Economy, Domestic Economy

OFAC Adopts Rule to Expand Medical, Agro Exports to Iran

OFAC Adopts Rule to Expand Medical, Agro Exports to IranOFAC Adopts Rule to Expand Medical, Agro Exports to Iran

The United States’ Office of Foreign Assets Control has adopted a final rule amending the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 560 (ITSR), to authorize additional transactions related to medicine, medical devices and agricultural commodities. 

The rule expands existing general licenses in the ITSR, which are adopted under the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000, as amended (TSRA). 

It includes new authorizations for training, replacement parts, software and services related to the operation, maintenance and repair of medical devices, and items related to product defects, recalls and other safety concerns, an American law journal, legal news website and legal analysis content-aggregating database The National Law Review reported.

The new regulation was first unveiled during the last days of Barack Obama in office as US president on December 22.

“In response to feedback from the regulated public regarding improving patient safety, OFAC is … expanding existing general licenses to authorize the provision of training for the safe and effective use or operation of agricultural commodities, medicine and medical devices,” it said. In a first, the Office of Foreign Assets Control is also allowing relevant companies to send Americans to Iran to help with their operation and maintenance.

With that move, Tyler Cullis of the pro-engagement National Iranian American Council said Obama broke a taboo. “It’s a pretty big deal moving forward,” Cullis told Al-Monitor.

Erich Ferrari, a sanctions lawyer who represents medical device makers’ interests before OFAC, said this allows Iran to reach the full benefit of the medical devices that OFAC, up until this point, has allowed to be exported there. 

“A lot of these devices are more complicated and there’s just a dearth of non-US personnel available to provide that type of training,” he said.

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