Trade Sanctions

Trade Sanctions in the United States

U.S. Sanctions Programs and Country Information

OFAC administers a number of different sanctions programs. The sanctions can be either comprehensive or selective, using the blocking of assets and trade restrictions to accomplish foreign policy and national security goals.

Where is OFAC’s country list?​

OFAC administers a number of U.S. economic sanctions and embargoes that target geographic regions and governments. Some programs are comprehensive in nature and block the government and include broad-based trade restrictions, while others target specific individuals and entities. (Please see below for information on specific programs.) It is important to note that in non-comprehensive programs, there may be broad prohibitions on dealings with countries, and also against specific named individuals and entities. The names are incorporated into OFAC’s list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (“SDN list”) which includes over 6,000 names of companies and individuals who are connected with the sanctions targets. In addition, OFAC maintains other sanctions lists that may have different prohibitions associated with them.

A number of the named individuals and entities are known to move from country to country and may end up in locations where they would be least expected. U.S. persons are prohibited from dealing with SDNs wherever they are located and all SDN assets are blocked. Entities that a person on the SDN List owns (defined as a direct or indirect ownership interest of 50% or more) are also blocked, regardless of whether that entity is separately named on the SDN List. Because OFAC’s programs are dynamic, it is very important to check OFAC’s website on a regular basis to ensure that your sanctions lists are current and you have complete information regarding the latest restrictions affecting countries and parties with which you plan to do business.

Some Sanctions Programs

The following is a list of sanctions programs, with the date of last updated:

Balkans-Related Sanctions ​02/03/2017
​Belarus Sanctions ​10/18/2016
​Burundi Sanctions ​06/02/2016
​Central African Republic Sanctions ​08/23/2016
​Counter Narcotics Trafficking Sanctions 02/23/2017
​Counter Terrorism Sanctions 02/23/2017
​Cuba Sanctions ​01/06/2017
​Cyber-related Sanctions ​02/08/2017
​Democratic Republic of the Congo-Related Sanctions ​12/12/2016
​Iran Sanctions ​02/03/2017
​Iraq-Related Sanctions ​04/04/2016
​Lebanon-Related Sanctions ​07/30/2010
​Libya Sanctions ​05/13/2016
Magnitsky Sanctions ​01/09/2017
​Non-Proliferation Sanctions ​02/23/2017
​North Korea Sanctions ​01/11/2017
​Rough Diamond Trade Controls ​05/21/2008
​Somalia Sanctions ​07/05/2012
​Sudan and Darfur Sanctions ​01/13/2017
​South Sudan-related Sanctions ​04/04/2016
​Syria Sanctions ​01/12/2017
​Transnational Criminal Organizations ​02/16/2017
​Ukraine-/Russia-Related Sanctions ​12/20/2016
​Venezuela-Related Sanctions ​07/10/2015
​Yemen-Related Sanctions ​04/14/2015
​Zimbabwe Sanctions ​01/12/2017

Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN)

​As part of its enforcement efforts, OFAC publishes a list of individuals and companies owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, targeted countries. It also lists individuals, groups, and entities, such as terrorists and narcotics traffickers designated under programs that are not country-specific. Collectively, such individuals and companies are called “Specially Designated Nationals” or “SDNs.” Their assets are blocked and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them.

Other OFAC Sanctions Lists

In addition to its list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons, OFAC maintains other sanctions lists.

Coercive Diplomacy

Find more information on Coercive Diplomacy in relation to the International Trade Control Law, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) in the legal Encyclopedias.

OFAC Sanctions Lists: Legislation and Regulations

  • ​The List of Foreign Financial Institutions Subject to Part 561 (the “Part 561 List”), 31 C.F.R. part 561
  • Western Balkans Stabilization Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 588; Executive Order 13304
  • Belarus Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 548; Executive Order 13405
  • Blocked Pending Investigation, Patriot Act
  • Blocked Pending Investigation, Foreign Narcotics
  • Kingpin Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 598
  • Burmese Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 537;
    Executive Order 13448; Executive Order 13464
  • ​(On Burundi) Executive Order
  • ​Central African Republic Sanctions, 31 C.F.R. part 553
  • Cote d’Ivoire Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 543
  • Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 515
  • ​Executive Order 13694
  • ​Taking Additional Steps to Address the National Emergency with Respect to Significant Malicious Cyber-enabled Activities
  • Darfur Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 546
  • North Korea Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 510; Executive Order 13551; ​Executive Order 13687; ​Executive Order 13722
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. 547​
  • Executive Order 13622​
  • Executive Order 13645​
  • Foreign Sanctions Evaders Executive Order 13608 – Syria​
  • Foreign Sanctions Evaders Executive Order 13608 – Iran​
  • ​Foreign Sanctions Evaders Executive Order 13608 – Non Proliferation
  • Foreign Sanctions Evaders Executive Order 13608 – Anti-terrorism​
  • Foreign Terrorist Organizations Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 597
  • Executive Order 13606  – Syria​
  • Executive Order 13606  – Iran​
  • Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 (IFCA) (PL 112-239)​
  • Iranian Financial Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 561
  • Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR part 560​
  • Executive Order 13553​
  • Executive Order 13628​
  • Executive Order 13315; Executive Order 13350
  • Executive Order 13438
  • Iranian Financial Sanctions Regulations, 31 CFR Part 561​
  • Iran Sanctions Act, Executive Order 13574​
  • Pub. L. 110-286, 122 Stat. 2632​ (Jade)
  • Lebanon Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 549; Executive Order 13441
  • Former Liberian Regime of Charles Taylor Sanctions
  • Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 593​
  • Libyan Sanctions,  31 C.F.R. part 570
  • Executive Order 13726
  • Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012​
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators Sanctions
  • Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 544​
  • ​Non-SDN Iranian Sanctions Act, Executive Order 13574​
  • ​Non-SDN, Palestinian Legislative Council List, General License 4​ issued pursuant to the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations (31 C.F.R. Part 594),
  • Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 594​
  • Narcotics Trafficking Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 536​
  • Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 598​
  • Terrorism Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 595​
  • Somalia Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 551​
  • Sudanese Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 538​
  • ​South Sudan Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 558; Executive Order 13664
  • Syrian Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 542; Executive Order 13399; Executive Order 13460
  • Transnational Criminal Organizations Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 590; ​Executive Order 13581
  • Executive Order 13660​
  • Executive Order 13661​
  • ​Executive Order 13662 (See Directive 1 As Amended, Directive 2 as Amended, Directive 3, Directive 4)
  • ​Executive Order 13685
  • ​​Executive Order 13692​
  • ​Yemen Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 552
  • Zimbabwe Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 541; Executive Order 13391; Executive Order 13469

Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010

Find more information on Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 in relation to the Trade Restrictions and Sanctions Regulations in the legal Encyclopedias.

Iranian Financial Sanctions Regulations

Find more information on Iranian Financial Sanctions Regulations in relation to the Trade Restrictions and Sanctions Regulations in the legal Encyclopedias.

North Korea Sanctions Regulations

Find more information on North Korea Sanctions Regulations in relation to the Trade Restrictions and Sanctions Regulations in the legal Encyclopedias.

Somalia Sanctions Regulations: Overview

Find more information on Somalia Sanctions Regulations: Overview in relation to the Trade Restrictions and Sanctions Regulations in the legal Encyclopedias.

Somalia Sanctions Regulations: Program elements

Find more information on Somalia Sanctions Regulations: Program elements in relation to the Trade Restrictions and Sanctions Regulations in the legal Encyclopedias.

Somalia Sanctions Regulations

Find more information on Somalia Sanctions Regulations in relation to the Trade Restrictions and Sanctions Regulations in the legal Encyclopedias.

Trade Sanctions and the International Trade Law

Resources

See Also

Further Reading

  • Trade Sanctions entry in the Dictionary of International Trade Law (Raj Bhala)
  • Trade Sanctions entry in the Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History (Thomas Carson; Mary Bonk)
  • Trade Sanctions entry in the Dictionary of International Trade
  • Trade Sanctions entry in the Dictionary of International Trade: Handbook of the Global Trade Community (Edward G. Hinkelman)

Trade Sanctions: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Trade Sanctions. This part provides references, in relation to Trade Sanctions, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Trade Sanctions by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Trade Sanctions and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Trade Sanctions or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Trade Sanctions and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Trade Sanctions. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Trade Sanctions should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Trade Sanctions when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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