Quest News™

March 12, 2015

Venezuela is Added to the OFAC Sanctions List


Flag of Venezuela

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury has added Venezuela to their sanctions list joining 26 other programs.  President Obama issued sanctions via Executive Order on Monday, March 9, against seven Venezuelan government officials for their “erosion of human rights guarantees” and public corruption.  The target of these sanctions included five current and former generals, a police official, and a prosecutor:

  • Antonio José Benavides Torres, Commander in Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Armed Forces
  • Gustavo Enrique González López, Director General of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National
    Intelligence Service
  • Justo José Noguera Pietri, President of the Venezuelan Corporation of Guayana a state-owned entity
  • Manuel Eduardo Pérez Urdaneta, Director of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Police
  • Manuel Gregorio Bernal Martínez, Chief of the 31st Armored Brigade of Caracas of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Army
  • Miguel Alcides Vivas Landino, Inspector General of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Armed Forces
  • Katherine Nayarith Haringhton Padrón, National level prosecutor

Several more Venezuelan officials were recently added to OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list.  According to the Executive Order, the U.S. is prohibited from doing business with these individuals. Along with having their U.S. assets and property blocked and frozen, the sanctioned officials are not permitted to travel to the U.S.

Relations between the two countries have adversely affected trade.  According to the United States Census Bureau in 2014, international trade between the U.S. and Venezuela was over 41 billion dollars; 11 billion in exports, and 30 billion in imports. This continued a downward trend in trading with Venezuela that began in 2011. Imports in January of 2015 were down almost 50 percent from what they were the year before.  The sanctions on these individuals could further influence the overall picture of trade between Venezuela and the U.S.

Avalon encourages you to take special precautions when dealing with OFAC sanctioned countries to avoid any E&O exposures or costly export violations.  We understand that trading with companies within sanctioned countries carries the increased risk of claims and legal matters. Government imposed fees and fines can be crippling especially when added to the cost of legal expenses.  Expanded Regulatory Defense coverage can assist with the legal expense required to defend your company.

Web Merlin™, our proprietary online Cargo Insurance software, automatically removes OFAC countries to prompt a special quotation and ensure compliance.  For Venezuela and other OFAC countries, the full shipper and consignee details are often required to ensure proper screening.  Please be sure to use an automated denied persons screening software, such as Web Merlin, to identify OFAC sanctioned programs and denied parties. The following is a list of OFAC sanctioned countries as of March 11, 2015, which is frequently subject to change. 

OFAC Sanctions Programs

Programs Program Last Updated
Balkans-Related Sanctions 02/07/14
Belarus Sanctions 08/11/11
Burma Sanctions 10/31/14
Central African Republic Sanctions 07/07/14
Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)-Related Sanctions 01/06/11
Counter Narcotics Trafficking Sanctions 02/24/15
Counter Terrorism Sanctions 02/26/15
Cuba Sanctions 01/15/15
Democratic Republic of the Congo-Related Sanctions 07/08/14
Iran Sanctions 12/30/14
Iraq-Related Sanctions 05/27/14
Lebanon-Related Sanctions 07/30/10
Former Liberian Regime of Charles Taylor Sanctions 04/02/13
Libya Sanctions 09/11/14
Magnitsky Sanctions 12/29/14
Non-Proliferation Sanctions 03/06/15
North Korea Sanctions 01/02/15
Rough Diamond Trade Controls​ 05/21/08
Somalia Sanctions 07/05/12
Sudan Sanctions 02/17/15
South Sudan-related Sanctions 09/18/14
Syria Sanctions 12/17/14
Transnational Criminal Organizations 07/02/14
Ukraine-/Russia-Related Sanctions 03/11/15
Venezuela-Related Sanctions 03/06/15
Yemen-Related Sanctions 11/10/14
Zimbabwe Sanctions 7/10/14

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, OFAC

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