In 2012, at the request of our members, ANSI contacted the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) requesting guidance on the applicability of U.S. sanctions regulations to international standards development activities through the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). In its response, OFAC stated that these standards development activities do not violate OFAC's sanctions regulations.
According to OFAC, standards development activities either fall within the "informational materials" exemption to the sanctions regulations, or are authorized under a general license, which allows for collaboration on the creation and enhancement of written publications, such as international standards. As a result, continued participation in standards development is permissible in light of OFAC's guidance and its regulations.
In 2015 ANSI sought additional guidance regarding several other countries. In 2016 OFAC confirmed that international standards development activities do not violate OFAC's Sudan sanctions regulations, and also sent clarification with respect to Iran. In line with OFAC’s 2012 guidance, such activities were deemed to fall within the “informational materials” exemption. Recognizing that ISO and IEC standards are created with input from member bodies in embargoed countries and adopted as national standards by member bodies in those countries, OFAC determined that participation in development of such standards by ANSI and its members is permissible under current OFAC regulations.
Review ANSI’s guidance requests and OFAC’s responses: