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Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) Agreement Assets Control Regulations

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Office of Foreign Assets Control, Treasury.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury is issuing regulations to implement the President's declaration in Executive Order 13159 of June 21, 2000, of a national emergency and order blocking certain property and interests in property of the Government of the Russian Federation that are directly related to the implementation of the Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Russian Federation Concerning the Disposition of Highly Enriched Uranium Extracted from Nuclear Weapons, dated February 18, 1993, and related contracts and agreements.

DATES:

Effective date: July 25, 2001.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dennis P. Wood, Chief of Compliance Programs, tel.: 202/622-2490, Steve I. Pinter, Acting Chief of Licensing, tel.: 202/622-2480, or Barbara C. Hammerle, Acting Chief Counsel, tel.: 202/622-2410, Office of Foreign Assets Control, Department of the Treasury, Washington, DC 20220.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Availability

This document is available as an electronic file on The Federal Bulletin Board the day of publication in the Federal Register. By modem, dial 202/512-1387 and type “/GO FAC,” or call 202/512-1530 for disk or paper copies. This file is available for downloading without charge in ASCII and Adobe Acrobat® readable (*.PDF) formats. For Internet access, the address for use with the World Wide Web (Home Page), Telnet, or FTP protocol is: fedbbs.access.gpo.gov. This document and additional information concerning the programs of the Office of Foreign Assets Control are available for downloading from the Office's Internet Home Page: http://www.treas.gov/​ofac, or in fax form through the Office's 24-hour fax-on-demand service: call 202/622-0077 using a fax machine, fax modem, or (within the United States) a touch-tone telephone.

Background

On June 21, 2000, the President issued Executive Order 13159 (65 FR 39279, June 26, 2000), declaring a national emergency with respect to the risk of nuclear proliferation created by the accumulation of a large volume of weapons-usable fissile material in the territory of the Russian Federation and invoking the authority of, inter alia, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq. (“IEEPA”). Pursuant to the Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Russian Federation Concerning the Disposition of Highly Enriched Uranium Extracted from Nuclear Weapons, dated February 18, 1993, and related contracts and agreements (collectively, the “HEU Agreements”), weapons-grade uranium extracted from Russian nuclear weapons is converted to low enriched uranium (“LEU”) for use in commercial reactors and sold to the United States in the form of LEU. The order blocks and protects from attachment, judgment, decree, lien, execution, garnishment, or other judicial process that property and interests in property of the Government of the Russian Federation that are directly related to the implementation of the HEU Agreements that are in the United States, that are or hereafter come within the United States, or that are or Start Printed Page 38555hereafter come within the possession or control of U.S. persons, including their overseas branches. The order authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretaries of State and Energy, to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the order. To implement Executive Order 13159 the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury is promulgating the HEU Agreement Assets Control Regulations (the “Regulations”).

Interim rules were published in the Federal Register on January 12, 2001, with an invitation for public comment. Public comments were received and considered and these final rules incorporate certain comments as appropriate.

Section 540.201 of subpart B of the Regulations implements section 2 of Executive Order 13159 (the “Executive Order”) by blocking that property and interests in property of the Government of the Russian Federation that are directly related to the implementation of the HEU Agreements that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of U.S. persons, including their overseas branches. The property covered is defined by the Executive Order and public comments that may have altered or expanded this definition were not adopted. Section 540.201 implements section 2 of the Executive Order by prohibiting U.S. persons from transferring, paying, exporting, withdrawing or otherwise dealing in property blocked pursuant to the Executive Order.

Section 540.202 also implements section 2 of the Executive Order by making null and void any transfer or attempted transfer of blocked property after the effective date of the Executive Order absent a license or other authorization issued pursuant to the Executive Order and this part. Public comments suggesting clarification of the effect of transfers violating the provisions of § 540.202 were adopted.

Subpart C provides definitions of terms used in the Regulations. Public comments suggesting consistency in language and correcting a spelling error are reflected in these final rules. Other public comments suggesting edits to the definitions of the terms entity, 31 CFR 540.303, HEU Agreements, 31 CFR 540.305, Property and property interests, 31 CFR 540.311, and Uranium enrichment, 31 CFR 540.316 were not adopted as they are unnecessary to those definitions.

Subpart D sets forth interpretive guidance for the Regulations. For example, § 540.405 makes clear that any transaction that is ordinarily incident to a licensed transaction and necessary to give effect to the licensed transaction is also authorized, except in the case where such an ordinarily incident transaction involves any attachment, judgment, decree, lien, execution, garnishment, or other judicial process which has the effect of encumbering the property or interest in property of the Government of the Russian Federation directly related to the implementation of the HEU Agreements in any manner that is not explicitly authorized within the terms of the license.

Transactions otherwise prohibited under part 540 but found to be consistent with U.S. policy may be authorized by general licenses contained in subpart E or by a specific license issued pursuant to the procedures described in subpart D of part 501 of 31 CFR chapter V. The general licenses contained in subpart E include an authorization in § 540.504 for U.S. financial institutions to debit blocked accounts for normal service charges. Public comments suggesting inclusion within this general license of authorization for U.S. financial institutions to perform U.S. dollar clearance and exchange transactions were adopted. Public comments suggesting designation of priority license applicants for whom different licensing procedures would be established were not adopted. Similarly, public comments suggesting a regulation identifying specific persons or classes of persons who qualify as license applicants also were not adopted. Penalties for violations of the Regulations are described in subpart G of the Regulations.

Because the Regulations involve a foreign affairs function, the provisions of Executive Order 12866 and the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) (the “APA”) requiring notice of proposed rulemaking, opportunity for public participation, and delay in effective date, are inapplicable. However, because of the importance of the issues raised by these regulations, all written public comments received were fully considered.

Because no notice of proposed rulemaking is required for this rule, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612) does not apply.

Paperwork Reduction Act

The collections of information related to the Regulations are contained in 31 CFR part 501 (the “Reporting and Procedures Regulations”). Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507), those collections of information have been previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) under control number 1505-0164. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a valid control number.

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List of Subjects

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For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 31 CFR chapter V is amended by revising part 540 to read as follows:

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PART 540—HIGHLY ENRICHED URANIUM (HEU) AGREEMENT ASSETS CONTROL REGULATIONS

Subpart A—Relation of This Part to Other Laws and Regulations
540.101
Relation of this part to other laws and regulations.
Subpart B—Prohibitions
540.201
Prohibited transactions involving blocked property.
540.202
Effect of transfers violating the provisions of this part.
540.203
Holding of funds in interest-bearing accounts; investment and reinvestment.
Subpart C—General Definitions
540.301
Blocked account; blocked property.
540.302
Effective date.
540.303
Entity.
540.304
Government of the Russian Federation.
540.305
HEU Agreements.
540.306
Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU).
540.307
Licenses; general and specific.
540.308
Low Enriched Uranium (LEU).
540.309
Natural uranium.
540.310
Person.
540.311
Property; property interest.
540.312
Transfer.
540.313
United States.
540.314
United States person; U.S. person.
540.315
Uranium-235 (U235).
540.316
Uranium enrichment.
540.317
Uranium feed; natural uranium feed.
540.318
Uranium Hexafluoride (UF6).
540.319
U.S. financial institution.
Subpart D—Interpretations
540.401
Reference to amended sections.
540.402
Effect of amendment.
540.403
Termination and acquisition of an interest in blocked property.
540.404
Setoffs prohibited. Start Printed Page 38556
540.405
Transactions incidental to a licensed transaction.
Subpart E—Licenses, Authorizations, and Statements of Licensing Policy
540.501
Effect of license or authorization.
540.502
Exclusion from licenses.
540.503
Payments and transfers to blocked accounts in U.S. financial institutions.
540.504
Entries in certain accounts for normal service charges authorized.
Subpart F—Reports
540.601
Records and reports.
Subpart G—Penalties
540.701
Penalties.
540.702
Prepenalty notice.
540.703
Response to prepenalty notice; informal settlement.
540.704
Penalty imposition or withdrawal.
540.705
Administrative collection; referral to United States Department of Justice.
Subpart H—Procedures
540.801
Procedures.
540.802
Delegation by the Secretary of the Treasury.
Subpart I—Paperwork Reduction Act
540.901
Paperwork Reduction Act notice.
Start Authority

Authority: 3 U.S.C. 301; 31 U.S.C. 321(b); 50 U.S.C. 1601-1651, 1701-1706; Pub. L. 101-410, 104 Stat. 890 (28 U.S.C. 2461 note); E.O. 13159, 65 FR 39279, 3 CFR Comp., p. 277.

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Subpart A—Relation of This Part to Other Laws and Regulations

Relation of this part to other laws and regulations.

(a) This part is separate from, and independent of, the other parts of this chapter, with the exception of part 501 of this chapter, the recordkeeping and reporting requirements and license application and other procedures of which apply to this part. Actions taken pursuant to part 501 of this chapter with respect to the prohibitions contained in this part are considered actions taken pursuant to this part. Differing foreign policy and national security circumstances may result in differing interpretations of similar language among the parts of this chapter. No license or authorization contained in or issued pursuant to those other parts authorizes any transaction prohibited by this part. No license or authorization contained in or issued pursuant to any other provision of law or regulation authorizes any transaction prohibited by this part.

(b) Nothing contained in these regulations shall relieve a person from any requirement to obtain a license or other authorization from any department or agency of the United States Government in compliance with applicable laws and regulations subject to the jurisdiction of that department or agency, and no license contained in or issued pursuant to this part relieves the involved parties from complying with any other applicable laws or regulations.

Subpart B—Prohibitions

Prohibited transactions involving blocked property.

(a) Except as otherwise authorized by regulations, orders, directives, rulings, instructions, licenses, or otherwise, the property or property interests of the Government of the Russian Federation that are directly related to the implementation of the Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) Agreements, that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of U.S. persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn or otherwise dealt in.

(b) Unless otherwise authorized by this part or by a specific license expressly referring to this part, any attachment, judgment, decree, lien, execution, garnishment, or other judicial process is null and void with respect to any blocked property or interest in blocked property covered by this part.

Effect of transfers violating the provisions of this part.

(a) Any transfer after the effective date (see § 540.302) that is in violation of any provision of this part or of any regulation, order, directive, ruling, instruction, or license issued pursuant to this part, and that involves any property or interest in property blocked pursuant to § 540.201(a) is null and void and shall not be the basis for the assertion or recognition of any interest in or right, remedy, power, or privilege with respect to such property or property interests.

(b) No transfer before the effective date shall be the basis for the assertion or recognition of any right, remedy, power, or privilege with respect to, or any interest in, any property or interest in property blocked pursuant to § 540.201, unless the person with whom such property is held or maintained, prior to that date, had written notice of the transfer or by any written evidence had recognized such transfer.

(c) Unless otherwise provided, an appropriate license or other authorization issued by or pursuant to the direction or authorization of the Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control before, during, or after a transfer shall validate such transfer or render it enforceable to the same extent that it would be valid or enforceable but for the provisions of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, this part, and any regulation, order, directive, ruling, instruction, or license issued pursuant to this part.

(d) The Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control may, in his discretion, retroactively license a transfer of property that is null and void or unenforceable by virtue of the provisions of this section so that such a transfer shall not be deemed to be null and void or unenforceable as to any person with whom such property was held or maintained (and as to such person only) in cases in which such person is able to establish to the satisfaction of the Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control each of the following:

(1) Such transfer did not represent a willful violation of the provisions of this part by the person with whom such property was held or maintained;

(2) The person with whom such property was held or maintained did not have reasonable cause to know or suspect, in view of all the facts and circumstances known or available to such person, that such transfer required a license or authorization issued pursuant to this part and was not so licensed or authorized, or if a license or authorization did purport to cover the transfer, that such license or authorization had been obtained by misrepresentation of a third party or withholding of material facts or was otherwise fraudulently obtained; and

(3) The person with whom such property was held or maintained filed with the Office of Foreign Assets Control a report setting forth in full the circumstances relating to such transfer promptly upon discovery that:

(i) Such transfer was in violation of the provisions of this part or any regulation, ruling, instruction, license or other direction, or authorization issued pursuant to this part;

(ii) Such transfer was not licensed or authorized by the Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control; or

(iii) If a license did purport to cover the transfer, such license had been obtained by misrepresentation of a third party or withholding of material facts or was otherwise fraudulently obtained.

Note to paragraph (d) of § 540.202:

The filing of a report in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (d)(3) of this section shall not be deemed evidence that the terms of paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2) of this section have been satisfied.

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Holding of funds in interest-bearing accounts; investment and reinvestment.

(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (c) or (d) of this section, or as otherwise directed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, any U.S. person holding funds, such as currency, bank deposits, or liquidated financial obligations subject to § 540.201 shall hold or place such funds in a blocked interest-bearing account located in the United States.

(b)(1) For purposes of this section the term blocked interest-bearing account means a blocked account:

(i) In a federally-insured U.S. bank, thrift institution, or credit union, provided the funds are earning interest at rates which are commercially reasonable; or

(ii) With a broker or dealer registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, provided the funds are invested in a money market fund or U.S. Treasury Bills.

(2) For purposes of this section, a rate is commercially reasonable if it is the rate currently offered to other depositors on deposits or instruments of comparable size and maturity.

(3) Funds held or placed in a blocked account pursuant to this paragraph (b) may not be invested in instruments the maturity of which exceeds 180 days. If interest is credited to a separate blocked account or sub-account, the name of the account party on each account must be the same.

(c) Blocked funds held in instruments the maturity of which exceeds 180 days at the time the funds become subject to § 540.201 may continue to be held until maturity in the original instrument, provided any interest, earnings, or other proceeds derived therefrom are paid into a blocked interest-bearing account in accordance with paragraph (b) or (d) or this section.

(d) Blocked funds held in accounts or instruments outside the United States at the time the funds become subject to § 540.201 may continue to be held in the same type of accounts or instruments, provided the funds earn interest at rates which are commercially reasonable.

(e) This section does not create an affirmative obligation for the holder of blocked tangible property, such as chattels or real estate, or of other blocked property, such as debt or equity securities, to sell or liquidate such property at the time the property becomes subject to § 540.201. However, the Office of Foreign Assets Control may issue licenses permitting or directing such sales in appropriate cases.

(f) Except as otherwise licensed, authorized or directed by OFAC, funds subject to this section may not be invested, used for collateral or reinvested in a manner which provides immediate financial or economic benefit or access to the Government of the Russian Federation or its entities, nor may their holder cooperate in or facilitate the pledging or other attempted use as collateral of blocked funds or other assets.

Subpart C—General Definitions

Blocked account; blocked property.

The terms blocked account and blocked property shall mean any account or property subject to the prohibition in § 540.201 and with respect to which payments, transfers, exportations, withdrawals, or other dealings may not be made or effected except pursuant to an authorization or license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control expressly authorizing such action.

Effective date.

The term effective date refers to the effective date of the applicable prohibitions and directives contained in this part which is 12:01 a.m., Eastern Daylight Time, June 22, 2000.

Entity.

The term entity means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, or other organization.

Government of the Russian Federation.

(a) The term Government of the Russian Federation means the Government of the Russian Federation, any political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, and any person owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, the Government of the Russian Federation.

(b) Any person or entity to the extent such person or entity is or has been, or to the extent that there is reasonable cause to believe that such person or entity is, or has been, since the effective date (see § 540.302), acting or purporting to act directly or indirectly for or on behalf of any of the foregoing.

HEU Agreements.

The term HEU Agreements means the Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Russian Federation Concerning the Disposition of Highly Enriched Uranium Extracted from Nuclear Weapons, dated February 18, 1993; the Initial Implementing Contract, Contract Number DE-AC01-93NE50067, dated January 14, 1994; and all current and future amendments thereto; as well as the related current and future implementing agreements, memoranda of understanding, protocols, and contracts, including all current and future amendments thereto, to include without limitation the following:

(a) Memorandum of Agreement Between the United States, Acting By and Through the United States Department of State, and the United States Department of Energy and the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC), for USEC to Serve as the United States Government's Executive Agent under the Agreement Between the United States and the Russian Federation Concerning the Disposition of Highly Enriched Uranium Extracted from Nuclear Weapons, dated April 18, 1997;

(b) Agreement Between the United States Department of Energy and the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Atomic Energy Concerning the Transfer of Source Material to the Russian Federation signed at Washington on March 24, 1999, with Implementing Agreement and Administrative Arrangement, dated March 24, 1999, and related letter agreements; and

(c) UF6 Feed Component Implementing Contract Among Cameco Europe S.A. and Compagnie Général des Matières Nucléaires and Nukem, Inc. and Nukem Nuklear Gmbh and OAO Techsnabexport, and Tenex Contract # 08843672/90100-02D, dated March 24, 1999.

Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU).

The term highly enriched uranium or HEU means uranium enriched to twenty (20) percent or greater in the isotope U235.

Licenses; general and specific.

(a) Except as otherwise specified, the term license means any license or authorization contained in or issued pursuant to this part.

(b) The term general license means any license or authorization the terms of which are set forth in subpart E of this part.

(c) The term specific license means any license or authorization not set forth in subpart E of this part but issued pursuant to this part.

Note to § 540.307.

See § 501.801 of this chapter on licensing procedures.

Low Enriched Uranium (LEU).

The term low enriched uranium or LEU means uranium enriched to less than twenty (20) percent in the isotope U235.

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Natural uranium.

The term natural uranium means uranium found in nature, with an average concentration of 0.711 percent by weight of the isotope U235.

Person.

The term person means an individual or entity.

Property; property interest.

The terms property and property interest include, but are not limited to, money, checks, drafts, bullion, bank deposits, savings accounts, debts, indebtedness, obligations, notes, guarantees, debentures, stocks, bonds, coupons, any other financial instruments, bankers acceptances, mortgages, pledges, liens or other rights in the nature of security, warehouse receipts, bills of lading, trust receipts, bills of sale, any other evidences of title, ownership, or indebtedness, letters of credit and any documents relating to any rights or obligations thereunder, powers of attorney, goods, wares, merchandise, chattels, stocks on hand, ships, goods on ships, real estate mortgages, deeds of trust, vendors' sales agreements, land contracts, leaseholds, ground rents, real estate and any other interest therein, options, negotiable instruments, trade acceptances, royalties, book accounts, accounts payable, judgments, patents, trademarks, copyrights, insurance policies, safe deposit boxes and their contents, annuities, pooling agreements, services of any nature whatsoever, contracts of whatever nature whatsoever, and any other property, real, personal, or mixed, tangible or intangible, or interests therein, present, future, or contingent.

Transfer.

The term transfer means any actual or purported act or transaction, whether or not evidenced by writing, and whether or not done or performed within the United States, the purpose, intent, or effect of which is to create, surrender, release, convey, transfer, or alter, directly or indirectly, any right, remedy, power, privilege, or interest with respect to any property and, without limitation upon the foregoing, shall include the making, execution, or delivery of any assignment, power, conveyance, check, declaration, deed, deed of trust, power of attorney, power of appointment, bill of sale, mortgage, receipt, agreement, contract, certificate, gift, sale, affidavit, or statement; the making of any payment; the setting off of any obligation or credit; the appointment of any agent, trustee, or fiduciary; the creation or transfer of any lien; the issuance, docketing, filing, or levy of or under any judgment, decree, attachment, injunction, execution, or other judicial or administrative process or order, or the service of any garnishment; the acquisition of any interest of any nature whatsoever by reason of a judgment or decree of any foreign country; the fulfillment of any condition; the exercise of any power of appointment, power of attorney, or other power; or the acquisition, disposition, transportation, importation, exportation, or withdrawal of any security.

United States.

The term United States means the United States, its territories and possessions, and all areas under the jurisdiction or authority thereof.

United States person; U.S. person.

The term United States person or U.S. person means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, juridical person organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States, including foreign branches, or any person in the United States.

Uranium-235 (U235).

The term uranium-235 or U235 means the fissile isotope found in natural uranium.

Uranium enrichment.

The term uranium enrichment means the process of increasing the concentration of the isotope U235 relative to that of the isotope U238.

Uranium feed; natural uranium feed.

The term uranium feed or natural uranium feed means natural uranium in the form of UF6 suitable for uranium enrichment.

Uranium Hexafluoride (UF6).

The term uranium hexafluoride or UF6 means a compound of uranium and fluorine.

U.S. financial institution.

The term U.S. financial institution means any U.S. entity (including its foreign branches) that is engaged in the business of accepting deposits, making, granting, transferring, holding, or brokering loans or credits, or purchasing or selling foreign exchange, securities, commodity futures or options, or procuring purchasers and sellers thereof, as principal or agent; including but not limited to, depository institutions, banks, savings banks, trust companies, securities brokers and dealers, commodity futures and options brokers and dealers, forward contract and foreign exchange merchants, securities and commodities exchanges, clearing corporations, investment companies, employee benefit plans, and U.S. holding companies, U.S. affiliates, or U.S. subsidiaries of any of the foregoing. This term includes those branches, offices and agencies of foreign financial institutions that are located in the United States, but not such institutions' foreign branches, offices, or agencies.

Subpart D—Interpretations

Reference to amended sections.

Except as otherwise specified, reference to any section of this part or to any regulation, ruling, order, instruction, direction, or license issued pursuant to this part shall be deemed to refer to the same as currently amended.

Effect of amendment.

Any amendment, modification, or revocation of any section of this part or of any order, regulation, ruling, instruction, or license issued by or under the direction of the Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control shall not, unless otherwise specifically provided, affect any act done or omitted to be done, or any civil or criminal suit or proceeding commenced or pending prior to such amendment, modification, or revocation. All penalties, forfeitures, and liabilities under any such order, regulation, ruling, instruction, or license continue and may be enforced as if such amendment, modification, or revocation had not been made.

Termination and acquisition of an interest in blocked property.

(a) Whenever a transaction licensed or authorized by or pursuant to this part results in the transfer of property (including any property interest) away from the Government of the Russian Federation, such property shall no longer be deemed to be property in which the Government of the Russian Federation has or has had an interest unless there exists in the property another interest of the Government of the Russian Federation, the transfer of which has not been effected pursuant to license or other authorization.

(b) Unless otherwise specifically provided in a license or authorization issued pursuant to this part, if property (including any property interest) is transferred or attempted to be transferred to the Government of the Russian Federation, such property shall be deemed to be property in which there exists an interest of the Government of the Russian Federation.

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Setoffs prohibited.

A setoff against blocked property (including a blocked account), whether by a U.S. bank or other U.S. person, is a prohibited transfer under § 540.201 if effected after the effective date (see § 540.302).

Transactions incidental to a licensed transaction.

Any transaction ordinarily incident to a licensed transaction and necessary to give effect thereto is also authorized, except for any attachment, judgment, decree, lien, execution, garnishment, or other judicial process which has the effect of encumbering the property or interest in property of the Government of the Russian Federation directly related to the implementation of the HEU agreements, or any transaction involving a debit to a blocked account or transfer of blocked property not explicitly authorized within the terms of a license.

Subpart E—Licenses, Authorizations and Statements of Licensing Policy

Effect of license or authorization.

(a) No license or other authorization contained in this part, or otherwise issued by or under the direction of the Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, authorizes or validates any transaction effected prior to the issuance of the license, unless specifically provided in such license or authorization.

(b) No regulation, ruling, instruction, or license authorizes any transaction prohibited under this part unless the regulation, ruling, instruction or license is issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control and specifically refers to this part. No regulation, ruling, instruction, or license referring to this part shall be deemed to authorize any transaction prohibited by any provision of this chapter unless the regulation, ruling, instruction, or licenses specifically refers to such provision.

(c) Any regulation, ruling, instruction, or license authorizing any transaction otherwise prohibited under this part has the effect of removing a prohibition contained in this part from the transaction, but only to the extent specifically stated by its terms. Unless the regulation, ruling, instruction, or license otherwise specifies, such an authorization does not create any right, duty, obligation, claim, or interest in, or with respect to, any property which would not otherwise exist under ordinary principles of law.

Exclusion from licenses.

The Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control reserves the right to exclude any person, property, or transaction from the operation of any license or from the privileges conferred by any license. The Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control also reserves the right to restrict the applicability of any license to particular persons, property, transactions, or classes thereof. Such actions are binding upon all persons receiving actual or constructive notice of the exclusions or restrictions.

Payments and transfers to blocked accounts in U.S. financial institutions.

Except as otherwise authorized, licensed or directed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, any payment of funds or transfer of credit in which the Government of the Russian Federation has any interest that is directly related to the implementation of the HEU Agreements and that comes within the possession or control of a U.S. financial institution must be blocked in an account on the books of that financial institution. A transfer of funds or credit by a U.S. financial institution between blocked accounts in its branches or offices is authorized, provided that no transfer is made from an account within the United States to an account held outside the United States, and further provided that a transfer from a blocked account may only be made to another blocked account held in the same name. U.S. financial institutions are authorized to engage in routine currency exchange transfers involving funds directly associated with the implementation of the HEU agreements that flow through correspondence accounts in U.S. financial institutions.

Note to § 540.503.

Please refer to § 501.603 of this chapter for mandatory reporting requirements regarding financial transfers. See also § 501.203 concerning the obligation to hold blocked funds in interest-bearing accounts.

Entries in certain accounts for normal service charges authorized.

(a) A U.S. financial institution is authorized to debit any blocked account held by that financial institution in payment or reimbursement for normal service charges owed to it by the owner of the blocked account.

(b) As used in this section, the term normal service charge shall include charges in payment or reimbursement for interest due; cable, telegraph, internet, or telephone charges; postage costs; custody fees; small adjustment charges to correct bookkeeping errors; and, but not by way of limitation, minimum balance charges, notary and protest fees, and charges for reference books, photocopies, credit reports, transcripts of statements, registered mail, insurance, stationery and supplies, and other similar items.

Subpart F—Reports

Records and reports.

For additional provisions relating to required records and reports, see part 501, subpart C, of this chapter.

Subpart G—Penalties

Penalties.

(a) Attention is directed to section 206 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (the “Act”) (50 U.S.C. 1705), which is applicable to violations of the provisions of any license, ruling, regulation, order, direction, or instruction issued by or pursuant to the direction or authorization of the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to this part or otherwise under the Act. Section 206 of the Act, as adjusted by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-410, as amended, 28 U.S.C. 2461 note), provides that:

(1) A civil penalty not to exceed $11,000 per violation may be imposed on any person who violates or attempts to violate any license, order, or regulation issued under the Act;

(2) Whoever willfully violates or willfully attempts to violate any license, order, or regulation issued under the Act, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $50,000, and if a natural person, may also be imprisoned for not more than 10 years; and any officer, director, or agent of any corporation who knowingly participates in such violation may be punished by a like fine, imprisonment, or both.

(b) The criminal penalties provided in the Act are subject to increase pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3571.

(c) Attention is also directed to 18 U.S.C. 1001, which provides that whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device, a material fact, or makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. Start Printed Page 38560

(d) Violations of this part may also be subject to relevant provisions of other applicable laws.

Prepenalty notice.

(a) When required. If the Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control has reasonable cause to believe that there has occurred a violation of any provision of this part or a violation of the provisions of any license, ruling, regulation, order, direction, or instruction issued by or pursuant to the direction or authorization of the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to this part or otherwise under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and the Director determines that further proceedings are warranted, the Director shall notify the alleged violator of the agency's intent to impose a monetary penalty by issuing a prepenalty notice. The prepenalty notice shall be in writing. The prepenalty notice may be issued whether or not another agency has taken any action with respect to the matter.

(b) Contents of notice—(1) Facts of violation. The prepenalty notice shall describe the violation, specify the laws and regulations allegedly violated, and state the amount of the proposed monetary penalty.

(2) Right to respond. The prepenalty notice also shall inform the respondent of respondent's right to make a written presentation within the applicable 30 day period set forth in § 540.703 as to why a monetary penalty should not be imposed or why, if imposed, the monetary penalty should be in a lesser amount than proposed.

(c) Informal settlement prior to issuance of prepenalty notice. At any time prior to the issuance of a prepenalty notice, an alleged violator may request in writing that, for a period not to exceed sixty (60) days, the agency withhold issuance of the prepenalty notice for the exclusive purpose of effecting settlement of the agency's potential civil monetary penalty claims. In the event the Director grants the request, under terms and conditions within his discretion, the Office of Foreign Assets Control will agree to withhold issuance of the prepenalty notice for a period not to exceed 60 days and will enter into settlement negotiations of the potential civil monetary penalty claim.

Response to prepenalty notice; informal settlement.

(a) Deadline for response. The respondent may submit a response to the prepenalty notice within the applicable 30 day period set forth in this paragraph. The Director may grant, at his discretion, an extension of time in which to submit a response to the prepenalty notice. The failure to submit a response within the applicable time period set forth in this paragraph shall be deemed to be a waiver of the right to respond.

(1) Computation of time for response. A response to the prepenalty notice must be postmarked or date-stamped by the U.S. Postal Service (or foreign postal service, if mailed abroad) or courier service provider (if transmitted to OFAC by courier) on or before the 30th day after the postmark date on the envelope in which the prepenalty notice was mailed. If the respondent refused delivery or otherwise avoided receipt of the prepenalty notice, a response must be postmarked or date-stamped on or before the 30th day after the date on the stamped postal receipt maintained at the Office of Foreign Assets Control. If the prepenalty notice was personally delivered to the respondent by a non-U.S. Postal Service agent authorized by the Director, a response must be postmarked or date-stamped on or before the 30th day after the date of delivery.

(2) Extensions of time for response. If a due date falls on a federal holiday or weekend, that due date is extended to include the following business day. Any other extensions of time will be granted, at the Director's discretion, only upon the respondent's specific request to the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

(b) Form and method of response. The response must be submitted in writing and may be handwritten or typed. The response need not be in any particular form. A copy of the written response may be sent by facsimile, but the original must also be sent to the Office of Foreign Assets Control Civil Penalties Division by mail or courier and must be postmarked or date-stamped, in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) Contents of response. A written response must contain information sufficient to indicate that it is in response to the prepenalty notice.

(1) A written response must include the respondent's full name, address, telephone number, and facsimile number, if available, or those of the representative of the respondent.

(2) A written response should either admit or deny each specific violation alleged in the prepenalty notice and also state if the respondent has no knowledge of a particular violation. If the written response fails to address any specific violation alleged in the prepenalty notice, that alleged violation shall be deemed to be admitted.

(3) A written response should include any information in defense, evidence in support of an asserted defense, or other factors that the respondent requests the Office of Foreign Assets Control to consider. Any defense or explanation previously made to the Office of Foreign Assets Control or any other agency must be repeated in the written response. Any defense not raised in the written response will be considered waived. The written response should also set forth the reasons why the respondent believes the penalty should not be imposed or why, if imposed, it should be in a lesser amount than proposed.

(d) Default. If the respondent elects not to submit a written response within the time limit set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, the Office of Foreign Assets Control will conclude that the respondent has decided not to respond to the prepenalty notice. The agency generally will then issue a written penalty notice imposing the penalty proposed in the prepenalty notice.

(e) Informal settlement. In addition to or as an alternative to a written response to a prepenalty notice, the respondent or respondent's representative may contact the Office of Foreign Assets Control as advised in the prepenalty notice to propose the settlement of allegations contained in the prepenalty notice and related matters. However, the requirements set forth in paragraph (f) of this section as to oral communication by the representative must first be fulfilled. In the event of settlement at the prepenalty stage, the claim proposed in the prepenalty notice will be withdrawn, the respondent will not be required to take a written position on allegations contained in the prepenalty notice, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control will make no final determination as to whether a violation occurred. The amount accepted in settlement of allegations in a prepenalty notice may vary from the civil penalty that might finally be imposed in the event of a formal determination of violation. In the event no settlement is reached, the time limit specified in paragraph (a) of this section for written response to the prepenalty notice remains in effect unless additional time is granted by the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

(f) Representation. A representative of the respondent may act on behalf of the respondent, but any oral communication with the Office of Foreign Assets Control prior to a written submission regarding the specific allegations contained in the prepenalty notice must be preceded by a written letter of representation, unless the Start Printed Page 38561prepenalty notice was served upon the respondent in care of the representative.

Penalty imposition or withdrawal.

(a) No violation. If, after considering any response to the prepenalty notice and any relevant facts, the Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control determines that there was no violation by the respondent named in the prepenalty notice, the Director shall notify the respondent in writing of that determination and the cancellation of the proposed monetary penalty.

(b) Violation. (1) If, after considering any written response to the prepenalty notice, or default in the submission of a written response, and any relevant facts, the Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control determines that there was a violation by the respondent named in the prepenalty notice, the Director is authorized to issue a written penalty notice to the respondent of the determination of violation and the imposition of the monetary penalty.

(2) The penalty notice shall inform the respondent that payment or arrangement for installment payment of the assessed penalty must be made within 30 days of the date of mailing of the penalty notice by the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

(3) The penalty notice shall inform the respondent of the requirement to furnish the respondent's taxpayer identification number pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 7701 and that such number will be used for purposes of collecting and reporting on any delinquent penalty amount.

(4) The issuance of the penalty notice finding a violation and imposing a monetary penalty shall constitute final agency action. The respondent has the right to seek judicial review of that final agency action in a federal district court.

Administrative collection; referral to United States Department of Justice.

In the event that the respondent does not pay the penalty imposed pursuant to this part or make payment arrangements acceptable to the Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control within 30 days of the date of mailing of the penalty notice, the matter may be referred for administrative collection measures by the Department of the Treasury or to the United States Department of Justice for appropriate action to recover the penalty in a civil suit in a federal district court.

Subpart H—Procedures

Procedures.

For license application procedures and procedures relating to amendments, modifications, or revocations of licenses; administrative decisions; rulemaking; and requests for documents pursuant to the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts (5 U.S.C. 552 and 552a), see subpart D of part 501 of this chapter.

Delegation by the Secretary of the Treasury.

Any action that the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to take pursuant to Executive Order 13159 of June 21, 2000 (65 FR 39279, June 26, 2000) and any further executive orders relating to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13159 may be taken by the Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control or by any other person to whom the Secretary of the Treasury has delegated authority so to act.

Subpart I—Paperwork Reduction Act

Paperwork Reduction Act notice.

For approval by the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507) of information collections relating to recordkeeping and reporting requirements, licensing procedures (including those pursuant to statements of licensing policy), and other procedures, see 501.901 of this chapter. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a valid control number assigned by OMB.

End Part Start Signature

Dated: June 6, 2001.

Loren L. Dohm,

Acting Director, Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Approved: June 25, 2001.

James F. Sloan,

Acting Under Secretary (Enforcement), Department of the Treasury.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 01-18372 Filed 7-24-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4810-25-P