January 15, 2023

OFAC issues counterterrorism-related general license and amends FAQ to encourage health and environmental safety of blocked vessels

On January 12, 2022, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued General License 21B pursuant to Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations (“GTSR”), 31 CFR part 594, to authorize all transactions related to certain safety and environmental activities involving persons or vessels listed in the general license – transactions that would otherwise be prohibited by the GTSR.  The GL permits these transactions through April 13, 2023, as long as the payments to blocked persons are made into blocked accounts in accordance with the GTSR.  Specifically, the GL authorizes transactions related to 1) the safe docking and anchoring of listed blocked vessels; 2) the preservation of the health or safety of any blocked vessel’s crew; and 3) emergency repairs or environmental mitigation or protection of any listed blocked vessel.  The authorizations also extend to entities in which a listed person owns a 50 percent or greater interest.  GL 21B effectively replaces and supersedes GL 21A in its entirety.

OFAC also updated Frequently Asked Question 1097 to reflect the updated provisions in GL 21B.  According to FAQ 1097, GL 21 B does not authorize the offloading of cargo from blocked vessels listed in the GL or the payment of claims to or for the benefit of any blocked persons or vessel without a specific license from OFAC.  In FAQ 1097, OFAC also encourages US persons and non-US persons who are unable to conclude transactions before April 13, 2023 to seek guidance from OFAC.

General License 21B | Amended FAQ 1097