OFAC FAQs: Iran Sanctions (Excerpts)

December 11, 2019

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810. On December 11, 2019, the State Department announced that it would designate the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and E-Sail Shipping Limited (“E-Sail”) under Executive Order (E.O.) 13382, effective June 8, 2020. IRISL and E-Sail are already listed on the SDN List. What will be the impact of the State Department’s designation of these entities under E.O. 13382?

On November 5, 2018, OFAC identified IRISL and E-Sail on the SDN List with the [IRAN] tag to indicate that they are entities meeting the definition of the Government of Iran whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to E.O. 13599.

Following their designation by the State Department under E.O. 13382 on June 8, 2020, OFAC will add the [NPWMD] and [IFSR] tags to the entries for IRISL and E-Sail on the SDN List. As a result, transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States involving IRISL and E-Sail will be subject to the prohibitions in the Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 544 (WMDPSR), in addition to the prohibitions in E.O. 13599 implemented through the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 560 (ITSR). Non-U.S. persons that knowingly engage in certain transactions with IRISL or E-Sail risk exposure to sanctions under additional authorities. [12-11-2019]

811. Can I ship agricultural commodities, food, medicine, and medical devices to Iran via IRISL or E-Sail on or after June 8, 2020?

The United States maintains broad authorizations and exceptions under U.S. sanctions that allow for the sale of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, and medical devices to Iran by U.S. and non-U.S. persons (see, e.g., FAQ 637). However, these authorizations and exceptions generally do not apply to transactions with persons designated pursuant to E.O. 13382.

Following the designations of IRISL and E-Sail under E.O. 13382 on June 8, 2020, transactions by U.S. persons involving IRISL or E-Sail will be subject to the prohibitions in the WMDPSR, in addition to the prohibitions in the ITSR. This means that, effective June 8, 2020, unless authorized under the WMDPSR or exempt, U.S. persons will be prohibited from engaging in transactions involving IRISL or E-Sail, including transactions for the sale of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, or medical devices by U.S. persons or from the United States that are authorized under the general licenses set forth in, or specifically licensed pursuant to, sections 560.530, 560.532, or 560.533 of the ITSR.

In addition, non-U.S. persons that knowingly engage in certain transactions with IRISL or E-Sail, even for the sale to Iran of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, or medical devices, risk exposure to sanctions under additional authorities.

To avoid sanctions risks, U.S. and non-U.S. persons should ensure that transactions for the sale of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, or medical devices involving IRISL or E-Sail are concluded no later than June 8, 2020, when the designations of IRISL and E-Sail pursuant to E.O. 13382 come into effect. [12-11-2019]