Friday, March 26, 2010

Email Allowed to Certain Sanctioned Countries

Earlier this month, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) amended the regulations to provide general licenses to allow the exportation of certain internet-based communications to Cuba, Iran and Sudan. The communications include instant messaging, chat, email and social networking of a personal nature. Even though the Export Administration Regulations indicate that transmitting information outside of the U.S. using electronic means is considered an export, recent opinions indicate that free download of mass market software that can be accessed freely by anyone would not violate the EAR.

The amendments also permit the exportation of related software to Iran and Sudan. The new general licenses allow U.S. persons to “export” services and software related to personal communications via the internet to these countries. The new provisions are designed to encourage communications; however, OFAC will continue to enforce the other sanctions with these countries. The new provisions affect 31 CFR 515, 538 and 560. Click HERE to view the Federal Register information.

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