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Afghanistan-Related Sanctions

928. Do U.S. sanctions on the Taliban and the Haqqani Network prohibit the provision of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan?  

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

In addition, OFAC has issued Afghanistan-related General Licenses (GLs) 14, 15, 16, 17, 1819, and 20 under the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, 331 CFR part 594 (GTSR), the Foreign Terrorist Organizations Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 597 (FTOSR), and E.O. 13224, as amended.  For a consolidated list of all relevant GLs and FAQs, please see OFAC’s humanitarian Fact Sheet, “Provision of Humanitarian Assistance to Afghanistan and Support for the Afghan People,” which provides an overview of the relevant authorizations and guidance related to U.S. sanctions on the Taliban and the Haqqani Network. 

The GLs mentioned above do not authorize any debit to a blocked account on the books of a U.S. financial institution and restrict certain financial or other transfers to specified blocked persons, including the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, or any entity in which the Taliban or the Haqqani Network owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest.  

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

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

Date Updated: February 25, 2022

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929. For the purposes of Afghanistan-related General License (GL) 14, what is "humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan" or "other activities that support basic human needs in Afghanistan"?

For the purposes of Afghanistan-related GL 14, humanitarian assistance includes the provision of relief services related to natural and man-made disasters, the provision of healthcare and health-related services, protection and assistance for vulnerable or displaced populations (including women, individuals with disabilities, the elderly, survivors of violence, those incarcerated or detained, and the drug dependent), operation of orphanages, the distribution of articles (such as food, clothing, and medicine) intended to be used to relieve human suffering in Afghanistan, and training or other services related to any of the foregoing activities.  Other activities that support basic human needs include activities to support non-commercial development projects in Afghanistan that primarily benefit poor or at-risk populations or otherwise relieve human suffering, including activities related to shelter and settlement assistance, food security, livelihoods support, water, sanitation, health, hygiene, and COVID-19-related assistance, among others, and training or other services related to any of the foregoing activities.  However, in all cases, authorized humanitarian assistance and other activities that support basic human needs in Afghanistan must not entail financial transfers to the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, or any entity in which the Taliban or the Haqqani Network owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest, other than for the purpose of effecting the payment of taxes, fees, and import duties, or the purchase or receipt of permits, licenses, or public utility services described in GL 14 and FAQ 928.

In addition, OFAC has issued Afghanistan-related GL 20, which, to the extent authorization is required, authorizes all transactions involving Afghanistan or governing institutions in Afghanistan prohibited under the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 594 (GTSR), the Foreign Terrorist Organizations Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 597 (FTOSR), or Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended, subject to limited conditions set forth in GL 20 paragraph (b).  GL 20 therefore also covers humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan or other activities that support basic human needs in Afghanistan.

As noted in FAQ 996, the authorization in Afghanistan-related GL 20 may overlap with the authorization in Afghanistan-related GL 14.  Where appropriate, U.S. persons may rely on the broader authorization in GL 20 instead of the authorization in GL 14.

For more information on relevant authorizations and guidance for providing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, please see OFAC’s humanitarian Fact Sheet, “Provision of Humanitarian Assistance to Afghanistan and Support for the Afghan People,” which provides an overview of the relevant authorizations and guidance related to U.S. sanctions on the Taliban and the Haqqani Network. If individuals, nongovernmental organizations, international organizations, companies, or financial institutions have questions about engaging in or processing transactions related to these authorizations, they can contact OFAC’s Sanctions Compliance and Evaluation Division most efficiently via email at OFAC_Feedback@treasury.gov.  Sanctions Compliance and Evaluation may also be reached via phone at (800) 540-6322 or (202) 622-2490.  OFAC prioritizes license applications, compliance questions and other requests that are related to humanitarian support.

Date Updated: February 25, 2022

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930. Do U.S. sanctions on the Taliban and the Haqqani Network prohibit the exportation or reexportation of agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical devices to Afghanistan? 

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

OFAC has also issued Afghanistan-related General License No. 15 (GL 15) under the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 594 (GTSR), the Foreign Terrorist Organizations Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 597 (FTOSR), and E.O. 13224, as amended.  GL 15 authorizes U.S. persons to engage in all transactions that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the exportation or reexportation of agricultural commodities, medicine, medical devices, replacement parts, and components for medical devices, or software updates for medical devices to Afghanistan, as those terms are defined in GL 15, as well as to persons in third countries purchasing specifically for resale to Afghanistan, and that may involve the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, or any entity in which Taliban or the Haqqani Network owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest, subject to certain conditions.  GL 15 also authorizes U.S. persons to engage in transactions or activities that are ordinarily incident and necessary to authorized export or reexports, including the processing of financial transactions and related clearing and settlement involving banks in Afghanistan.  

In addition, OFAC has issued Afghanistan-related GL 20, which, to the extent authorization is required, authorizes all transactions involving Afghanistan or governing institutions in Afghanistan prohibited under the GTSR, the FTOSR, or E.O. 13224, as amended, subject to limited conditions set forth in GL 20 paragraph (b).  GL 20 therefore also covers the exportation or reexportation of agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical devices to Afghanistan, as well as transactions ordinarily incident and necessary to such export or reexports.   

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

However, GLs 15 and 20 do not authorize any debit to a blocked account on the books of a U.S. financial institution.  In addition, GLs 15 and 20 do not authorize financial transfers to the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, or any entity in which the Taliban or the Haqqani Network owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest, other than for the purpose of effecting the payment of taxes, fees, or import duties, or the purchase or receipt of permits, licenses, or public utility services as described in the respective GLs.  For purposes of clarity, transfers of funds to or from Afghanistan that are ordinarily incident and necessary to give effect to the activities authorized in GLs 15 and 20, including clearing and settlement involving banks in Afghanistan, are authorized under GLs 15 and 20.  GL 20 also does not authorize transfers of luxury items or services to the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, any entity in which the Taliban or the Haqqani Network owns, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, a 50 percent or greater interest, any blocked individual who is in a leadership role of a governing institution in Afghanistan.  GL 20 also does not authorize any transaction involving any other persons blocked pursuant to the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 594 (GTSR), the Foreign Terrorist Organizations Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 597 (FTOSR), or Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended, outside of the entities and individuals mentioned above. 

Where not covered by GLs 15 and 20, or any other relevant authorizations issued by OFAC, OFAC may also issue specific licenses to authorize certain transactions involving U.S. persons or the U.S. financial system that may otherwise be prohibited by OFAC sanctions, provided those transactions are in the foreign policy interests of the United States.

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

Date Updated: February 25, 2022

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931. Do non-U.S. persons risk exposure to U.S. sanctions for engaging in transactions that U.S. persons would be authorized to engage in under Afghanistan-related General Licenses (GLs) 14, 15, 16, or 20?

No.  Non-U.S. persons may engage in or facilitate transactions that would be authorized for U.S. persons under Afghanistan-related GLs 14, 15, 16, 17, 1819 or 20without exposure to sanctions under the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 594 (GTSR), the Foreign Terrorist Organizations Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 597 (FTOSR), or Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended. 

For example, activity that would be authorized by GLs 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, or 20 if engaged in by a U.S. person would not be considered “significant” for the purposes of a secondary sanctions determination under E.O. 13224, as amended.  Accordingly, foreign financial institutions do not risk exposure to correspondent and payable-through account sanctions under E.O. 13224, as amended, if they knowingly conduct or facilitate a significant transaction on behalf of persons blocked under E.O. 13224, as amended, that would be authorized under GLs 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, or 20 if engaged in by a U.S. person. 

For more information on relevant authorizations and guidance for providing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, please see OFAC’s humanitarian Fact Sheet, “Provision of Humanitarian Assistance to Afghanistan and Support for the Afghan People,” which provides an overview of the relevant authorizations and guidance related to U.S. sanctions on the Taliban and the Haqqani Network. 
If individuals, entities, international organizations, or financial institutions have questions about engaging in or processing transactions related to these authorizations, they can contact OFAC’s Sanctions Compliance and Evaluation Division most efficiently via email at OFAC_Feedback@treasury.gov.  Sanctions Compliance and Evaluation may also be reached via phone at (800) 540-6322 or (202) 622-2490.  OFAC prioritizes license applications, compliance questions and other requests that are related to humanitarian support. 
Date Updated: February 25, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

Date Updated: February 25, 2022

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950. For purposes of Afghanistan General License (GL) 18, “Official Activities of Certain International Organizations and Other International Entities,” what organizations are included within the United Nations’ “Programmes, Funds, and Other Entities and Bodies, as well as its Specialized Agencies and Related Organizations”? 

For an organizational chart of the United Nations, which lists the Programmes, Funds, and Other Entities and Bodies, as well as the Specialized Agencies and Related Organizations covered by GL 18 , including the World Bank, please see this page on the United Nations website. 

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951. Is Afghanistan subject to comprehensive sanctions?

No.  In contrast to sanctions programs administered and enforced by OFAC with regard to North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Syria, and the Crimea and so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic regions  of Ukraine, there are no comprehensive sanctions on Afghanistan.  Therefore, there are no OFAC-administered sanctions that prohibit the export or reexport of goods or services to Afghanistan, moving or sending money into and out of Afghanistan, or activities in Afghanistan, provided that such transactions or activities do not involve sanctioned individuals, entities, or property in which sanctioned individuals and entities have an interest.

Certain Afghanistan-related individuals and entities are included on OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List), most notably the Taliban and the Haqqani Network.  The Taliban are designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224.  The Haqqani Network is designated as an SDGT under E.O. 13224 and a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.  Transactions or activities by U.S. persons that involve these entities are generally prohibited.  

In addition, OFAC has issued GLs 14, 15, 16, 17, 1819, and 20  under the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 594 (GTSR), the Foreign Terrorist Organizations Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 597 (FTOSR), and E.O. 13224, as amended.  For a consolidated list of all relevant General Licenses and FAQs, please see OFAC’s humanitarian Fact Sheet, “Provision of Humanitarian Assistance to Afghanistan and Support for the Afghan People,” that provides an overview of the relevant authorizations and guidance related to U.S. sanctions on the Taliban and the Haqqani Network. 

Date Updated: February 25, 2022

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952. When operating in Afghanistan, how can I tell who is a member of the Taliban or the Haqqani Network, which are designated are Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT) under U.S. counter terrorism sanctions?

A number of members of the Taliban and/or the Haqqani Network are explicitly included on OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List).  Persons operating in Afghanistan can use OFAC’s SDN List Search Tool to identify such members of the Taliban or the Haqqani Networks explicitly included on the SDN List, as well as other individuals or entities explicitly subject to U.S. sanctions.  For more information on using OFAC’s SDN List Search Tool and assessing OFAC Name Matches, please see OFAC FAQs 5, 82, 246-253, 287, 369, 467, and 892.  

OFAC would encourage any person operating in Afghanistan to use all information at their disposal when assessing their risk for sanctions exposure.  Supplementing internal due diligence information with an array of open-source material can be an effective compliance practice to aid in identifying risky counterparties involved in any in-country activity.  For more information on OFAC due diligence expectations and compliance programs, please see FAQs 25, 27-31 and A Framework for OFAC Compliance Commitments.

Date Updated: February 25, 2022

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953. Do U.S. sanctions on the Taliban and the Haqqani Network prohibit moving or sending money into or out of Afghanistan?  Do U.S. sanctions prohibit or require a particular method of payment for moving or sending money into or out of Afghanistan?

No.  U.S. sanctions on the Taliban and the Haqqani Network do not prohibit the movement of funds into or out of Afghanistan, provided that the transactions do not involve blocked individuals or entities, or property in which a blocked person has an interest.  

In addition, OFAC has issued General Licenses (GLs) 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 under the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 594 (GTSR), the Foreign Terrorist Organizations Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 597 (FTOSR), and Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended.  For a consolidated list of all relevant General Licenses and FAQs, please see OFAC’s humanitarian Fact Sheet, “Provision of Humanitarian Assistance to Afghanistan and Support for the Afghan People,” that provides an overview of the relevant authorizations and guidance related to U.S. sanctions on the Taliban and the Haqqani Network. 

U.S. sanctions on the Taliban and the Haqqani Network do not prohibit — and GLs 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20 do not require — any particular method for moving or sending money into or out of Afghanistan.  When selecting a method of payment — including electronic transfer or hand carrying of funds — OFAC urges due diligence tailored to the particular sanctions risks to ensure that payments do not involve individuals or entities identified on OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List) or whose property and interests in property are otherwise blocked, unless exempt from regulation or authorized by OFAC.  For more information on OFAC due diligence expectations and compliance programs, please see FAQs 25, 27-31 and A Framework for OFAC Compliance Commitments.

Date Updated: February 25, 2022

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

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

OFAC has also issued Afghanistan-related GL 17 to authorize all transactions that are for the conduct of the official business of the United States Government by employees, grantees, or contractors and that involve the Taliban or the Haqqani Network, or any entity in which the Taliban or the Haqqani Network owns, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, a 50 percent or greater interest.  OFAC also issued GL 18 to authorize all transactions that are for the conduct of official business by employees, grantees, or contractors of certain international organizations (IOs) and that involve the Taliban or the Haqqani Network, or any entity in which the Taliban or the Haqqani Network owns, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, a 50 percent or greater interest.

In  addition, OFAC has issued Afghanistan-related GL 20, which, to the extent authorization is required, authorizes all transactions involving Afghanistan or governing institutions in Afghanistan prohibited under the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 594 (GTSR), the Foreign Terrorist Organizations Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 597 (FTOSR), or Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended, subject to limited conditions set forth in GL 20 paragraph (b).  GL 20 therefore covers purchases of fuel, payment for telecommunications services, payment for security services, payment of rent, and payment of utilities by NGOs or other persons.   

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

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

Date Updated: February 25, 2022

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955. Are General Licenses (GLs) 17, 18, 19, and 20 consistent with the UN Security Council’s 1988 (Taliban) sanctions regime?

Yes. GLs 14, 15, 16, 17, 1819and 20  help implement recently adopted United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2615 (2021), which authorizes humanitarian assistance and other activities that support basic human needs as those terms are understood by the UN Security Council, as well as the processing and payment of funds, other financial assets or economic resources, and the provision of goods and services necessary to ensure the timely delivery of such assistance or to support such activities.  Specifically, UNSCR 2615 was intended to cover activities contemplated in the United Nations’ Transitional Engagement Framework (TEF) for Afghanistan, such as providing life-saving assistance; sustaining essential services; and preserving social investments and community-level systems essential to meeting basic human needs.

These GLs do not relieve any person from compliance with other U.S. federal laws or requirements of other federal agencies, or from applicable international obligations.

Date Updated: February 25, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

In addition, OFAC has issued Afghanistan-related GL 20 , which, to the extent authorization is required, authorizes all transactions involving Afghanistan or governing institutions in Afghanistan prohibited under the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 594 (GTSR), the Foreign Terrorist Organizations Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 597 (FTOSR), or Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended, subject to limited conditions set forth in GL 20 paragraph (b).  GL 20 therefore also covers shipments of food and agricultural products to Afghanistan and banks’ processing of these transactions.

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

Date Updated: February 25, 2022

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958. What are examples of transactions involving the Taliban or the Haqqani Network that are authorized under Afghanistan-related General Licenses (GLs) 14 and 19?  Are such transactions covered by Afghanistan-related GL 20?

As one example, if a non-governmental organization is providing support directly to Afghan hospitals or healthcare workers but needs to sign a memorandum of understanding that involves the Taliban in order to provide such support directly to the Afghan people, this engagement would be authorized under General Licenses (GLs) 14 and 19.

Other examples of engagement with the Taliban and the Haqqani Network that are authorized under GLs 14 and 19 if they are ordinarily incident and necessary to activities authorized by these GLs include: (i) general coordination on delivery and provision of humanitarian aid or shipments; (ii) administrative issues involving importation of goods; (iii) attendance at donor coordination meetings; (iv) sharing descriptions of projects; (v) coordination with regard to travel or project locations; (vi) participation in technical working groups; and (vii) sharing of office space.

In addition, payments of taxes, fees, or import duties to, or the purchase or receipt of permits, licenses, or public utility services from, the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, or any entity in which the Taliban or the Haqqani Network owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest, are authorized under GLs 14 and 19, if ordinarily incident and necessary to activities authorized by the GLs.  

In addition, OFAC has issued Afghanistan-related GL 20 , which, to the extent authorization is required, authorizes all transactions involving Afghanistan or governing institutions in Afghanistan prohibited under the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 594 (GTSR), the Foreign Terrorist Organizations Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 597 (FTOSR), or Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended, subject to limited conditions set forth in GL 20 paragraph (b).  GL 20 therefore also covers transactions involving the Taliban or the Haqqani Network that are authorized under GLs 14 and 19.  

As noted in FAQ 996, the authorization in Afghanistan-related GL 20 may overlap with the authorizations in Afghanistan-related GLs 14 and 19.  Where appropriate, U.S. persons may rely on the broader authorization in GL 20 instead of the authorizations in GLs 14 and 19. 

Date Updated: February 25, 2022

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959. Is support to public hospitals in Afghanistan (e.g., health services, facilities maintenance, and health worker salaries) by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) considered ordinarily incident and necessary to authorized activities under Afghanistan-related General Licenses (GLs) 14, 15, and 19?  Are such transactions covered by Afghanistan-related GL 20?

Yes.  Providing support to public hospitals, such as provision of health services, technical support, and institutional deliveries, as well as payments directly to healthcare workers, that would otherwise be prohibited under the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 594 (GTSR), the Foreign Terrorist Organizations Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 597 (FTOSR), or Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended, because of transactions with the Taliban and/or Haqqani Network are authorized under General Licenses (GLs) 14, 15, and 19

In addition, OFAC has issued Afghanistan-related GL 20 , which, to the extent authorization is required, authorizes all transactions involving Afghanistan or governing institutions in Afghanistan prohibited under the GTSR, the FTOSR, or E.O. 13224, as amended, subject to limited conditions set forth in GL 20 paragraph (b).  GL 20 therefore also covers support to public hospitals in Afghanistan (e.g., health services, facilities maintenance, and health worker salaries) by NGOs or other persons.   

As noted in FAQ 996, the authorization in Afghanistan-related GL 20 may overlap with the authorizations in Afghanistan-related GLs 14, 15, and 19.  Where appropriate, U.S. persons may rely on the broader authorization in GL 20 instead of the authorizations in GLs 14, 15, and 19.

Date Updated: February 25, 2022

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960. Can nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and international organizations (IOs) make salary support or stipend payments directly to Afghan teachers and healthcare workers?

Yes.  Even to the extent doing so would involve transacting with the Taliban and/or Haqqani Network, NGOs can make salary support or stipend payments directly to healthcare workers, such as doctors at public hospitals or healthcare workers at community clinics, under General License (GL) 14 and GL 19.  Similarly, even to the extent doing so would involve transacting with the Taliban and/or Haqqani Network, NGOs can make such salary support or stipend payments directly to teachers, including teachers at Afghan public and private schools, under GL 19.  Under GL 18, certain IOs can provide such salary support payments directly to healthcare workers and teachers.  

In addition, OFAC has issued Afghanistan-related GL 20 , which, to the extent authorization is required, authorizes all transactions involving Afghanistan or governing institutions in Afghanistan prohibited under the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 594 (GTSR), the Foreign Terrorist Organizations Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 597 (FTOSR), or Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended, subject to limited conditions set forth in GL 20 paragraph (b).  GL 20 therefore also covers salary support or stipend payments directly to teachers, including teachers at Afghan public and private schools, and healthcare workers by NGOs or other persons.   

As noted in FAQ 996, the authorization in Afghanistan-related GL 20 may overlap with the authorizations in Afghanistan-related GLs 14, 15, and 19.  Where appropriate, U.S. persons may rely on the broader authorization in GL 20 instead of the authorizations in GLs 14, 15, and 19.

Date Updated: February 25, 2022

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961. Can nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and international organizations (IOs) provide support to municipal water systems?

Yes.  Support to municipal water systems by NGOs for projects that directly benefit the Afghan people or otherwise relieve human suffering that would otherwise be prohibited under the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 594 (GTSR), the Foreign Terrorist Organizations Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 597 (FTOSR), or Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended, because of transactions with the Taliban and/or Haqqani Network would be covered by General Licenses (GLs) 14 and 19.  GL 18 authorizes all transactions and activities with the Taliban and/or Haqqani Network otherwise prohibited under the GTSR or FTOSR that are for the conduct of the official business of certain IOs.  Thus, if support to municipal water systems is part of these IOs’ official business, then it would not be prohibited. 

For example, this could include providing technical support to a project related to clean drinking water or making improvements to water systems for the benefit of the Afghan people. 

In addition, OFAC has issued Afghanistan-related GL 20, which, to the extent authorization is required, authorizes all transactions involving Afghanistan or governing institutions in Afghanistan prohibited under the GTSR, the FTOSR, or E.O. 13224, as amended, subject to limited conditions set forth in GL 20 paragraph (b).  GL 20 therefore also covers support to municipal water systems by NGOs, IOs, or other persons.   

As noted in FAQ 996, the authorization in Afghanistan-related GL 20  may overlap with the authorizations in Afghanistan-related GLs 14, 18, and 19. Where appropriate, U.S. persons may rely on the broader authorization in GL 20 instead of the authorizations in GLs 14, 18, and 19.

Date Updated: February 25, 2022

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962. Can banks process transactions related to activities authorized by General Licenses (GLs) 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 20?

Yes.  Transactions that are ordinarily incident and necessary to give effect to the activities authorized in General Licenses (GL) 14, GL 15, GL 16, GL 17, GL 18, GL 19, or GL 20, including clearing, settlement, and transfers through, to, or otherwise involving privately owned and state-owned Afghan depository institutions, are authorized pursuant to these GLs. 

In addition, foreign financial institutions may engage in or facilitate transactions that would be authorized for U.S. persons under GLs 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, or 20 without exposure to sanctions under the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 594 (GTSR), the Foreign Terrorist Organizations Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 597 (FTOSR), or Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended.

Date Updated: February 25, 2022

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963. Can humanitarian organizations ship cash into Afghanistan for use in delivering humanitarian assistance?

Yes, cash shipments to Afghanistan may be authorized under General Licenses (GL) 14, GL 18GL 19, or GL 20  provided that they are ordinarily incident and necessary to effectuate the activities authorized by the GLs.  

As with all OFAC GLs, GLs 14, 18, 19, and 20 are “self-executing,” meaning that persons who determine that such activities are ordinarily incident and necessary to their authorized activities within the scope of the GLs may proceed without further assurances from OFAC.

Date Updated: February 25, 2022

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991. Why did the Department of the Treasury issue Afghanistan-related General License (GL) 20, “Authorizing Transactions Involving Afghanistan or Governing Institutions in Afghanistan”? 

The U.S. government recognizes that Afghanistan is facing a widespread humanitarian and economic crisis.  Treasury issued Afghanistan-related GL 20  to ensure that U.S. sanctions do not stand in the way of transactions and activities that support basic human needs of the people in Afghanistan.  GL 20 authorizes, to the extent authorization is required, activities necessary to support these needs, including, as established in the United Nations Transitional Engagement Framework (TEF) for Afghanistan, activities necessary to sustain essential social services such as health and education, preserve essential community systems, and promote livelihoods and social cohesion.  This GL helps provide clarity to financial institutions, nongovernmental organizations, international organizations, and private sector entities that they can facilitate the broad range of activities needed to mitigate further worsening of Afghanistan’s economic and humanitarian crisis.  This includes commercial activities in or involving Afghanistan.  For other specific examples of the kinds of activities authorized by General License 20, please see FAQ 992

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992. What are examples of activities authorized by Afghanistan-related General License (GL) 20, “Authorizing Transactions Involving Afghanistan or Governing Institutions in Afghanistan”?  

Transactions that are generally authorized by GL 20  to the extent authorization is required include:  

  • Commercial transactions involving Afghanistan, including imports from Afghanistan, exports to Afghanistan, and commercial transactions within or involving the geographical territory of Afghanistan; 
  • Dealings with all governing ministries and institutions in Afghanistan—including the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Energy and Water, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock, Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of the Interior, and Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations, and the Central Bank of Afghanistan (DAB);
  • Dealings with state-owned or -controlled companies and enterprises in Afghanistan, including the electrical utility Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS); 
  • Payment of taxes, fees, or import duties, or the purchase or receipt of permits, licenses, or public utility services, provided that such payments do not relate to luxury items or services;
  • Financial institutions’ processing of transactions to, from, or transiting Afghanistan, including clearing, settlement, and transfers through, to, or otherwise involving privately owned and state-owned Afghan banks;
  • Financial and professional services related to economic activity in Afghanistan;
  • Activities related to infrastructure maintenance or development in Afghanistan, including water, sanitation, energy, electricity, and public utilities;
  • Activities related to the development, maintenance, and operation of civilian transportation in Afghanistan, including safety and maintenance operations for civilian transportation in Afghanistan, including air traffic services, air navigation services, other transactions ordinarily incident and necessary to operations or use of airports, ground and landside operations, and rail or road construction or maintenance;
  • Transactions with respect to the receipt and transmission of telecommunications, mail, or parcels involving Afghanistan; 
  • Importation from and exportation to Afghanistan of any information or informational materials;
  • Transactions ordinarily incident to travel to or from Afghanistan; 
  • Transactions that are also authorized under Afghanistan-related GLs 1415161718 and 19 (for more information, see FAQs 928, 929, 930, 931, 949, 951, 953, 954, 957, 958, 959, 960, 961, 962, 963, and 996); and
  • Incidental contact with the Taliban or the Haqqani Network or any blocked individual who is currently in a leadership role in a governing institution in Afghanistan in connection with any of the authorized activities outlined above. 

Nothing in GL 20 relieves any person from compliance with any other federal laws or requirements of other federal agencies, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) administered by the Department of State and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) administered by the Department of Commerce, or from applicable international obligations.

GL 20 does not authorize financial transfers to the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, any entity in which the Taliban or the Haqqani Network owns, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, a 50 percent or greater interest, or to any blocked individual who is in a leadership role of a governing institution in Afghanistan, other than for the purpose of effecting the payment of taxes, fees, or import duties, or the purchase or receipt of permits, licenses, or public utility services or financial transfers, provided that such payments do not relate to luxury items or services.  GL 20 also does not authorize transfers of luxury items or services to the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, any entity in which the Taliban or the Haqqani Network owns, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, a 50 percent or greater interest, or any blocked individual who is in a leadership role of a governing institution in Afghanistan.

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993. What if a governing institution in Afghanistan is led by an individual who appears on the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons? 

Generally speaking, when a designated individual has a leadership role in a governing institution, the governing institution itself is not considered blocked.  Accordingly, engaging in a routine interaction with an agency in which a blocked individual is an official, but that does not involve the blocked individual in question, is not prohibited. 

In this case, Afghanistan-related General License (GL) 20  authorizes all transactions involving Afghanistan or governing institutions in Afghanistan that would otherwise be prohibited by OFAC-administered sanctions on the Taliban or the Haqqani Network, subject to certain conditions.  GL 20 also authorizes the payment of taxes, fees, or import duties, or the purchase of permits, licensing, or public utility services to blocked individuals that are in leadership roles of governing institutions in Afghanistan, provided that such payments do not relate to luxury items  or services.

As an example, if an international organization (IO), nongovernmental organization (NGO), or company needs to make a customs payment to a governing institution in Afghanistan led by a blocked individual, that is authorized.  Similarly, if an IO, NGO, or company is signing a contract to provide services to or on behalf of that governing institution, and the blocked individual appointed to lead that governing institution needs to sign the contract in their official capacity on behalf of the governing institution, that is authorized.  However, if the blocked individual requests that funds be provided directly to them, other than for the purpose of effecting the payment of taxes, fees, or import duties, or the purchase or receipt of permits, licenses, or public utility services or financial transfers, that would not be authorized by GL 20.

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994. For purposes of Afghanistan-related General License (GL) 20, “Authorizing Transactions Involving Afghanistan or Governing Institutions in Afghanistan,” what are luxury items and services? 

For purposes of GL 20 , luxury items and services are those items and services that are not linked to activities that support basic human needs as defined with reference to United Nations Security Council Resolution 2615 (2021), for instance:  yachts, furs, designer clothing, and certain entertainment activities.  Luxury items  and services would not include, for example, phones, computers, or other similar items commonly used in connection with personal communication, education, activity by international organizations and non-governmental organizations, and other activity that supports basic human needs in Afghanistan.

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995. Does Afghanistan-related General License (GL) 20 authorize financial transfers to governing institutions in Afghanistan, including the Central Bank of Afghanistan (Da Afghanistan Bank, or DAB), or state-owned or -controlled companies and enterprises in Afghanistan?  Does Afghanistan-related GL 20 authorize receipt of payment from governing institutions in Afghanistan and state-owned or -controlled companies and enterprises in Afghanistan?    

Yes.  To the extent authorization is required, GL 20  authorizes financial transfers to or involving all governing institutions in Afghanistan — including but not limited to the DAB, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Energy and Water, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock, and Ministry of Public Health — or to or involving state-owned or -controlled companies and enterprises in Afghanistan, including Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), provided there are no financial transfers to the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, any entity in which the Taliban or the Haqqani Network owns, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, a 50 percent or greater interest, or any blocked individual who is in a leadership role of a governing institution in Afghanistan, other than for the purpose of effecting the payment of taxes, fees, or import duties, or the purchase or receipt of permits, licenses, or public utility services, provided that such payments do not relate to luxury items or services.  GL 20 also authorizes receipt of payment from such governing institutions and state-owned or -controlled companies and enterprises in Afghanistan.

OFAC does not view financial transfers to governing institutions in Afghanistan or state-owned or -controlled companies and enterprises in Afghanistan as financial transfers to the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, any entity in which the Taliban or the Haqqani Network owns, directly or indirectly, individually or in the aggregate, a 50 percent or greater interest, or any blocked individual who is in a leadership role of a governing institution in Afghanistan.  

Nothing in GL 20 affects the property or interests in property of Da Afghanistan Bank that are protectively blocked pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14064 of February 11, 2022, “Protecting Certain Property of Da Afghanistan Bank for the Benefit of the People of Afghanistan.”
 

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996. In light of the issuance of Afghanistan-related General License (GL) 20, are U.S. persons still required to abide by the narrower scope of Afghanistan-related GLs 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19?    

To the extent authorization is required, Afghanistan-related GL 20  authorizes all transactions involving Afghanistan or governing institutions in Afghanistan prohibited by the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 594 (GTSR), the Foreign Terrorist Organizations Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 597 (FTOSR), or Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended, subject to limited conditions set forth in GL 20 paragraph (b).  

Therefore, the authorization in Afghanistan-related GL 20 may overlap with the authorizations in Afghanistan-related 1415161718 and 19.  Where appropriate, U.S. persons may rely on the broader authorization in GL 20 instead of the authorizations in GLs 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19.  As with all OFAC GLs, GLs 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 are “self-executing,” meaning that persons who determine that such activities are ordinarily incident and necessary to their authorized activity within the scope of the GL may proceed without further assurance from OFAC.

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997. Has the United States lifted sanctions on the Taliban and the Haqqani Network?

No.  The United States has not lifted sanctions on the Taliban and the Haqqani Network.  The Taliban remains designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224.  The Haqqani Network remains designated as an SDGT under E.O. 13224 and a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).  Transactions involving the Taliban or the Haqqani Network outside the scope of GLs 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20  remain prohibited.

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1032. On April 20, 2022, Transkapitalbank (TKB) was designated pursuant to Russia-related Executive Order 14024.  Can U.S. persons continue to engage in Afghanistan-related transactions with TKB?

Yes.  The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued two general licenses (GLs) related to TKB, which allow U.S. persons to engage in certain transactions involving TKB for specified time periods.

Russia-related GL 28 authorizes U.S. persons to engage in certain transactions involving TKB, or any entity in which TKB owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest, that are ultimately destined for or originating from Afghanistan through 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, October 20, 2022. 

GL 28 also authorizes U.S. financial institutions to operate correspondent accounts on behalf of TKB, or any entity in which TKB owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest, provided such accounts are used solely to effect transactions ultimately destined for or originating from Afghanistan that are authorized by the GL.  This means that U.S. financial institutions are authorized to debit or credit correspondent accounts maintained for TKB, provided these debits or credits are for payments that are ultimately destined for or originating from Afghanistan.

In addition, through 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time, May 20, 2022, Russia-related GL 29 authorizes certain transactions ordinarily incident and necessary to the wind down of transactions involving TKB, or any entity in which TKB owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest, regardless of whether such transactions are related to Afghanistan.  GL 29 does not authorize debits to blocked accounts.  For more information, please see FAQ 990.

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 “Provision of Humanitarian Assistance to Afghanistan and Support for the Afghan People.”
 

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