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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

OFAC issues Venezuela-related general licenses

Financial Crimes Of Interest to Non-US Persons OFAC Department of Treasury OFAC Sanctions OFAC Designations Venezuela Petroleos de Venezuela

Financial Crimes

On November 26, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued Venezuela-related General License (GL) 41 following the resumption of talks in Mexico City to alleviate the suffering of Venezuelan people and restore democracy. GL 41 authorizes certain transactions related to the identified corporation and its subsidiaries’ joint ventures in Venezuela involving Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A (PdVSA) or any entity owned directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more, that would otherwise be prohibited by Executive Order (E.O.) 13850, as amended by E.O.s 13857 or 13884. OFAC noted that GL 41 prevents PdVSA from receiving profits from the oil sales by the identified corporation, and only authorizes certain specific activities. Other Venezuela-related sanctions and restrictions imposed by the U.S. remain in place. Concurrent with the issuance of GL 41, OFAC issued GL 8K, “Authorizing Transactions Involving Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA) Necessary for the Limited Maintenance of Essential Operations in Venezuela or the Wind Down of Operations in Venezuela for Certain Entities,” as well as two new related FAQs. According to the announcement, “U.S. persons are authorized to provide goods and services for certain activities as specified in GL 41,” and “non-U.S. persons generally do not risk U.S. sanctions exposure for facilitating transactions that are authorized by GL 41.”