Frequently Asked Questions

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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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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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. 

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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.

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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.
 

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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.

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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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