OFAC Issues Quarterly TSRA Report
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has recently issued its Report of Licensing Activities Pursuant to the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000 (TSRA) for the period April through June 2004.
OFAC’s TSRA report indicates that even though specific licenses issued by OFAC are no longer required to export agricultural commodities, medicine and medical devices to Libya there was a 5.6% increase in the number of license applications received during April-June 2004 compared to the prior quarter (226 for April-June 2004 and 214 for January-March 2004). While the quarterly report does not provide year-over-year figures, there has been a 50% increase in TSRA license applications during the past year. For example, OFAC’s April-June 2003 quarterly report states that there were only 147 license applications received during April-June 2003 and only 134 license applications received during January-March 2003.
Medical devices continue to account for the majority of all TSRA applications. Of the 226 license applications received by OFAC during April-June 2004, 128 were applications to export medical devices, 78 were for agricultural commodities and 20 were for medicines.
The quarterly report indicates that there was a significant slowdown in the licensing process during April-June 2004. The average processing time for issuing licenses increased by 64.9% to 28.2 business days in April-June 2004 from 17.1 business days in January-March 2004. The average time for issuing licensing determinations increased by 49.4% to 23.9 business days compared to 16 business days in the preceding quarter.
OFAC’s quarterly report claims that the delays are due to the increased complexity and length of license applications (the majority of license applications --195 of 226 -- pertained to the export of medical devices to Iran) coupled with more protracted scrutiny on the part of other reviewing agencies (primarily the Department of State). The report notes that the 30-day extension of the nine-business day review period by other agencies is taken for nearly all cases. Interagency review exceeded the 30-day extension period in 31.9% of licensed cases (compared to 11.1% for January-March 2004). Of these cases, the review period exceeded the 30-day extended period by an average of 24.7 business days (compared to 12.7 business days for January-March 2004).
As a reminder, written comments on the effectiveness of OFAC's TSRA licensing procedures for inclusion in OFAC's second biennial report to the Congress are due on September 8, 2004.
OFAC’s quarterly report for April-June 2004 can be viewed at the following link: