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OFAC issues new Syria sanctions FAQ

Financial Crimes OFAC Of Interest to Non-US Persons Department of Treasury Syria OFAC Designations OFAC Sanctions FAQs

Financial Crimes

On November 8, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published new Syria FAQ 934, which relates to the United Nations and the U.S. government's stabilization and early recovery-related activities and transactions involving Syria. According to OFAC, the Syrian Sanctions Regulations (SySR) § 542.513 permit, under certain conditions, “the United Nations, its Specialized Agencies, Programmes, Funds, and Related Organizations and their employees, contractors, or grantees to engage in all transactions and activities in support of their official business in Syria, including any stabilization and early recovery-related activities and transactions in support of their official business.” This authorization applies to all United Nations employees, grantees, and contractors carrying out the official business of the United Nations, specialized agencies, programmes, funds, and related organizations. This includes nongovernmental organizations and private sector entities that act as grantees or contractors. 

FAQ 934 also reiterates advice from FAQ 884 that non-U.S. persons, including nongovernmental organizations and foreign financial institutions “do not risk exposure to U.S. secondary sanctions pursuant to the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019” for activities that would be authorized for U.S. persons under the SySR. (Covered by InfoBytes here.)

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