Treasury clarifies that “services” are prohibited for export to Russia under Executive Order 14071 – Export Controls and Trade and Investment Sanctions

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On May 8, 2022, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued a ruling pursuant to Executive Order (“EO”) 14071. The ruling clarifies that the provision of the following activities to any person in Russia are Prohibited: accounting services, trust and business formation services and management consulting services. The ban takes effect on June 7, 2022 and does not apply to services provided to entities located in Russia owned or controlled by U.S. persons, or services related to the liquidation or divestiture of any entity in Russia not owned or controlled by a Russian Person. The decision extends EO 14024 to prohibit these services.

EO 14071, published on April 6, 2022, prohibited, among others, export, re-export, sale or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States or by a United States person, wherever located, of any class of services as may be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury . In the month before OFAC’s recent decision, it was unclear what those services were. Now, with OFAC’s guidance, the international business community can work to review its operations and cease any activity that will be prohibited from June 7.

In an FAQ, OFAC expanded on the meaning of the May 8 ruling and added that OFAC interprets the following terms to include activities related to the following:

  • “Accounting sector” – includes the measurement, processing and transfer of financial data on economic entities.

  • “Trust and Company Formation Services Sector” – includes assisting individuals in the formation or structuring of legal persons, such as trusts and corporations; act or cause another person to act as directors, secretaries, administrative trustees, fiduciary trustees, registered agents or registered shareholders of legal persons; provide a registered office, a business address, a mailing address or an administrative address for legal persons; and the provision of administrative services for trusts.

  • “Management consulting sector” – includes strategic consulting; organizational and system planning, assessment and selection; marketing objectives and policies; mergers, acquisitions and organizational structure; staff augmentation and human resource policies and practices; and brand management.

In addition to these newly prohibited services, OFAC has added dozens of individuals and entities to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (“SDN”) list. The new appointments include eight current or recent board members of Sberbank, Russia’s largest public financial institution; 27 members of the board of directors of Gazprombank, the Russian finance bank for the energy sector; Joint Stock Company Moscow Industrial Bank and ten of its subsidiaries; and the state-backed defense entity LLC Promtekhnologiya, which produces weapons for the Russian military and intelligence services. Addition to the SDN list is the most severe Treasury sanction against a party, prohibiting U.S. persons from transacting with those parties, freezing those persons’ U.S. assets, and preventing them from US dollar transactions.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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