Implementation Day Arrives For Iran Agreement

On January 16, the International Atomic Energy Agency announced that Iran has fully implemented its nuclear-related commitments described under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) bringing about Implementation Day under the agreement. Implementation Day, the second stage of the JCPOA, obligates the United States and the EU to cease the application of a number of nuclear-related sanctions against Iran.

The main impact of Implementation Day in the United States is to cease the application of certain types of nuclear-related secondary sanctions to non-U.S. persons (i.e., individuals who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, companies that are not incorporated in the United States, and persons who are not located in the United States). However, non-U.S. financial institutions can still be subject to correspondent or payable-through account sanctions for knowingly facilitating a significant financial transaction that involves persons who remain blocked after Implementation Day, and the sale, supply, or transfer to or from Iran of certain types of goods intended for prohibited end uses. Secondary sanctions will still apply to non-U.S. persons who engage in activities for certain prohibited end uses (e.g., materially assist, sponsor, or provide financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or any of its officials, agents, or affiliates) or end users (e.g., those persons remaining on the Specially Designated Nationals List).

Non-U.S. companies that are owned or controlled by a U.S. company also will be able to engage in more activities involving Iran under General License H. General License H generally does not authorize such non-U.S. companies to export or re-export U.S. origin goods, services, or technology from the United States or a third country, and it does not permit transfers of funds to, from, or through the U.S. financial system. U.S. persons who own or control non-U.S. companies are permitted to establish or alter operating policies and procedures to allow the non-U.S. entity to engage in transactions authorized by General License H. U.S. persons also may provide training, advice, and counseling on any new or revised operating policies and procedures, provided that these services are not provided to facilitate transactions in violation of U.S. law. Finally, U.S. persons may make any automated and globally integrated computer, accounting, email, telecommunications, or other business support systems, platforms, databases, applications or servers available to non-U.S. entities they own or control for the purposes of storing, collecting, transmitting, generating, or otherwise processing documents or information related to permitted transactions. The U.S. person who owns or controls the non-U.S. entity will continue to be held liable for transactions conducted by a non-U.S. entity that are outside the scope of General License H.

U.S. companies will see some limited sanctions relief as a result of Implementation Day. A Statement of Licensing Policy allows the U.S. Government to issue specific licenses on a case-by-case basis for certain activities related to the export or re-export to Iran of commercial passenger aircraft and related parts and services (including warranty, maintenance, and repair services and safety-related inspections) if the items and services are used exclusively for commercial passenger aviation. The importation into the United States of Iranian carpets and foodstuffs also is authorized under a General License.