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OFAC Sanctions
Venezuela Sanctions Regulations 31 C.F.R. part 591 (General License 8F)
 
MEMORANDUM
 
Arturo J. Bravo, Esq
Arantza Fernandes, JD LL.M
Badell & Grau
Miami
 
VENEZUELA SANCTIONS REGULATIONS 31 C.F.R. PART 591 (GENERAL LICENSE 8F)
 
Effective April 21, 2020, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Department of the Treasury published the General License No. 8E which replaces the previous General License No. 8F dated January 17, 2020 involving transactions by and between PdVSA and other U.S entities. The main purpose of this General License No. 8F is to allow certain U.S Persons1 to wind down its operations in Venezuela and its business with PdVSA, through 12:01 a.m. eastern standard time, December 1, 2020. 
 
Under this General License No. 8F, certain U.S Persons are allowed to transact business concerning PdVSA or any entity in which PdVSA owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest involving: (i) the safety or the preservation of assets in Venezuela; and (ii) all transactions and activities ordinarily incident and necessary to the wind down of operations, contracts, or other agreements in Venezuela that were in effect prior to July 26th, 2019
 
The main facts involving this new version of General License 8F are:
 
Which entities/corporations/subsidiaries are authorized under the license? 
 
• Chevron Corporation 
 
• Halliburton
 
• Schlumberger Limited
 
• Baker Hughes, a GE Company
 
• Weatherford International, Public Limited Company
 
• Any US company (US Persons) transacting business with these companies or its subsidiaries in Venezuela2
 
Which Transactions and Activities are AUTHORIZED by General License No.8F?
 
Those necessary to ensure: 
 
• the safety of personnel.
 
• the integrity of operations and assets in Venezuela.
 
• participation in shareholder and board of directors’ meetings.
 
• payments on third-party invoices for transactions and activities authorized by this license or incurred prior to April 21, 2020 provided such activity was authorized.
 
• payment of local taxes and purchase of utility services in Venezuela. 
 
• payment of salaries for employees and contractors in Venezuela.
 
Which Transactions and Activities are UNAUTHORIZED (Prohibited) by General License No. 8F? 
 
• The drilling, lifting, or processing of, purchase or sale of, or transport or shipping of any Venezuelan-origin petroleum or petroleum products.
 
• The provision or receipt of insurance or reinsurance with respect to the transactions and activities described above.
 
• The design, construction, installation, repair, or improvement of any wells or other facilities or infrastructure in Venezuela or the purchasing or provision of any goods or services, except as required for safety.
 
• Contracting for additional personnel or services, except as required for safety.
 
• The payment of any dividend, including in kind, to PdVSA, or any entity in which PdVSA owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest.
 
• Any transactions or dealings related to the exportation or reexportation of diluents, directly or indirectly, to Venezuela.
 
• Any loans to, accrual of additional debt by, or subsidization of PdVSA, or any entity in which PdVSA owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest, including in kind, prohibited by the Department of the Treasury. 
 
• Any transactions or activities otherwise prohibited by the Department of the Treasury, or any transactions or activities with any blocked person other than the blocked persons identified in the general license.
 
Under our perspective, this new version of the License No. 8F restricts, in a greater manner, the operations of the covered US Persons. The clear goal of the License is to force 
winding up the operations of the so-called “big five’s subsidiaries in Venezuela”, that is, Chevron Corporation, Halliburton, Schlumberger Limited, Baker Hughes, a GE Company and Weatherford International, Public Limited Company.
 
1 U.S. persons are defined as any individual present in the United States and every U.S. citizen and U.S. permanent resident located anywhere in the world. The definition of U.S. persons also includes entities formed in the United States or incorporated in the United States and the branches of any foreign entities that are located in the United States. The foreign subsidiaries of a U.S. parent company are also subject to OFAC regulations and must comply with them.
 
2 Under our experience, US Persons dealing with Chevron’s Subsidiaries (Petropiar) do not need special licenses and they are covered under General License No. 8F
 


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