Q: What countries are affected by Office of Foreign Assets Control's (OFAC) Country-Based sanctions program?
A: Countries in the Western Balkans (including Macedonia, Bosnia, Serbia, and Kosovo), Belarus, Burma (Myanmar), Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Former Liberian Regime of Charles Taylor, Libya2, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Zimbabwe.
Q: Are all citizens of all the countries listed above prohibited from investing in the U.S.?
A: No. Most of the country-based sanctions target either the governments (government officials) of particular countries, or persons engaged in certain activities – such as destabilization efforts – related to the governments of those countries.
Q: Which countries' governments and government officials does OFAC restrict trade and investment with?
A: OFAC restricts trade and investment to varying degrees with the government, and thereby government officials of Burma (Myanmar), Cuba, Iran, Lebanon, the Former Liberian Regime of Charles Taylor, Lybia2, North Korea, Sudan and Syria in addition to certain individuals and entities involved with the former Government of Iraq.
Q: For the remaining countries on the list, what kinds of restrictions does OFAC place on trade and investment?
A: In varying degrees, OFAC’s sanctions block the property of persons who: Threaten international stabilization efforts in the Western Balkans; Undermine democratic processes on institutions in Belarus; Contribute to the conflict in Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) Contribute to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Undermine democratic processes or institutions in Zimbabwe.
Q: What is OFAC's Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List?
A: The SDN List includes individuals, businesses, organizations and any other entities whose property the U.S. government has blocked for one reason or another. Most have a code in brackets at the end of their description to tell you which category they are designated under, whether it is a particular country or subject matter.
Q: How do I find out if the U.S. government has designated a business or individual from a country that I am doing business?
A: Go to the Department of Treasury's OFAC website and click on "Specially Designated Nationals" list. Or, while there is a fee, we can check OFAC and many other lists for you.