On February 21, 2023, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued OFAC Compliance Communique: Guidance on Authorized Transactions Related to Earthquake Relief Efforts in Syria (“Guidance”). The Guidance responds to specific questions OFAC received related to earthquake relief efforts in Syria and explains how to provide humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people in compliance with US sanctions.
The Guidance follows Syria General License 23, issued by OFAC on February 9, 2023, which authorized all transactions related to earthquake relief that would otherwise be prohibited by the Syrian Sanctions Regulations. Please see our blog post on Syria General License 23 here.
In addition, on February 27, 2023, OFAC issued a humanitarian assistance fact sheet, Supplemental Guidance for the Provision of Humanitarian Assistance. This fact sheet supplements OFAC’s 2014 Guidance Related to the Provision of Humanitarian Assistance by Not-for-Profit Non-Governmental Organizations to address the general licenses that OFAC added or revised on December 21, 2022 to implement the UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2664. These December 2022 general licenses provided authorizations in 4 categories: (i) the official business of the US Government, (ii) the official business of certain international organizations and entities, (iii) transactions incident to certain humanitarian activities by NGOs, and (iv) the provision of agricultural commodities, medicines and medical devices to individuals in personal, non-commercial quantities.