OFAC: Venezuela-related General Licenses and FAQs

Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is issuing Venezuela-related General License 8M, "Authorizing Transactions Involving Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA) Necessary for the Limited Maintenance of Essential Operations in Venezuela or the Wind Down of Operations in Venezuela for Certain Entities," and Venezuela-related General License 45A, "Authorizing Certain Transactions Involving Consorcio Venezolano de Industrias Aeronáuticas y Servicios Aéreos, S.A." 

Additionally, OFAC is publishing an updated, related document "Frequently Asked Questions Related to the Suspension of Certain U.S. Sanctions with Respect to Venezuela on October 18, 2023."

On October 18, the U.S. government suspended certain sanctions measures on Venezuela’s oil and gas sector operations; the gold sector of the Venezuelan economy; and U.S. person purchases in the secondary market of certain Venezuela sovereign bonds and equity. The U.S. government has suspended these sanctions measures "in response to recent concrete steps toward a democratic solution in Venezuela," according to the Treasury.

The authorization in GL 44 suspends Venezuela-related sanctions applicable to most oil and gas sector operations in Venezuela, including the sale of oil and gas from Venezuela to the United States and other jurisdictions, as well as the payment of taxes, royalties, costs, fees, dividends, and profits related to oil and gas sector operations or transactions involving PdVSA.  

While GL 44 provides broad relief to oil and gas sector operations in Venezuela, several key prohibitions remain in place, related to banking services and payments, Russian investment in Venezuelan oil facilities, and virtual currencies.

Venezuela-related sanctions suspended on October 18, 2023 do not affect the U.S. government’s posture on litigation brought by creditors seeking to attach assets of the Government of Venezuela in the United States.  

Gold Sector

OFAC does not intend to target any person solely for operating in the gold sector of the Venezuelan economy. This policy is contingent on continued concrete steps toward a democratic solution in Venezuela.

OFAC also issued General License (GL) 43 on October 18, 2023, which authorizes all transactions involving CVG Compania General de Mineria de Venezuela CA (Minerven)—the only entity designated by OFAC for operating in the gold sector of the Venezuelan economy— that are prohibited by the Venezuela Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 591, subject to the limitations described in GL 43.

Renewal of GL 44 is subject to the representatives of Maduro following through with their commitments and taking concrete steps toward a democratic election by the end of 2024 as outlined in the Secretary of State’s statement from October 18, 2023.


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