OFAC issues general and specific licenses to authorize activity that would otherwise be prohibited.

General licenses authorize the performance of certain categories of transactions.  Individuals and entities do not need to apply to OFAC in order to undertake activity pursuant to a general license.  General licenses are specific to each sanctions program and are typically available for the export of food, medicine, and medical devices, and for informational materials, among other things.  It is important to check with the specific country program in question for any requirements of the general license.

Specific licenses are particularized authorizations granted on a case-by-case basis under certain limited situations and conditions.  Typically, specific licenses will only be granted if the activity is determined to be in the interest of US foreign policy.  Specific license requests may be submitted directly to OFAC.

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