U.S. President Issues a New Venezuela-related Executive Order; OFAC issues related General Licenses and Venezuela-related Designation

Posted by Matt Schmitt on 2/1/19 5:00 PM

On January 28, 2019, U.S. President Trump issued the Executive Order on Taking Additional Steps to Address the National Emergency with Respect to Venezuela.

According to the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Executive Order “…broadens the definition of the term ‘Government of Venezuela’ to include persons that have acted, or have purported to act, on behalf of the Government of Venezuela, including members of the Maduro regime...”

Also on January 28, 2019, OFAC designated Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, pursuant to Executive Order (EO) 13850, for operating in Venezuela’s oil sector.  This action prohibits US persons from dealing with PDVSA, including its majority-owned subsidiaries, subject to a series of general licenses that OFAC has issued in tandem with these expanded sanctions.  It also requires US persons to block property of PDVSA that comes into their possession.  This designation expands the previous, limited sanctions on PDVSA that had restricted certain debt and equity transactions.

OFAC has amended General License 3 and issued eight new Venezuela-related general licenses (General Licenses 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14).

The OFAC news release on the Issuance of a New Venezuela-related Executive Order and General Licenses; Venezuela-related Designation may be found here:

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20190128.aspx

OFAC’s notice of publishing two amended General Licenses in connection with the January 28, 2019 designation of PDVSA may be found here:

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20190201.aspx

The Executive Order may be found here:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-taking-additional-steps-address-national-emergency-respect-venezuela/

OFAC has updated its frequently asked questions (FAQs) to amend FAQ 595 and FAQ 648 and add several new FAQs related to these actions, which may be found here:

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/faqs/Sanctions/Pages/faq_other.aspx#650

Topics: Sanctions, OFAC, Venezuela