September 18, 2022

OFAC issues Russia-related General License 51 and issues new and amended FAQs

On September 15, 2022, the US Department of the Treasury issued a new general license as well as new and amended Frequently Asked Questions pursuant to the Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions Regulations (RuHSR), 31 CFR part 587.  The Office of Foreign Assets Control issued General License 51 to authorize wind down transactions, until October 15, 2022, which involve Limited Liability Company Group of Companies Akvarious (Aquarius) or any entity in which Aquarius owns a 50 percent or greater interest, that would otherwise be prohibited by EO 14024.  These transactions are authorized provided that payments made to blocked persons are deposited into a blocked account in accordance with the RuHSR.

OFAC also issued new FAQs 1080 – 1086.  FAQs 1080 and 1081 provide additional clarity of the provisions in Russia-related General License 50, issued on August 19, 2022, which enables individuals with accounts held at financial institutions blocked pursuant to EO 14024 to unblock accounts and perform lump sum transfers of remaining funds and other assets to the account holder, including to accounts held at a non-blocked financial institution.  FAQ 1082 provides the public with information on the role of the National Payment Card System Joint Stock Company (NSPK) and states that, while the NSPK is not a blocked entity under the RuHSR, any non-US financial intuition that enters into new or expanded agreements with NSPK risks exposure to sanctions for supporting Russian efforts to evade US sanctions through the expanded use of the MIR National Payment System outside of Russia.  

OFAC also issued new FAQs related to the determination issued pursuant to EO 14071 on September 15, 2022 that prohibits the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply of quantum computing services by a US person to any persons in located in the Russian Federation – a prohibition that is effective on October 15, 2022.  On the same day, OFAC also identified Russia’s quantum computing services sector pursuant to EO 14024 as a sector which significantly impacts the Russian economy – a determination which enables sanctions to be imposed upon persons operating in this sector.  OFAC issued FAQs 1083 – 1086 to provide a general overview of both determinations as they relate to quantum computer services, including a definition of the term “quantum computer services” and a description of the types of services that are considered to be part of this sector of the Russian economy.

OFAC also amended FAQs 1033, 1034, 1059, 1061, and 1062 to ensure that these FAQs, which previously addressed and further clarified the determinations made on May 8, 2022 pursuant to EO 14071, and the sectoral determination made pursuant to EO 14024, appropriately incorporate the recent inclusion of “quantum computer services” as a prohibited service to Russia and as an identified sector. 

Department of Treasury Recent Action (I) | Department of Treasury Recent Action (II) | General License 51 | New FAQs | Amended FAQs