Fulbright Alert : OFAC Issues New Libyan General Licenses Authorizing Trade with NOC and the Government of Libya

 

On September 19, 2011, the U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") continued to ease the sanctions imposed on Libya by issuing new General Licenses No. 7A and No. 8. In general, the new licenses allow U.S. persons to engage in transactions with the Government of Libya, its agencies, instrumentalities, and controlled entities and the Libyan National Oil Corporation ("NOC") itself. The licenses also unblock property and interests in property of the NOC and entities it owns or controls. However, assets of other Libyan Government owned or controlled entities which were blocked prior to the issuance of the new licenses remain blocked, and transactions with designated persons associated with the former Gaddafi regime remain prohibited.

General License No. 7A replaces and supersedes General License No. 7, dated September 9, 2011. Specifically, General License No. 7A authorizes U.S. persons to engage in all transactions involving the NOC or entities owned or controlled by the NOC, provided that such transactions do not involve any other persons whose property and interests in property remain blocked. This is a significant change from General License No. 7, which had only authorized U.S. persons to engage in transactions involving certain entities owned or controlled by the NOC but not with the NOC itself.

Transactions with the following list of NOC owned or controlled entities are specifically authorized:

  • Arabian Gulf Oil Company
  • Azzawiya Oil Refining Company
  • Brega Petroleum Marketing Company
  • Harouge Oil Operations
  • Jamahiriya Oil Well Fluids and Equipment
  • Mediterranean Oil Services Company
  • Mediterranean Oil Services GmbH
  • National Oil Fields and Terminals Catering Company
  • North African Geophysical Exploration Company
  • National Oil Wells Drilling and Workover Company
  • Oilinvest Netherlands B.V.
  • Ras Lanuf Oil and Gas Processing Company
  • Sirte Oil Company for Production Manufacturing of Oil and Gas
  • Tamoil Group
  • Waha Oil Company
  • Zueitina Oil Company

General License No. 7A also unblocks all property and interests in property of the NOC and entities owned or controlled by the NOC. However a report must be filed with the Sanctions Compliance and Evaluation Division of OFAC within 10 business days of the release of any blocked funds, including cash and securities.

General License No. 8 signals the U.S. Government's recognition of the fall of the Gaddafi regime in Libya by authorizing U.S. persons to engage in all transactions involving the Government of Libya, its agencies, instrumentalities, and controlled entities, and the Central Bank of Libya. However, all assets of Libyan Government owned or controlled entities (other than the NOC entities that were unblocked in General License No. 7A) which were blocked on or before September 19, 2011 remain blocked and all transactions with designated individuals and entities of the former Gaddafi regime listed on the Annex to General License No. 8 remain prohibited.

General License No. 7A and General License No. 8 reflect OFAC's continued policy of reducing the sanctions imposed on Libya under Executive Order 13566 as the Transitional National Council forces continue to consolidate control over Libya.

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