New OFAC Sanctions Regime: Mali

July 30, 2019

On July 26, 2019, the President issued an Executive Order that imposed sanctions against Mali. The new sanctions, which are enforced by the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), largely focus on individuals and entities involved in actions or policies that undermine the democratic processes and institutions in Mali.

OFAC’s Mali sanctions require the blocking of property and interests in property that are in the U.S., come within the U.S., or are in the possession or control of a U.S. person. Such property cannot be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in. The persons or entities that blocking can apply to include any person or entity determined:

  • To be responsible for or complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged in, any of the following in or in relation to Mali, among others:
    • Actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, or democratic processes or institutions of Mali;
    • Obstructing the delivery or distribution of, or access to, humanitarian assistance;
    • Planning, directing, or committing an act that violates international humanitarian law or that constitutes a serious human rights abuse or violation;
    • The use or recruitment of children by armed groups or armed forces in the context of the armed conflict in Mali;
    • The illicit production or trafficking of narcotics or their precursors originating or transiting through Mali;
    • Trafficking in persons, smuggling migrants, or trafficking or smuggling arms or illicitly acquired cultural property; or
    • Any transaction or series of transactions involving bribery or other corruption, such as the misappropriation of Malian public assets or expropriation of private assets for personal gain or political purposes.

Concluding Thoughts

The imposition of Mali sanctions signals that the U.S. continues to press ahead with new economic sanctions, with a particular focus on individuals and entities that undermine the democratic process and/or pursue civil unrest in certain countries. Clients doing business in Mali should ensure that the individuals and entities they are contracting with are not designated by OFAC or other sanctions authorities. We will continue to closely follow events in this space and will report on any further developments.

If you have any questions or concerns about U.S. sanctions, please contact Bruce G. Paulsen (212-574-1533), Andrew S. Jacobson (212-574-1477), Noah S. Czarny (212-574-1642), or Paul B. Koepp (212-574-1613) at Seward & Kissel’s Sanctions Practice Group.