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OFAC on Iran Earthquake

posted Aug 23, 2012, 3:40 PM by Zaher Fallahi   [ updated Aug 23, 2012, 3:42 PM ]

Zaher Fallahi, Tax Attorney, CPA, will be on 670 AM, a Los Angeles Persian Radio Station, on Monday, August 20, 2012, at 1:00 PM, answering questions from the public regarding the “legal & tax implications of transferring money from Iran”. He will also discuss the OFAC "Clarification on Iran Earthquake Relief".

The American people send the Iranian people our deepest condolences for the loss of life in the tragic earthquake in northwestern Iran. Our thoughts are with the families of those who were lost, and we wish the wounded a speedy recovery. We stand ready to offer assistance in this difficult time. In light of this tragedy, we would like to highlight the ways Americans can provide humanitarian assistance to the Iranian people:

 • Donations of food and medicine, when intended to be used to relieve human suffering, are exempt from the sanctions on trade between the U.S. and Iran, as long as the donations are not being sent to the Government of Iran or any Iranian individual or entity on the Treasury Department’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN List). For all practical purposes, such donations to the Iranian people, including transactions needed to ship permissible donations, can occur without a license from the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). [Additional information on food and medicine donations to Iran can be found here.]

 • OFAC generally regards the exportation or re-exportation of medical devices to Iran, whether donated or for sale, to require a license under the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (TSRA). [Guidance on how to apply for a TSRA license can be found here.]

 • Since 1995, OFAC has permitted U.S. financial institutions to process noncommercial, personal remittances to Iran. Such transactions, which may include a personal transfer of funds from the U.S. to Iran to assist a friend or family member, may originate from a U.S. financial institution but must be processed through a third-country financial institution before reaching Iran. [The guidelines of the General License can be viewed here and here, and additional clarification is provided on OFAC’s FAQ page.]

 • If a donation is not a personal remittance, charitable donations of funds to Iran require a specific license from OFAC. Individuals or groups can apply for a specific license for this purpose, and OFAC will give high priority to processing the license application. [Instructions on applying for a specific license from OFAC may be found on OFAC’s FAQ page.]

 • Nongovernmental organizations wishing to engage in earthquake relief efforts in Iran can apply for a specific license for this purpose. OFAC will give high priority to processing such license applications. [Instructions on applying for a specific license from OFAC may be found on OFAC’s FAQ page.]

 For further detailed information or guidance contact the Office of Foreign Assets Control’s Hotline at 800-540-6322 or 202-622-2490.