On May 21, 2021, the Office of Foreign Assets Control issued General License 1, “Authorizing Certain Activities Involving Federal State Budgetary Institution Marine Rescue Service” and published frequently asked questions 894 and 895 related to Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act of 2019, 22 USC 9526 note, as amended (PEESA). PEESA was enacted under the National Defense Authorization Act of FY2021 on January 1, 2021 to prevent Russia’s energy export pipelines from creating national and regional dependencies on Russian energy supplies, thereby reducing European energy diversification and ultimately weakening European security and US national security interests. OFAC also updated its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List and its Non-SDN Menu-Based Sanctions List with several PEESA-related designations of vessels and entities.
GL 1 authorizes all transactions that were otherwise prohibited by the PEESA that involve the Federal State Budgetary Institution Marine Rescue (MRS) or any entity that MRS owns a 50 percent or greater interest, that is not related to the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, the TurkStream pipeline project, or a successor to either of these projects. The general license does not authorize activities or transactions related to vessels identified on the Non-SDN Menu-Based Sanctions List.
FAQ 894 reiterates that GL 1 authorizes US persons to engage in certain transactions otherwise prohibited by PEESA. FAQ 895 reviews the prohibitions for persons designated solely pursuant to PEESA, providing that such persons will be placed on the Non-SDN Menu-Based Sanctions List with a special identifier that indicates that the persons’ property and interests in property are blocked except for the importation of goods pursuant to section 7503(e)(5) of PEESA. For persons designated under PEESA and another blocking authority, their names will appear on OFAC’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List).