Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

U.S. amends Iran sanctions, allowing more medical, agricultural export

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The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has announced new rules, amending the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 560 (ITSR).

According to a statement by OFAC,  the revised rules – which will take effect December 23, 2016 – expand the scope of medical devices and agricultural commodities that may be exported or re-exported to Iran without specific authorization, pursuant to the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (TSRA).

The Treasury’s new Iran regulations also include new or expanded authorizations for training Iranian healthcare professionals to use and maintain medical devices.

The statement added that the changes would be implemented “in response to feedback from the regulated public regarding improving patient safety, provide new or expanded authorizations relating to training, replacement parts, software and services related to the operation, maintenance, and repair of medical devices, and items that are broken or connected to product recalls or other safety concerns.”

“It’s a pretty big deal moving forward,” Tyler Cullis of the National Iranian American Council told Al-Monitor.

“It allows Iran to reach the full benefit of the medical devices that OFAC, up until this point, has allowed to be exported there,” Erich Ferrari, a sanctions lawyer who represents medical device makers’ interests before OFAC, also told Al-Monitor.

“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 predicted that the Trump administration would have little incentive to overturn the new OFAC regulations on Iran.

“It’s all in furtherance of humanitarian trade,” he said. “And there’s congressional will for this type of trade to be unimpeded.”

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