When dealing with agencies such as the Office of Foreign Assets Control, it is beneficial to seek the guidance of a Customs Lawyer who understands the various embargos and similar trade prohibitions established by the agency.  The Law Offices of Paula Connelly can work with your company to ensure that all of its imports and exports are in compliance with OFAC.

What Does OFAC Do?

Using United States foreign policy and national security goals against certain other countries, organizations, and persons as its basis, OFAC both administers and enforces trade sanctions and economic sanctions.
OFAC’s authority comes from the Trading With the Enemy Act, several different national emergencies, and various United States federal laws on economic sanctions and embargoes. The authority to grant exemptions to prohibitions on these transactions belongs to OFAC, and these exemptions may be issued by either specific export licensing on a case by case basis, or a general export license for certain categories.

How does this affect US companies and individuals?  In most instances full embargos prohibit all transactions with the specific countries without an export license from OFAC.   This would include financial transactions and both imports and exports.  There are some limited exceptions and if the company can qualify for the exception, they may be granted an export license.  It is a difficult area to navigate without the assistance of a trade attorney.

The “list” of countries refers to those countries which the US government considers State Sponsors of Terrorism, and currently includes Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria, while Iraq, Libya, North Korea, and South Yemen have been removed.   However in today’s ever changing political environment it is important to keep informed of additions or removals from this list.  In addition, exporters should be aware of the individuals and businesses included on the OFAC Specially Designated Nationals list and ensure that goods are not exported without prior approval from OFAC.

If you, your business, or organization will be dealing with any of the US export laws, a good export lawyer such as Paula Connelly can help you make sure that you are in compliance with agencies such as OFAC.


The information contained in this Website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

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Law Offices of Paula M. Connelly
100 Trade Center
Suite 660
Woburn, MA 01801