“Burma has made significant strides in recent years, including choosing a civilian-led, democratically elected government,” said Adam J. Szubin, Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. “Lifting economic and financial sanctions will further support trade and economic growth, and Treasury will continue to work with Burma to implement a robust anti-money laundering regime that will help to ensure the security of its financial system.”
Termination of the Burma Sanctions Program
Executive Order (E.O.) ______ of October 7, 2016,“Termination of Emergency With Respect to the Actions and Policies of the Government of Burma,” terminated the national emergency, revoked E.O.s 13047, 13310, 13448, 13464, 13619, and 13651, and waived financial and blocking sanctions in the Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE (Junta’s Anti-Democratic Efforts) Act of 2008. As a result, the economic and financial sanctions on Burma administered by OFAC are no longer in effect. This includes the following impacts, among others:
- All individuals and entities blocked pursuant to the Burmese Sanctions Regulations (BSR) have been removed from OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDN) List.
- All property and interests in property blocked pursuant to the BSR are unblocked.
- The ban on the importation into the United States of Burmese-origin jadeite and rubies, and any jewelry containing them, has been revoked.
- All OFAC-administered restrictions under the Burma sanctions program regarding banking or financial transactions with Burma are no longer in effect.
- OFAC will remove the BSR from the Code of Federal Regulations.
- Compliance with the State Department’s Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements is no longer required by OFAC’s regulations and is now voluntary.
The termination of the Burma sanctions program does not impact Burmese individuals or entities blocked pursuant to other OFAC sanctions authorities, such as counter-narcotics sanctions. They remain on the SDN List, and their property and interests in property remain blocked. Further, pending or future OFAC enforcement investigations or actions related to apparent violations of the BSR when in effect may still be carried out.
Banking with Burmese Banks
This Executive Order terminates all OFAC-administered restrictions and authorizations under the Burma sanctions program pertaining to banking with Burma. This includes the OFAC general licenses issued in 2012 and 2013 that authorized certain correspondent account activity with Burmese banks.
In 2003, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) found Burma to be a “jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern” under Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act. As a result, FinCEN issued a prohibition on U.S. financial institutions from maintaining correspondent accounts for Burmese banks. The 2003 finding remains in place, but FinCEN is issuing an administrative exception today to suspend the prohibition so that U.S. financial institutions can continue to provide correspondent services to Burmese banks, subject to the appropriate due diligence requirements. This exception is based on Burma’s progress in improving its anti-money laundering regime and its commitment to continue making progress to address money laundering, corruption, and narcotics-related activities. FinCEN intends to rescind its action in its entirety when Burma has made sufficient progress in addressing these issues.
FinCEN’s administrative exception can be found here.
Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury