August 6, 2023

US warns that Burma-related transactions will be closely monitored following the expiration of GL 5

The US Department of State recently announced that Burma-related General License 5 would expire on August 5, 2023.  The general license was issued on June 21, 2023 by the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to coincide with the designation of two military regime-controlled banks in Burma – the Myanma Foreign Trade Bank (“MFTB”) and Mayanma Investment and Commercial Bank (“MICB”).  OFAC reported that the banks were designated for facilitating much of foreign currency exchange within Burma and enabling Burma’s military regime to purchase and import arms and related materiel from foreign markets using offshore accounts.  GL 5 was issued in June 2023 to temporarily enable individuals and entities to wind down activities with MFTB and MICB until August 5, 2023.

According to State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller, following expiration of GL 5 on August 5, 2023, the US will “carefully monitor compliance and scrutinize transactions with an MFTB or MICB nexus to counter evasion or other behavior that contravenes the intent of these designations and U.S. policy.”  The US will also pursue enforcement actions as appropriate.

Department of State Press Release | Department of Treasury Press Release – June 2023