OFAC Expands Authorizations for Humanitarian Aid to Afghanistan
OFAC issued three General Licenses ("GLs") to further support humanitarian efforts in Afghanistan.
The licenses permit certain activities with (i) the Taliban and Haqqani Network, and (ii) entities 50 percent or more owned by the Taliban or Haqqani Network, whether individually or in the aggregate. These activities would otherwise be prohibited by the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, the Foreign Terrorist Organizations Sanctions Regulations, or Executive Order 13224 ("Blocking Property and Prohibiting Transactions With Persons Who Commit, Threaten To Commit, or Support Terrorism"). In permitting these activities, OFAC issued the following:
GL 17, authorizing transactions that are part of the official business of the U.S. Government and its authorized agents;
GL 18, authorizing transactions by specified international organizations; and
GL 19, authorizing transactions by nongovernmental organizations that meet specific humanitarian and development criteria.
All three of the General Licenses stipulate that the following remain unauthorized: (i) financial transfers to designated persons, except for the purpose of paying taxes, fees or import duties, or for permits, licenses, or public utility services, (ii) debits held at U.S. financial institutions by blocked persons, and (iii) any other transfers or activities that are otherwise prohibited.
In addition, OFAC provided a humanitarian assistance fact sheet, which addresses these authorizations and provides general guidance surrounding humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.
OFAC also updated its Counter Terrorism Sanctions FAQ in connection with issuing these licenses (see questions 928, 929, 931, and 950-955).