Legal Alerts

OFAC Narrows Venezuela-Related Sanctions General License

Washington, D.C. (March 22, 2024) - On February 29, 2024, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control issued Venezuela General License (GL) 45B and, on March 1, 2024, published related Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) 1167 and updated FAQs 1137 and 1141. GL 45B and its related FAQs follow previous actions by the U.S. government to reimpose Venezuela-related sanctions (see our previous alert, “U.S. Reimposes Venezuela Sanctions Following Actions by Maduro Government”) and narrow the scope of certain transactions previously authorized under U.S. sanctions laws.

GL 45B authorizes certain otherwise prohibited transactions with Consorcio Venezolano de Industrias Aeronáuticas y Servicios Aéreos, S.A. (Conviasa) or any entity in which Conviasa owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest, that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the repatriation of Venezuelan nationals from non-U.S. jurisdictions in the Western Hemisphere to Venezuela. Among other limitations, such transactions must be made “exclusively for the purposes of such repatriation.” According to FAQ 1137, “jurisdictions in the Western Hemisphere” includes those identified by the Department of the State as “Countries & Areas of the Western Hemisphere.”

GL 45B notably replaced and narrowed the scope of GL 45A, which previously authorized similar transactions with Conviasa. Specifically, according to FAQ 1167, GL 45B’s authorizations are limited only to non-commercial flights that are exclusively for the purposes of repatriation, whereas GL 45A previously authorized transactions related to flights associated with a broader range of purposes. Further, although GL 45B still authorizes U.S. persons to provide certain services related to maintenance, refueling services, and repair to blocked Conviasa aircraft (as noted in FAQ 1141), such transactions are similarly limited only to those aircraft carrying out flights solely for the purposes of repatriation, rather than those previously identified by GL 45A.

U.S. sanctions and related authorizations are subject to frequent changes. Lewis Brisbois’ experienced attorneys are helping clients navigate rapidly developing, sanction-related legal and business risks. For more information on these developments, contact the authors of this alert. Visit our Ukraine Conflict Response Practice page for more information about our capabilities and for similar alerts in this area.


George Leahy, Associate


Andrew Pidgirsky, Partner and Chair of Ukraine Conflict Response Practice

Related Practices

Related Attorneys

Find an Attorney

Each of the firm's offices include partners, associates and a professional staff dedicated to meeting the challenge of providing the firm's clients with extraordinary service.