located in the Russian Federation.  

For the purposes of the determination, OFAC also anticipates publishing regulations defining the term “person located in the Russian Federation” as set forth in FAQ 1058, as well as regulations defining the term “Russian person” to mean an individual who is a citizen or national of the Russian Federation, or an entity organized under the laws of the Russian Federation. 
 

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1085. Does the determination of September 15, 2022 made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024 with regard to the quantum computing sector of the Russian Federation economy mean that all persons that operate or have operated in these sectors of the Russian Federation economy are sanctioned by OFAC?

No.  The Director of OFAC, in consultation with the State Department, has issued a determination pursuant to E.O. 14024 that authorizes the imposition of economic sanctions against persons that operate or have operated in the quantum computing sector of the Russian Federation economy.

A sector determination pursuant to E.O. 14024 exposes persons that operate or have operated in an identified sector to sanctions risk; however, a sector determination does not automatically impose sanctions on all persons who operate or have operated in the sector.  Only persons determined, pursuant to E.O. 14024, by the Secretary of the Treasury in consultation with the Secretary of State, or by the Secretary of State in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, or their delegates, to operate or have operated in the above-identified sectors are subject to sanctions.

Persons sanctioned pursuant to E.O. 14024 for operating or having operated in an identified sector are added to one or more OFAC sanctions lists based on the type of sanction, including the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List), the List of Foreign Financial Institutions Subject to Correspondent Account or Payable-Through Account Sanctions (CAPTA List), and the Non-SDN Menu-Based Sanctions List (NS-MBS List).
 

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1086. For the purposes of the determination of September 15, 2022 made pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14024, what is meant by the term “quantum computing sector of the Russian Federation economy”?

For the purposes of the determination of September 15, 2022 made pursuant to E.O. 14024, OFAC interprets the term “quantum computing sector of the Russian Federation economy” to include activities related to products and services in or involving the Russian Federation in research, development, manufacturing, assembling, maintenance, repair, sale, or supply of quantum computing, quantum computers, electronic assemblies thereof, or cryogenic refrigeration systems related to quantum computing.  OFAC also interprets the term “quantum computing sector of the Russian Federation economy” to include any of the following services when related to quantum computing:  infrastructure, web hosting or data processing services; custom computer programming services; computer systems integration design services; computer systems and data processing facilities management services; computing infrastructure, data processing services, web hosting services, and related services; repairing computer, computer peripherals, and communication equipment; other computer-related services; as well as the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, of quantum computing, quantum computers, electronic assemblies thereof, or cryogenic refrigeration systems related to quantum computing to or from the Russian Federation.

The determination regarding this sector pursuant to E.O. 14024 takes effect immediately.
 

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