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Burma Sanctions Program Terminated, Including Ban on Gem and Jewelry Imports

Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The economic and financial sanctions against Burma administered by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control are no longer in effect as of Oct. 7 after President Obama signed that day an executive order terminating the national emergency with respect to Burma. OFAC states that this action includes the following impacts.

- The ban on the importation of Burmese-origin jadeite and rubies, and any jewelry containing them, has been waived.

- All OFAC-administered restrictions and authorizations under the Burma sanctions program pertaining to banking with Burma have been terminated, including the OFAC general licenses issued in 2012 and 2013 that authorized certain correspondent account activity with Burmese banks. (The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s 2003 finding that Burma is a jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern remains in place but FinCEN is issuing an administrative exception to suspend the resulting prohibition on U.S. financial institutions maintaining correspondent accounts for Burmese banks based on Burma’s progress in improving its anti-money laundering regime and its commitment to continue making progress to address money laundering, corruption, and narcotics-related activities.)

- All individuals and entities blocked pursuant to the Burmese Sanctions Regulations have been removed from OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List.

- All property and interests in property blocked pursuant to the BSR are unblocked.

- All OFAC-administered restrictions under the Burma sanctions program regarding banking or financial transactions with Burma are no longer in effect. 

- OFAC will remove the BSR from the Code of Federal Regulations.

- Compliance with the State Department’s Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements is no longer required by OFAC’s regulations and is now voluntary.

Burmese individuals or entities blocked pursuant to other OFAC sanctions authorities, such as counter-narcotics sanctions, remain on the SDN List and their property and interests in property remain blocked. Further, pending or future OFAC enforcement investigations or actions related to apparent violations of the BSR when in effect may still be carried out.

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