What is an OFAC License?

Updated: Aug 12, 2019



The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) administers and enforces economic sanctions imposed by the United States against certain foreign countries. Depending on the country, OFAC programs may freeze assets of embargoed countries, prohibit payment of funds to individuals and countries on the embargo list, or prohibit provision of services to countries subject to US sanctions. These sanctions may require obtaining OFAC approval before conducting research or other activities in or involving the sanctioned country. Some sanctions are more restrictive than others, and apply to the whole country, while others are specifically target certain individuals or entities within a country. Currently, sanctioned countries include the Balkans, Belarus, Burma, Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and Zimbabwe.  


What are the Prohibited Transactions?


Prohibited transactions are trade or financial transactions and other dealings in which U.S. persons may not engage unless authorized by OFAC or expressly exempted by statute. Because each program is based on different foreign policy and national security goals, prohibitions may vary between programs.


Are there exceptions to the prohibitions?


OFAC regulations often provide general licenses authorizing the performance of certain categories of transactions. OFAC also issues specific licenses on a case-by-case basis under certain limited situations and conditions.


For more information as to how to obtain a specific or general license contact our offices at 844 - 929 - 2444.

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