The US Office of Foreign Assets Control (‘OFAC’) has reversed the designation of an Italian company, PB Tankers, which was designated in April of this year, for operating in the oil sector of the Venezuelan economy.
OFAC says: ‘Six vessels were identified as blocked property in the interest of PB Tankers; one vessel, named the Silver Point, was used to deliver oil products from Venezuela to Cuba.’
On 4 July, OFAC announced that PB tankers had been delisted, noting, ‘Following the company’s designation, PB Tankers terminated its charter agreement with Cubametales, which had chartered the Silver Point to transport oil between Venezuela and Cuba. Likewise, PB Tankers took additional steps to increase scrutiny of its business operations to prevent future sanctionable activity.
‘Treasury recognizes the actions that PB Tankers has taken to ensure that its vessels are not complicit in propping up the illegitimate former Maduro regime in Venezuela. As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property, which had been blocked as a result of PB Tankers’ designation, are unblocked, and all otherwise lawful transactions involving U.S. persons and PB Tankers are no longer prohibited.’
The notice was accompanied with a reminder that, ‘U.S. sanctions need not be permanent; sanctions are intended to bring about a positive change of behavior. The United States has made clear that the removal of sanctions is available for persons designated under E.O. 13692 or E.O. 13850, both as amended, who take concrete and meaningful actions to restore the democratic order, including through refusing to operate in Venezuela’s oil sector, which continues to provide a lifeline to the illegitimate regime of former President Nicolas Maduro.’
A source familiar with the delisting told WorldECR that ‘The sanctions were removed because the Italian government was furious, and made a very, very, vocal representation to the US government.’