OFAC Update: New Venezuela General Licenses

November 6, 2019

On November 5, 2019, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued an amended General License 34A and a new General License 35, both under its Venezuela sanctions regime.

General License 34A permits U.S. persons to engage in transactions and activities with certain individuals who otherwise meet the definition of the Government of Venezuela (“GOV”), including U.S. citizens, permanent resident aliens of the U.S., individuals who have valid U.S. immigrant or non-immigrant visas, former employees and contractors of the GOV, or current employees and contractors of the GOV who provide health or education services in Venezuela (including at hospitals, schools, and universities). Notably, GL 34A now permits U.S. persons to engage in transactions and activities related to an aforementioned individual’s receipt of salary, pension, annuity, or other employment-related payment or benefit from the GOV.

General License 35 permits U.S. persons to pay taxes, fees, and import duties to the GOV, and purchase and receive permits, licenses, registrations, certifications, and public utility services from the GOV, so long as such transactions are necessary and ordinarily incident to such persons’ day-to-day operations. Notably, U.S. persons who make USD payments to the GOV pursuant to GL 35 must file reports with OFAC and the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Sanctions Policy and Implementation. U.S. financial institutions, however, are not required to submit such reports regarding payments that they process on behalf of customers or third parties that are otherwise authorized pursuant to GL 35.

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.