31 CFR § 561.204 - Additional petroleum-related sanctions on certain foreign financial institutions.

§ 561.204 Additional petroleum-related sanctions on certain foreign financial institutions.

(a)Imposition of sanctions. Subject to the limitations, exceptions, and conditions set forth in paragraphs (d) through (f) of this section, upon a determination by the Secretary of the Treasury that a foreign financial institution has knowingly engaged in one or more of the activities described in paragraph (b) of this section, the Secretary of the Treasury may:

(1) Prohibit U.S. financial institutions from opening a correspondent account or a payable-through account in the United States for the foreign financial institution with respect to which the determination has been made; and either

(2)

(i) Prohibit U.S. financial institutions from maintaining a correspondent account or a payable-through account in the United States for the foreign financial institution with respect to which the determination has been made; or

(ii) Impose one or more strict conditions on the maintaining of any correspondent account or payable-through account that had been opened in the United States for the foreign financial institution prior to the Secretary of the Treasury's determination with respect to the foreign financial institution.

Note 1 to paragraph (a) of § 561.204:

The name of any foreign financial institution with respect to which a determination has been made pursuant to this paragraph (a), along with the relevant sanctions to be imposed (prohibition(s) and/or strict condition(s)), will be added to the List of Foreign Financial Institutions Subject to Part 561 (the “Part 561 List”), which is maintained on the Office of Foreign Assets Control's Web site (www.treasury.gov/ofac) on the Iran Sanctions page, and published in the Federal Register.

Note 2 to paragraph (a) of § 561.204:

See§ 561.203(b) for examples of strict conditions that might be imposed, pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section, on the maintaining of a pre-existing correspondent account or payable-through account for a foreign financial institution with respect to which the Secretary of the Treasury's determination has been made.

(b)Sanctionable activity. A foreign financial institution engages in an activity described in this paragraph if it knowingly conducts or facilitates any significant financial transaction:

(1) With the National Iranian Oil Company (“NIOC”), the Naftiran Intertrade Company (“NICO”), or any entity owned or controlled by, or operating for or on behalf of, NIOC or NICO, except for a sale or provision to any of the foregoing of the products described in section 5(a)(3)(A)(i) of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-172) (50 U.S.C. 1701 note), as amended, provided that the fair market value of such products is lower than the applicable dollar threshold specified in that provision;

Note to paragraph (b)(1) of § 561.204:

As of March 15, 2013, the products described in section 5(a)(3)(A)(i) of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-172) (50 U.S.C. 1701 note), as amended, are refined petroleum products, and for the fair market value of such products to be lower than the applicable dollar threshold specified in that provision the products sold or provided to NIOC, NICO, or any entity owned or controlled by, or operating for or on behalf of, NIOC or NICO, must have a fair market value of less than $1,000,000, and, during a 12-month period, an aggregate fair market value of less than $5,000,000.

(2) For the purchase or acquisition of petroleum or petroleum products from Iran; or

(3) For the purchase or acquisition of petrochemical products from Iran.

(c)Prohibitions.

(1) A U.S. financial institution shall not open a correspondent account or payable-through account in the United States for a foreign financial institution for which the opening of such an account is prohibited pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

(2) A U.S. financial institution shall not maintain a correspondent account or payable-through account in the United States for a foreign financial institution for which the maintaining of such an account is prohibited pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section.

(3) A U.S. financial institution shall not maintain a correspondent account or payable-through account in the United States for a foreign financial institution in a manner that is inconsistent with any strict condition imposed and in effect pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section.

(4) The prohibitions in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(3) of this section apply except to the extent transactions are authorized by regulations, orders, directives, or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this part, and notwithstanding any contracts entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the effective date of the prohibition.

(d)Exempt activity. Sanctions will not be imposed under paragraph (a) of this section with respect to any foreign financial institution for:

(1) Conducting or facilitating a transaction for the sale of agricultural commodities, food, medicine, or medical devices to Iran or when the underlying transaction has been authorized by the Office of Foreign Assets Control pursuant to any part of this chapter V; or

(2) Conducting or facilitating a transaction involving a natural gas development and pipeline project initiated prior to July 31, 2012, to bring gas from Azerbaijan to Europe and Turkey in furtherance of a production sharing agreement or license awarded by a sovereign government other than the Government of Iran before July 31, 2012.

Note to paragraph (d)(2) of § 561.204:

The natural gas development and pipeline project referred to in this paragraph is the project to develop the Shah Deniz natural gas field in Azerbaijan's sector of the Caspian Sea and related pipeline projects to bring the gas from Azerbaijan to Europe and Turkey.

(e) The Secretary of the Treasury may impose sanctions pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section with respect to any significant financial transaction described in paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section only if the President makes the successive determinations that there is a sufficient supply of petroleum and petroleum products from countries other than Iran described in paragraph (h) of § 561.203.

(f) Sanctions will not be imposed under paragraph (a) of this section with respect to any significant financial transaction described in paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section that is conducted or facilitated by a foreign financial institution if:

(1) For the 180-day period during which the financial transaction is conducted or facilitated, the Secretary of State has determined and reported to Congress:

(i) That the country with primary jurisdiction over the foreign financial institution has significantly reduced its crude oil purchases from Iran, thus qualifying for the “significant reduction exception” for the 180-day period during which the financial transaction is conducted or facilitated; or

(ii) That the country with primary jurisdiction over the foreign financial institution has received a significant reduction exception described in this paragraph in a previous period, and, after receiving the exception, has reduced its crude oil purchases from Iran to zero during a subsequent 180-day reporting period; and

(2) The transaction satisfies the conditions and restrictions set forth in paragraphs (j) and (k) of § 561.203.

Note to paragraph (f) of § 561.204:

The Secretary of State is to determine whether a country qualifies for the “significant reduction exception” and report such determination to Congress not later than 90 days after the date on which the President makes the initial determination referenced in paragraph (h) of this section, and every 180 days thereafter. Accordingly, a significant reduction exception covers a period of 180 days.

Note to § 561.204:

The sanctions regime described in this section is separate from the sanctions regimes described in §§ 561.201 and 561.203 and applies in addition to, and independently of, the sanctions regimes imposed under §§ 561.201 and 561.203.

[78 FR 16407, Mar. 15, 2013]