READOUT: Under Secretary Brian Nelson’s Roundtable with Humanitarian Groups on Ansrallah (“Houthis”) Designation

WASHINGTON – On January 25, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson convened a roundtable with representatives of non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and U.S. government implementers to discuss the designation of Ansarallah (“Houthis”) and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issuance of five additional general licenses.   

Under Secretary Nelson condemned the Houthis’ attacks on civilian shipping, while emphasizing Treasury’s continued commitment to ensure that U.S. sanctions do not stand in the way of humanitarian activities and the delivery of essential commercial goods to the people of Yemen.  Roundtable participants highlighted the importance of engagement with the commercial sector to ensure that the people of Yemen continue to have access to essential goods and services. Under Secretary Nelson committed to work proactively with the private sector and humanitarian actors to preserve these activities. 

During the roundtable, representatives from OFAC described relevant available general licenses (GLs) in the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations. In December 2022, Treasury issued or amended GLs to ease the delivery of humanitarian aid and ensure a baseline of authorizations for the provision of humanitarian support across many sanctions programs.  In response to feedback received from humanitarian actors about the importance of certain commercial activities to their operations, OFAC issued five additional general licenses in conjunction with the announcement of the Houthis’ designation to further minimize disruptions to the flow of humanitarian assistance, essential commercial goods, and personal remittances to Yemen. Those licenses are:

  • General License 22 — “Transactions Related to the Provision of Agricultural Commodities, Medicine, Medical Devices, Replacement Parts and Components, or Software Updates Involving Ansarallah”   
  • General License 23 — “Authorizing Transactions Related to Telecommunications, Mail, and Certain Internet-Based Communications Involving Ansarallah” 
  • General License 24 — “Authorizing Noncommercial, Personal Remittances Involving Ansarallah” 
  • General License 25 — “Authorizing Transactions Related to Refined Petroleum Products in Yemen Involving Ansarallah”
  • General License 26 — “Authorizing Certain Transactions Necessary to Port and Airport Operations Involving Ansarallah.”

In addition to these GLs, OFAC issued public guidance in the form of a Frequently Asked Question available here. This FAQ reiterates that Yemen is not subject to jurisdiction-based sanctions, nor will it become subject to jurisdiction-based sanctions on February 16, 2024.  OFAC will issue further guidance on this designation in the near term. 


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