In May 2019, the United States imposed new restrictions concerning exports to Venezuela. Individuals or companies that do business with Venezuelan entities could face serious penalties for failing to comply with the new regulations. An OFAC sanctions attorney could provide advice about how to comply with any trade restrictions and help obtain the proper BIS licenses.

New Export Controls on Venezuela

On May 24th, 2019, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) amended the export administration regulations (EAR) and removed Venezuela from Country Group D. Venezuela was added to Country Group D:1-D:4, which tightens and restricts certain export controls on Venezuela. This means that exports, re-exports, or transfers of US-origin goods and services to Venezuela now require export licenses. BIS provided that the “current national security concerns” prompted the change in export control restrictions. These concerns include the introduction of foreign military personnel and equipment to Venezuela.

Additionally, on May 10th, two companies were sanctioned for operating in the oil sector of Venezuela. This includes Monsoon Navigation Corporation as well as Serenity Maritime Limited. Monsoon Navigation Corporation is based in Majuro, Marshall Islands, and Serenity Maritime Limited is based in Monrovia, Liberia. These companies own tankers that were found to have delivered crude oil from Venezuela to Cuba.

Consult with an OFAC Attorney About the New Regulations

Exports are now ineligible under the EAR for certain license exceptions, making it important for any persons or companies to ensure that exports to Venezuela are properly licensed. If US entities wish to do business with Venezuela, it is wise to consult with a knowledgeable OFAC attorney to ensure they go through the proper legal channels.