Frequently Asked Questions

Print this topic

Belarus Sanctions

912. What does Belarus General License 3 (GL 3), “Authorizing Certain Transactions with the State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus,” authorize?

Belarus GL 3 authorizes transactions and activities with the State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus (the Belarusian KGB) that are necessary and ordinarily incident to requesting, receiving, utilizing, paying for, or dealing in certain licenses and authorizations for the importation, distribution, or use of certain information technology products in Belarus.  It also authorizes transactions and activities necessary and ordinarily incident to compliance with rules and regulations administered by, and certain actions or investigations involving, the Belarusian KGB.

The GL was issued to ensure that U.S. persons engaging in certain business activities in Belarus that are not otherwise prohibited are not unduly impacted.  Belarus GL 3 only authorizes certain transactions and activities with the Belarusian KGB acting in its administrative capacity and does not authorize U.S. persons to engage in transactions and activities with the Belarusian KGB except for the limited purposes described above.

Released on

913. Does Belarus GL 3 authorize the exportation of hardware or software to the Belarusian KGB, or where the Belarusian KGB is the end user of such hardware and software? 

No.  Belarus GL 3 does not authorize the exportation, reexportation, or provision of any goods, technology, or services to the Belarusian KGB or any other blocked person, except for the limited purposes of complying with rules and regulations administered by, and certain actions and investigations involving, the Belarusian KGB or requesting certain licenses or authorizations for the importation, distribution, or use of information technology products in Belarus.

Released on

916. What does Executive Order (E.O.) of August 9, 2021, “Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Belarus,” do?

E.O. of August 9, 2021 expands the scope of the national emergency pertaining to Belarus declared in E.O. 13405, “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Belarus,” to provide additional authorities under which sanctions may be imposed against individuals and entities related to the Belarusian regime’s harmful activities and longstanding abuses aimed at suppressing democracy and the exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Belarus.  E.O. of August 9, 2021 also addresses national security threats posed by the Belarusian regime’s illicit and oppressive activities stemming from the August 9, 2020 fraudulent Belarusian presidential election and its aftermath, such as the elimination of political opposition and civil society organizations and the regime’s disruption and endangering of international civil air travel.

As a result of E.O. of August 9, 2021, all property and interests in property of persons designated pursuant to this E.O. 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 involving such designated persons unless authorized by OFAC or otherwise exempt from regulation.  Additionally, any entities owned 50 percent or more, individually or in the aggregate, directly or indirectly, by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.

Released on

917. Are all persons operating in sectors identified in the Executive Order (E.O.) of August 9, 2021, “Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Belarus,” blocked?  

No.  E.O. of August 9, 2021 authorizes the imposition of blocking sanctions on persons operating in certain identified sectors of the Belarus economy, including the defense and related materiel sector, security sector, energy sector, potassium chloride (potash) sector, tobacco products sector, construction sector, transportation sector, or any other sector of the Belarus economy as may be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State.  The identification of a sector pursuant to E.O. of August 9, 2021 provides notice that persons operating in the identified sector risk exposure to sanctions; however, the identification of a sector does not automatically block all persons operating in that sector of the Belarus economy.  Only persons designated on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List), and entities owned 50 percent or more, individually or in the aggregate, directly or indirectly, by one or more such persons, are subject to blocking sanctions.

Released on

918. What does Belarus General License 4 (GL 4), “Authorizing the Wind Down of Transactions Involving Belaruskali OAO,” authorize? 

GL 4 authorizes, through 12:01 a.m. eastern standard time, December 8, 2021, all transactions and activities prohibited by E.O. of August 9, 2021 that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the wind down of transactions involving Belaruskali OAO, or any entity in which Belaruskali OAO owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest, subject to the terms of the license.  GL 4 does not authorize the entry into new purchase contracts, or the stockpiling of inventory, involving Belaruskali OAO, or any entity in which Belaruskali OAO owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest, on or after August 9, 2021 that are not ordinarily incident and necessary to the wind down of transactions.  After the expiration of GL 4, unless exempt or specifically authorized by OFAC, U.S. persons will be prohibited from engaging in transactions with Belaruskali OAO, or any entity in which Belaruskali OAO owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest, and must block property or interests in property of such persons that are in, or come within, the United States, or the possession or control of a U.S. person.

Released on