Specifically, the Club advises its members to be cautious in dealings with the oil company and subsidiaries and also to take legal actions in any doubt as to whether any proposed transactions may incur a risk of U.S. sanctions.
Moreover, the UK P&I Club informs its members for licenses, which it should be noted contain authorisations of varying lengths of validity,may be of particular relevance to Members who have business with PdVSA or its subsidiaries:
- General License 7 that authorises (a) up to 27 July 2019, transactions and activities involving PDV Holding Inc (PDVH),CITGO Holding Inc. and their subsidiaries; (b) up to 28 April 2019, PDVH,CITGO Holding Inc. and their subsidiaries to engage in transactions and activities ordinarily incident and necessary to the purchase and importation of petroleum and petroleum products from PdVSA.
- General License 8 – authorises up to 27 July 2019, all transactions and activities ordinarily incident and necessary to the operations inVenezuela involving PdVSA or its subsidiaries for: Chevron Corporation, Halliburton, Schlumberger Limited, Baker Hughes, andWeatherford International.
- General License 11 – authorises up to 29 March 2019 (a) U.S. person employees and contractors of non-U.S. entities located outside of the U.S. andVenezuela to engage in all transactions and activities that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the maintenance or wind down of operations, contracts, or other agreements involving PdVSA and its subsidiaries, and (b) U.S. Financial institutions to reject funds transfers involving PdVSA and non-U.S. entities located outside of the U.S. orVenezuela.The GL expressly prohibits dealings with ALBA de Nicaragua (ALBANISA).
- General License 12 – authorises (a) up to 28 April 2019, all transactions and activities ordinarily incident and necessary to the purchase and import into the United States of petroleum and petroleum products from PdVSA or its subsidiaries, and (b) up to 28 February 2019, all transactions ordinarily incidental and necessary to the wind down of operations, contracts, or other agreements, including the importation into the United States of goods, services, or technology not authorised under (a) involving PdVSA or its subsidiaries.
- General License 13 – authorises up to 27 July 2019, all transactions where the only PdVSA entities involved are Nynas AB or any of its subsidiaries.
In addition, the Club informs of useful FAQs that have been published on the OFAC website, with effect from January 31 2019, and focus on the interpretation of the relevant Executive Orders and the General Licences.
Furthermore, the Club has been asked if a non-US shipowner that provides ocean transportation for PdVSA would be at risk of being regarded as providing services in support of a blocked person.
The Club considers it unlikely that the U.S. intends to target non-U.S. persons, bearing in mind the absence of any explicit prohibition on PdVSA shipments to third countries and an absence of wind-down licenses for such shipments.
It is also considered significant that there are no specific secondary sanctions directed against insurance of targeted trades or activities.
Members who have trading relationships with PdVSA or its subsidiaries and who could potentially be affected by the sanctions are therefore recommended to exercise caution in their dealings with PdVSA or its subsidiaries and to take legal advice on proposed trades until the situation becomes clearer.