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Foreign Interference in U.S. Elections Sanctions Regulations

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Office of Foreign Assets Control, Treasury.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is adding regulations to implement Executive Order of September 12, 2018 (“Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in a United States Election”). OFAC intends to supplement these regulations with a more comprehensive set of regulations, which may include additional interpretive and definitional guidance, general licenses, and statements of licensing policy.

DATES:

Effective Date: April 29, 2019.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

OFAC: Assistant Director for Licensing, tel.: 202-622-2480; Assistant Director for Regulatory Affairs, tel.: 202-622-4855; Assistant Director for Sanctions Compliance & Evaluation, tel.: 202-622-2490; or the Department of the Treasury's Office of the Chief Counsel (Foreign Assets Control), Office of the General Counsel, tel.: 202-622-2410.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Availability

This document and additional information concerning OFAC are available on OFAC's website (www.treasury.gov/​ofac).

Background

On September 12, 2018, the President, invoking the authority of, inter alia, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) (IEEPA), issued Executive Order 13848 (83 FR 46843, September 14, 2018) (E.O. 13848).

In E.O. 13848, the President determined that the ability of persons located, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States to interfere in or undermine public confidence in United States elections, including through the unauthorized accessing of election and campaign infrastructure or the covert distribution of propaganda and disinformation, constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. Accordingly, the President then declared a national emergency to deal with that threat.

OFAC is issuing the Foreign Interference in U.S. Elections Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 579 (the “Regulations”), to implement E.O. 13848, pursuant to authorities delegated to the Secretary of the Treasury in E.O. 13848. A copy of E.O. 13848 appears in appendix A to this part.

The Regulations are being published in abbreviated form at this time for the purpose of providing immediate guidance to the public. OFAC intends to supplement this part 579 with a more comprehensive set of regulations, which may include additional interpretive and definitional guidance, general licenses, and statements of licensing policy. The appendix to the Regulations will be removed when OFAC supplements this part with a more comprehensive set of regulations.

Public Participation

Because the Regulations involve a foreign affairs function, the provisions of Executive Order 12866 and the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) requiring notice of proposed Start Printed Page 17951rulemaking, opportunity for public participation, and delay in effective date, as well as the provisions of Executive Order 13771, are inapplicable. 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, Procedures and Penalties Regulations”). Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507), those collections of information have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget 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.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 31 CFR Part 579

  • Administrative practice and procedure
  • Banks
  • Banking
  • Blocking of assets
  • Election infrastructure
  • Election interference
  • Foreign interference
  • Penalties
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
  • Sanctions
End List of Subjects Start Amendment Part

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control adds part 579 to 31 CFR chapter V to read as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Part

PART 579—FOREIGN INTERFERENCE IN U.S. ELECTIONS SANCTIONS REGULATIONS

Subpart A—Relation of This Part to Other Laws and Regulations
579.101B
Relation of this part to other laws and regulations.
Subpart B—Prohibitions
579.201
Prohibited transactions.
579.202
Effect of transfers violating the provisions of this part.
579.203
Holding of funds in interest-bearing accounts; investment and reinvestment.
579.204
Expenses of maintaining blocked tangible property; liquidation of blocked property.
579.205
Exempt transactions.
Subpart C—General Definitions
579.300
Applicability of definitions.
579.301
Blocked account; blocked property.
579.302
Effective date.
579.303
Entity.
579.304
Financial, material, or technological support.
579.305
Information or informational materials.
579.306
Interest.
579.307
Licenses; general and specific.
579.308
OFAC.
579.309
Person.
579.310
Property; property interest.
579.311
Transfer.
579.312
United States.
579.313
United States person; U.S. person.
579.314
U.S. financial institution.
Subpart D—Interpretations
579.401
[Reserved]
579.402
Effect of amendment.
579.403
Termination and acquisition of an interest in blocked property.
579.404
Transactions ordinarily incident to a licensed transaction.
579.405
Setoffs prohibited.
579.406
Entities owned by one or more persons whose property and interests in property are blocked.
Subpart E—Licenses, Authorizations, and Statements of Licensing Policy
579.501
General and specific licensing procedures.
579.502
[Reserved]
579.503
Exclusion from licenses.
579.504
Payments and transfers to blocked accounts in U.S. financial institutions.
579.505
Entries in certain accounts for normal service charges.
579.506
Provision of certain legal services.
579.507
Payments for legal services from funds originating outside the United States.
579.508
Emergency medical services.
Subpart F—Reports
579.601
Records and reports.
Subpart G—Penalties and Findings of Violation
579.701
Penalties and Findings of Violation. Subpart H—Procedures
579.801
Procedures.
579.802
Delegation of certain authorities of the Secretary of the Treasury.
Subpart I—Paperwork Reduction Act
579.901
Paperwork Reduction Act notice.

Appendix A to Part 579—Executive Order 13848

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); Pub. L. 110-96, 121 Stat. 1011 (50 U.S.C. 1705 note); E.O. 13848, 83 FR 46843, September 12, 2018.

End Authority

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

Relation of this part to other laws and regulations.

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. No license or authorization contained in or issued pursuant to this part relieves the involved parties from complying with any other applicable laws or regulations.

Note 1 to § 579.101: This part has been published in abbreviated form for the purpose of providing immediate guidance to the public. OFAC intends to supplement this part with a more comprehensive set of regulations, which may include additional interpretive and definitional guidance, general licenses, and statements of licensing policy.

Subpart B—Prohibitions

Prohibited transactions.

All transactions prohibited pursuant to Executive Order 13848 of September 12, 2018, are also prohibited pursuant to this part.

Note 1 to § 579.201: The names of persons designated pursuant to Executive Order 13848, whose property and interests in property therefore are blocked pursuant to this section, are published in the Federal Register and incorporated into OFAC's Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List) with the identifier [“ELECTION-EO13848”]. The SDN List is accessible through the following page on OFAC's website: www.treasury.gov/​sdn. Additional information pertaining to the SDN List can be found in appendix A to this chapter. See § 579.406 concerning entities that may not be listed on the SDN List but whose property and interests in property are nevertheless blocked pursuant to this section.

Note 2 to § 579.201: The International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706), in Section 203 (50 U.S.C. 1702), authorizes the blocking of property and interests in property of a person during the pendency of an investigation. The names of persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pending investigation pursuant to this section also are published in the Federal Register and incorporated into the SDN List with the identifier “[BPI-ELECTION-EO13848]”.

Note 3 to § 579.201: Sections 501.806 and 501.807 of this chapter describe the procedures to be followed by persons Start Printed Page 17952seeking, respectively, the unblocking of funds that they believe were blocked due to mistaken identity, and administrative reconsideration of their status as persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this section.

Effect of transfers violating the provisions of this part.

(a) Any transfer after the effective date 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 § 579.201, 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 interest in property.

(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 § 579.201, unless the person who holds or maintains such property, prior to that date, had written notice of the transfer or by any written evidence had recognized such transfer.

(c) Unless otherwise provided, a license or other authorization issued by OFAC before, during, or after a transfer shall validate such transfer or make it enforceable to the same extent that it would be valid or enforceable but for the provisions of this part and any regulation, order, directive, ruling, instruction, or license issued pursuant to this part.

(d) Transfers of property that otherwise would be null and void or unenforceable by virtue of the provisions of this section shall not be deemed to be null and void or unenforceable as to any person with whom such property is or was held or maintained (and as to such person only) in cases in which such person is able to establish to the satisfaction of OFAC 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 is or was held or maintained (and as to such person only);

(2) The person with whom such property is or 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 is or was held or maintained filed with OFAC 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 directive or authorization issued pursuant to this part;

(ii) Such transfer was not licensed or authorized by OFAC; 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.

(e) 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 (2) of this section have been satisfied.

(f) Unless licensed pursuant to this part, any attachment, judgment, decree, lien, execution, garnishment, or other judicial process is null and void with respect to any property or interest in property blocked pursuant to § 579.201.

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

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (e) or (f) of this section, or as otherwise directed or authorized by OFAC, any U.S. person holding funds, such as currency, bank deposits, or liquidated financial obligations, subject to § 579.201 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 that are commercially reasonable; or

(ii) With a broker or dealer registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.), provided the funds are invested in a money market fund or in U.S. Treasury bills.

(2) Funds held or placed in a blocked account pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section may not be invested in instruments the maturity of which exceeds 180 days.

(c) 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.

(d) For purposes of this section, if interest is credited to a separate blocked account or subaccount, the name of the account party on each account must be the same.

(e) Blocked funds held in instruments the maturity of which exceeds 180 days at the time the funds become subject to § 579.201 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 (a) or (f) of this section.

(f) Blocked funds held in accounts or instruments outside the United States at the time the funds become subject to § 579.201 may continue to be held in the same type of accounts or instruments, provided the funds earn interest at rates that are commercially reasonable.

(g) This section does not create an affirmative obligation for the holder of blocked tangible property, such as real or personal property, or of other blocked property, such as debt or equity securities, to sell or liquidate such property. However, OFAC may issue licenses permitting or directing such sales or liquidation in appropriate cases.

(h) Funds subject to this section may not be held, invested, or reinvested in a manner that provides financial or economic benefit or access to any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 579.201, nor may their holder cooperate in or facilitate the pledging or other attempted use as collateral of blocked funds or other assets.

Expenses of maintaining blocked tangible property; liquidation of blocked property.

(a) Except as otherwise authorized, and notwithstanding the existence of any rights or obligations conferred or imposed by any international agreement or contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the effective date, all expenses incident to the maintenance of tangible property blocked pursuant to § 579.201 shall be the responsibility of the owners or operators of such property, which expenses shall not be met from blocked funds.

(b) Property blocked pursuant to § 579.201 may, in the discretion of OFAC, be sold or liquidated and the net proceeds placed in a blocked interest-bearing account in the name of the owner of the property.

Start Printed Page 17953
Exempt transactions.

(a) Personal communications. The prohibitions contained in this part do not apply to any postal, telegraphic, telephonic, or other personal communication that does not involve the transfer of anything of value.

(b) Information or informational materials. (1) The prohibitions contained in this part do not apply to the importation from any country and the exportation to any country of any information or informational materials, as defined in § 579.305, whether commercial or otherwise, regardless of format or medium of transmission.

(2) This section does not exempt from regulation transactions related to information or informational materials not fully created and in existence at the date of the transactions, or to the substantive or artistic alteration or enhancement of information or informational materials, or to the provision of marketing and business consulting services. Such prohibited transactions include payment of advances for information or informational materials not yet created and completed (with the exception of prepaid subscriptions for widely circulated magazines and other periodical publications); provision of services to market, produce or co-produce, create, or assist in the creation of information or informational materials; and payment of royalties with respect to income received for enhancements or alterations made by U.S. persons to such information or informational materials.

(3) This section does not exempt transactions incident to the exportation of software subject to the Export Administration Regulations, 15 CFR parts 730 through 774, or to the exportation of goods (including software) or technology for use in the transmission of any data, or to the provision, sale, or leasing of capacity on telecommunications transmission facilities (such as satellite or terrestrial network connectivity) for use in the transmission of any data. The exportation of such items or services and the provision, sale, or leasing of such capacity or facilities to a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 579.201 are prohibited.

(c) Travel. The prohibitions contained in this part do not apply to transactions ordinarily incident to travel to or from any country, including importation or exportation of accompanied baggage for personal use, maintenance within any country including payment of living expenses and acquisition of goods or services for personal use, and arrangement or facilitation of such travel including nonscheduled air, sea, or land voyages.

(d) Official business. The prohibitions contained in this part do not apply to transactions for the conduct of the official business of the United States Government by employees, grantees, or contractors thereof.

Subpart C—General Definitions

Applicability of definitions.

The definitions in this subpart apply throughout the entire part.

Blocked account; blocked property.

The terms blocked account and blocked property shall mean any account or property subject to the prohibitions in § 579.201 held in the name of a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 579.201, or in which such person has an interest, and with respect to which payments, transfers, exportations, withdrawals, or other dealings may not be made or effected except pursuant to a license or other authorization from OFAC expressly authorizing such action.

Note 1 to § 579.301: See § 579.406 concerning the blocked status of property and interests in property of an entity that is directly or indirectly owned, whether individually or in the aggregate, 50 percent or more by one or more persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 579.201.

Effective date.

(a) The term effective date refers to the effective date of the applicable prohibitions and directives contained in this part, and, with respect to a person whose property and interests in property are otherwise blocked pursuant to § 579.201, the earlier of the date of actual or constructive notice that such person's property and interests in property are blocked.

(b) For the purposes of this section, constructive notice is the date that a notice of the blocking of the relevant person's property and interests in property is published in the Federal Register.

Entity.

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

Financial, material, or technological support.

The term financial, material, or technological support, as used in Executive Order 13848 of September 14, 2018, means any property, tangible or intangible, including currency, financial instruments, securities, or any other transmission of value; weapons or related materiel; chemical or biological agents; explosives; false documentation or identification; communications equipment; computers; electronic or other devices or equipment; technologies; lodging; safe houses; facilities; vehicles or other means of transportation; or goods. “Technologies” as used in this definition means specific information necessary for the development, production, or use of a product, including related technical data such as blueprints, plans, diagrams, models, formulae, tables, engineering designs and specifications, manuals, or other recorded instructions.

Information or informational materials.

(a)(1) The term information or informational materials includes publications, films, posters, phonograph records, photographs, microfilms, microfiche, tapes, compact disks, CD ROMs, artworks, and news wire feeds.

(2) To be considered information or informational materials, artworks must be classified under heading 9701, 9702, or 9703 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.

(b) The term information or informational materials, with respect to exports, does not include items:

(1) That were, as of April 30, 1994, or that thereafter become, controlled for export pursuant to section 5 of the Export Administration Act of 1979, 50 U.S.C. App. 2401-2420 (1979) (EAA), or section 6 of the EAA to the extent that such controls promote the nonproliferation or antiterrorism policies of the United States; or

(2) With respect to which acts are prohibited by 18 U.S.C. chapter 37.

Interest.

Except as otherwise provided in this part, the term interest, when used with respect to property (e.g., “an interest in property”), means an interest of any nature whatsoever, direct or indirect.

Licenses; general and specific.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this part, 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 or made available on OFAC's website: www.treasury.gov/​ofac.

(c) The term specific license means any license or authorization issued Start Printed Page 17954pursuant to this part but not set forth in subpart E of this part or made available on OFAC's website: www.treasury.gov/​ofac.

Note 1 to § 579.307: See § 501.801 of this chapter on licensing procedures.

OFAC.

The term OFAC means the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Person.

The term person means an individual or entity.

Property; property interest.

The terms property and property interest include 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 or copyrights, insurance policies, safe deposit boxes and their contents, annuities, pooling agreements, services of any nature whatsoever, contracts of any nature whatsoever, and any other property, real, personal, or mixed, tangible or intangible, or interest 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. Without limitation on the foregoing, it 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, entity 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.

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 other extensions of credit, or purchasing or selling foreign exchange, securities, commodity futures or options, or procuring purchasers and sellers thereof, as principal or agent. It includes depository institutions, banks, savings banks, trust companies, securities brokers and dealers, 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

[Reserved]
Effect of amendment.

Unless otherwise specifically provided, any amendment, modification, or revocation of any provision in or appendix to this part or chapter or of any order, regulation, ruling, instruction, or license issued by OFAC does not affect any act done or omitted, or any civil or criminal 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 a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 579.201, such property shall no longer be deemed to be property blocked pursuant to § 579.201, unless there exists in the property another interest that is blocked pursuant to § 579.201, 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 a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 579.201, such property shall be deemed to be property in which such person has an interest and therefore blocked.

Transactions ordinarily incident to a licensed transaction.

Any transaction ordinarily incident to a licensed transaction and necessary to give effect thereto is also authorized, except:

(a) An ordinarily incident transaction, not explicitly authorized within the terms of the license, by or with a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 579.201; or

(b) An ordinarily incident transaction, not explicitly authorized within the terms of the license, involving a debit to a blocked account or a transfer of blocked property.

Start Printed Page 17955
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 § 579.201 if effected after the effective date.

Entities owned by one or more persons whose property and interests in property are blocked.

Persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 579.201 have an interest in all property and interests in property of an entity in which such persons directly or indirectly own, whether individually or in the aggregate, a 50 percent or greater interest. The property and interests in property of such an entity, therefore, are blocked, and such an entity is a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 579.201, regardless of whether the name of the entity is incorporated into OFAC's Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List).

Subpart E—Licenses, Authorizations, and Statements of Licensing Policy

General and specific licensing procedures.

For provisions relating to licensing procedures, see part 501, subpart E, of this chapter. Licensing 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. General licenses and statements of licensing policy relating to this part also may be available through the Foreign Interference in a United States Election Sanctions page on OFAC's website: www.treasury.gov/​ofac.

[Reserved]
Exclusion from licenses.

OFAC reserves the right to exclude any person, property, transaction, or class thereof from the operation of any license or from the privileges conferred by any license. OFAC also reserves the right to restrict the applicability of any license to particular persons, property, transactions, or classes thereof. Such actions are binding upon actual or constructive notice of the exclusions or restrictions.

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

Any payment of funds or transfer of credit in which a person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 579.201 has any interest 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 be made only to another blocked account held in the same name.

Note 1 to § 579.504: See § 501.603 of this chapter for mandatory reporting requirements regarding financial transfers. See also § 579.203 concerning the obligation to hold blocked funds in interest-bearing accounts.

Entries in certain accounts for normal service charges.

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

(b) As used in this section, the term normal service charges 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.

Provision of certain legal services.

(a) The provision of the following legal services to or on behalf of persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 579.201 or any further Executive orders relating to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13848 of September 12, 2018 is authorized, provided that any receipt of payment of professional fees and reimbursement of incurred expenses is authorized pursuant to § 579.507, which authorizes certain payments for legal services from funds originating outside the United States; via specific license; or otherwise pursuant to this part:

(1) Provision of legal advice and counseling on the requirements of and compliance with the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States, provided that such advice and counseling are not provided to facilitate transactions in violation of this part;

(2) Representation of persons named as defendants in or otherwise made parties to legal, arbitration, or administrative proceedings before any U.S. federal, state, or local court or agency;

(3) Initiation and conduct of legal, arbitration, or administrative proceedings before any U.S. federal, state, or local court or agency;

(4) Representation of persons before any U.S. federal, state, or local court or agency with respect to the imposition, administration, or enforcement of U.S. sanctions against such persons; and

(5) Provision of legal services in any other context in which prevailing U.S. law requires access to legal counsel at public expense.

(b) The provision of any other legal services to or on behalf of persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 579.201 or any further Executive orders relating to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13848 of September 12, 2018, not otherwise authorized in this part, requires the issuance of a specific license.

(c) U.S. persons do not need to obtain specific authorization to provide related services, such as making filings and providing other administrative services, that are ordinarily incident to the provision of services authorized by this section. Additionally, U.S. persons who provide services authorized by this section do not need to obtain specific authorization to contract for related services that are ordinarily incident to the provision of those legal services, such as those provided by private investigators or expert witnesses, or to pay for such services. See § 579.404.

(d) Entry into a settlement agreement or the enforcement of any lien, judgment, arbitral award, decree, or other order through execution, garnishment, or other judicial process purporting to transfer or otherwise alter or affect property or interests in property blocked pursuant to § 579.201 or any further Executive orders relating to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13848 of September 12, 2018, is prohibited unless licensed pursuant to this part.

Note 1 to § 579.506: Pursuant to part 501, subpart E, of this chapter, U.S. persons seeking administrative reconsideration or judicial review of their designation or the blocking of their property and interests in property may apply for a specific license from OFAC to authorize the release of certain blocked funds for the payment of professional fees and reimbursement of incurred expenses for the provision of Start Printed Page 17956such legal services where alternative funding sources are not available. For more information, see OFAC's Guidance on the Release of Limited Amounts of Blocked Funds for Payment of Legal Fees and Costs Incurred in Challenging the Blocking of U.S. Persons in Administrative or Civil Proceedings, which is available on OFAC's website at: www.treasury.gov/​ofac.

Payments for legal services from funds originating outside the United States.

(a) Professional fees and incurred expenses. (1) Receipt of payment of professional fees and reimbursement of incurred expenses for the provision of legal services authorized pursuant to § 579.506(a) to or on behalf of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 579.201 or any further Executive orders relating to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13848 of September 12, 2018, is authorized from funds originating outside the United States, provided that the funds do not originate from:

(i) A source within the United States;

(ii) Any source, wherever located, within the possession or control of a U.S. person; or

(iii) Any individual or entity, other than the person on whose behalf the legal services authorized pursuant to § 579.506(a) are to be provided, whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to any part of this chapter or any Executive order or statute.

(2) Nothing in this paragraph (a) authorizes payments for legal services using funds in which any other person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to § 579.201, any other part of this chapter, or any Executive order has an interest.

(b) Reports. (1) U.S. persons who receive payments pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section must submit annual reports no later than 30 days following the end of the calendar year during which the payments were received providing information on the funds received. Such reports shall specify:

(i) The individual or entity from whom the funds originated and the amount of funds received; and

(ii) If applicable:

(A) The names of any individuals or entities providing related services to the U.S. person receiving payment in connection with authorized legal services, such as private investigators or expert witnesses;

(B) A general description of the services provided; and

(C) The amount of funds paid in connection with such services.

(2) The reports, which must reference this section, are to be submitted to OFAC using one of the following methods:

(i) Email (preferred method): OFAC.Regulations.Reports@treasury.gov; or

(ii) U.S. mail: OFAC Regulations Reports, Office of Foreign Assets Control, U.S. Department of the Treasury, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Freedman's Bank Building, Washington, DC 20220.

Emergency medical services.

The provision and receipt of nonscheduled emergency medical services that are otherwise prohibited by this part or any further Executive orders relating to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13848 of September 12, 2018, are authorized.

Subpart F—Reports

Records and reports.

For provisions relating to required records and reports, see part 501, subpart C, of this chapter. Recordkeeping and reporting requirements imposed by part 501 of this chapter with respect to the prohibitions contained in this part are considered requirements arising pursuant to this part.

Subpart G—Penalties and Findings of Violation

Penalties and Findings of Violation.

(a) The penalties available under section 206 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) (IEEPA), as adjusted annually pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-410, as amended, 28 U.S.C. 2461 note) or, in the case of criminal violations, as adjusted pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3571, are applicable to violations of the provisions of this part.

(b) OFAC has the authority, pursuant to IEEPA, to issue Pre-Penalty Notices, Penalty Notices, and Findings of Violation; impose monetary penalties; engage in settlement discussions and enter into settlements; refer matters to the United States Department of Justice for administrative collection; and, in appropriate circumstances, refer matters to appropriate law enforcement agencies for criminal investigation and/or prosecution. For more information, see appendix A to part 501 of this chapter, which provides a general framework for the enforcement of all economic sanctions programs administered by OFAC, including enforcement-related definitions, types of responses to apparent violations, general factors affecting administrative actions, civil penalties for failure to comply with a requirement to furnish information or keep records, and other general civil penalties information.

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 part 501, subpart E, of this chapter.

Delegation of certain authorities by the Secretary of the Treasury.

Any action that the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to take pursuant to Executive Order 13848 of September 12, 2018, and any further Executive orders relating to the national emergency declared therein, may be taken by the Director of OFAC 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, 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.

Appendix A to Part 579—Executive Order 13848

Executive Order 13848 of September 12, 2018

Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in a United States Election

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) (NEA), section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (8 U.S.C. 1182(f)), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,

I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, find that the ability of persons located, in whole or in substantial Start Printed Page 17957part, outside the United States to interfere in or undermine public confidence in United States elections, including through the unauthorized accessing of election and campaign infrastructure or the covert distribution of propaganda and disinformation, constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. Although there has been no evidence of a foreign power altering the outcome or vote tabulation in any United States election, foreign powers have historically sought to exploit America's free and open political system. In recent years, the proliferation of digital devices and internet-based communications has created significant vulnerabilities and magnified the scope and intensity of the threat of foreign interference, as illustrated in the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment. I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with this threat. Accordingly, I hereby order:

Section 1. (a) Not later than 45 days after the conclusion of a United States election, the Director of National Intelligence, in consultation with the heads of any other appropriate executive departments and agencies (agencies), shall conduct an assessment of any information indicating that a foreign government, or any person acting as an agent of or on behalf of a foreign government, has acted with the intent or purpose of interfering in that election. The assessment shall identify, to the maximum extent ascertainable, the nature of any foreign interference and any methods employed to execute it, the persons involved, and the foreign government or governments that authorized, directed, sponsored, or supported it. The Director of National Intelligence shall deliver this assessment and appropriate supporting information to the President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security.

(b) Within 45 days of receiving the assessment and information described in section 1(a) of this order, the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the heads of any other appropriate agencies and, as appropriate, State and local officials, shall deliver to the President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of Defense a report evaluating, with respect to the United States election that is the subject of the assessment described in section 1(a):

(i) the extent to which any foreign interference that targeted election infrastructure materially affected the security or integrity of that infrastructure, the tabulation of votes, or the timely transmission of election results; and

(ii) if any foreign interference involved activities targeting the infrastructure of, or pertaining to, a political organization, campaign, or candidate, the extent to which such activities materially affected the security or integrity of that infrastructure, including by unauthorized access to, disclosure or threatened disclosure of, or alteration or falsification of, information or data.

The report shall identify any material issues of fact with respect to these matters that the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security are unable to evaluate or reach agreement on at the time the report is submitted. The report shall also include updates and recommendations, when appropriate, regarding remedial actions to be taken by the United States Government, other than the sanctions described in sections 2 and 3 of this order.

(c) Heads of all relevant agencies shall transmit to the Director of National Intelligence any information relevant to the execution of the Director's duties pursuant to this order, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law. If relevant information emerges after the submission of the report mandated by section 1(a) of this order, the Director, in consultation with the heads of any other appropriate agencies, shall amend the report, as appropriate, and the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall amend the report required by section 1(b), as appropriate.

(d) Nothing in this order shall prevent the head of any agency or any other appropriate official from tendering to the President, at any time through an appropriate channel, any analysis, information, assessment, or evaluation of foreign interference in a United States election.

(e) If information indicating that foreign interference in a State, tribal, or local election within the United States has occurred is identified, it may be included, as appropriate, in the assessment mandated by section 1(a) of this order or in the report mandated by section 1(b) of this order, or submitted to the President in an independent report.

(f) Not later than 30 days following the date of this order, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence shall develop a framework for the process that will be used to carry out their respective responsibilities pursuant to this order. The framework, which may be classified in whole or in part, shall focus on ensuring that agencies fulfill their responsibilities pursuant to this order in a manner that maintains methodological consistency; protects law enforcement or other sensitive information and intelligence sources and methods; maintains an appropriate separation between intelligence functions and policy and legal judgments; ensures that efforts to protect electoral processes and institutions are insulated from political bias; and respects the principles of free speech and open debate.

Sec. 2. (a) All property and interests in property 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 any United States person of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in: any foreign person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security:

(i) to have directly or indirectly engaged in, sponsored, concealed, or otherwise been complicit in foreign interference in a United States election;

(ii) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, any activity described in subsection (a)(i) of this section or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or

(iii) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property or interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.

(b) Executive Order 13694 of April 1, 2015, as amended by Executive Order 13757 of December 28, 2016, remains in effect. This order is not intended to, and does not, serve to limit the Secretary of the Treasury's discretion to exercise the authorities provided in Executive Order 13694. Where appropriate, the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of State, may exercise the authorities described in Executive Order 13694 or other authorities in conjunction with the Secretary of the Treasury's exercise of authorities provided in this order.

(c) The prohibitions in subsection (a) of this section apply except to the extent provided by statutes, or in regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the date of this order.

Sec. 3. Following the transmission of the assessment mandated by section 1(a) and the report mandated by section 1(b):

(a) the Secretary of the Treasury shall review the assessment mandated by section 1(a) and the report mandated by section 1(b), and, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security, impose all appropriate sanctions pursuant to section 2(a) of this order and any appropriate sanctions described in section 2(b) of this order; and

(b) the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the heads of other appropriate agencies, shall jointly prepare a recommendation for the President as to whether additional sanctions against foreign persons may be appropriate in response to the identified foreign interference and in light of the evaluation in the report mandated by section 1(b) of this order, including, as appropriate and consistent with applicable law, proposed sanctions with respect to the largest business entities licensed or domiciled in a country whose government authorized, directed, sponsored, or supported election interference, including at least one entity from each of the following sectors: financial services, defense, energy, technology, and transportation (or, if inapplicable to that country's largest business entities, sectors of comparable strategic significance to that foreign government). The recommendation shall include an assessment of the effect of the recommended sanctions on the economic and national security interests of the United States and its allies. Any recommended sanctions shall be appropriately calibrated to the scope of the Start Printed Page 17958foreign interference identified, and may include one or more of the following with respect to each targeted foreign person:

(i) blocking and prohibiting all transactions in a person's property and interests in property subject to United States jurisdiction;

(ii) export license restrictions under any statute or regulation that requires the prior review and approval of the United States Government as a condition for the export or re-export of goods or services;

(iii) prohibitions on United States financial institutions making loans or providing credit to a person;

(iv) restrictions on transactions in foreign exchange in which a person has any interest;

(v) prohibitions on transfers of credit or payments between financial institutions, or by, through, or to any financial institution, for the benefit of a person;

(vi) prohibitions on United States persons investing in or purchasing equity or debt of a person;

(vii) exclusion of a person's alien corporate officers from the United States;

(viii) imposition on a person's alien principal executive officers of any of the sanctions described in this section; or

(ix) any other measures authorized by law.

Sec. 4. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type of articles specified in section 203(b)(2) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)) by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order would seriously impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in this order, and I hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 2 of this order.

Sec. 5. The prohibitions in section 2 of this order include the following:

(a) the making of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; and

(b) the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services from any such person.

Sec. 6. I hereby find that the unrestricted immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of such persons. Such persons shall be treated as persons covered by section 1 of Proclamation 8693 of July 24, 2011 (Suspension of Entry of Aliens Subject to United Nations Security Council Travel Bans and International Emergency Economic Powers Act Sanctions).

Sec. 7. (a) Any transaction that evades or avoids, has the purpose of evading or avoiding, causes a violation of, or attempts to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

(b) Any conspiracy formed to violate any of the prohibitions set forth in this order is prohibited.

Sec. 8. For the purposes of this order:

(a) the term “person” means an individual or entity;

(b) the term “entity” means a partnership, association, trust, joint venture, corporation, group, subgroup, or other organization;

(c) the term “United States person” means any United States citizen, permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United States or any jurisdiction within the United States (including foreign branches), or any person (including a foreign person) in the United States;

(d) the term “election infrastructure” means information and communications technology and systems used by or on behalf of the Federal Government or a State or local government in managing the election process, including voter registration databases, voting machines, voting tabulation equipment, and equipment for the secure transmission of election results;

(e) the term “United States election” means any election for Federal office held on, or after, the date of this order;

(f) the term “foreign interference,” with respect to an election, includes any covert, fraudulent, deceptive, or unlawful actions or attempted actions of a foreign government, or of any person acting as an agent of or on behalf of a foreign government, undertaken with the purpose or effect of influencing, undermining confidence in, or altering the result or reported result of, the election, or undermining public confidence in election processes or institutions;

(g) the term “foreign government” means any national, state, provincial, or other governing authority, any political party, or any official of any governing authority or political party, in each case of a country other than the United States;

(h) the term “covert,” with respect to an action or attempted action, means characterized by an intent or apparent intent that the role of aforeign government will not be apparent or acknowledged publicly; and

(i) the term “State” means the several States or any of the territories, dependencies, or possessions of the United States.

Sec. 9. For those persons whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order who might have a constitutional presence in the United States, I find that because of the ability to transfer funds or other assets instantaneously, prior notice to such persons of measures to be taken pursuant to this order would render those measures ineffectual. I therefore determine that for these measures to be effective in addressing the national emergency declared in this order, there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination made pursuant to section 2 of this order.

Sec. 10. Nothing in this order shall prohibit transactions for the conduct of the official business of the United States Government by employees, grantees, or contractors thereof.

Sec. 11. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and to employ all powers granted to the President by IEEPA as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this order. The Secretary of the Treasury may re-delegate any of these functions to other officers within the Department of the Treasury consistent with applicable law. All agencies of the United States Government are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of this order.

Sec. 12. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to submit the recurring and final reports to the Congress on the national emergency declared in this order, consistent with section 401(c) of the NEA (50 U.S.C.1641(c)) and section 204(c) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1703(c)).

Sec. 13. This order shall be implemented consistent with 50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(1) and (3).

Sec. 14. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

End Part

Donald J. Trump

THE WHITE HOUSE,

September 12, 2018.

Start Signature

Andrea Gacki,

Director, Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Approved:

Sigal P. Mandelker,

Under Secretary, Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Department of the Treasury.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2019-08587 Filed 4-26-19; 8:45 am]

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