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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

President Trump Imposes Additional Venezuelan Sanctions

Financial Crimes OFAC Sanctions Department of Treasury

Financial Crimes

On August 24, President Trump announced the issuance of new sanctions against Venezuela. Executive Order 13808 “Imposing Additional Sanctions with Respect to the Situation in Venezuela,” adds additional restrictions to those declared in Executive Order 13692. The sanctions prohibit transactions related to the following:

  • “new debt with a maturity of greater than 90 days” in conjunction with the Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company (state-owned company);
  • “new debt with a maturity of greater than 30 days, or new equity, of the Government of Venezuela, other than debt” in conjunction with the state-owned company;
  • “bonds issued by the Government of Venezuela prior to the effective date of this order”;
  • “dividend payments or other distributions of profits to the Government of Venezuela from any entity owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the Government of Venezuela;
  • “[t]he purchase, directly or indirectly, by a [U.S.] person or within the [U.S.], of securities from the Government of Venezuela, other than securities qualifying as new debt with a maturity of less than or equal to 90 days [for state-owned company debt] or 30 days [for other Government of Venezuela debt].”

On August 25, OFAC also issued four General Licenses containing additional provisions: (i) General License 1 imposes a wind-down period through September 24, 2017 for contracts and other agreements that were effective prior to the Executive Order's effective date; (ii) General License 2 authorizes certain transactions involving a specifically listed holding company; (iii) General License 3 authorizes dealings in certain specified Government of Venezuela-related bonds that would otherwise be prohibited; and (iv) General License 4 allows new debt transactions related to “the provision of financing for, and other dealings in new debt related to the exportation or reexportation, from the [U.S.] or by a U.S. person . . . of agricultural commodities, medicine, medical devices, or replacement parts and components for medical devices,” provided compliance with the outlined requirements and limitations. OFAC also published answers to several related frequently asked questions concerning the additional sanctions.

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