October 25, 2022

Executive Order Targets Nicaraguan Gold Sector and Related Authorities

President Joseph R. Biden signed an Executive Order ("EO") amending EO 13851 ("Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Nicaragua") to target Nicaragua's gold sector and enhance Treasury and OFAC's ability to hold the government of Nicaragua accountable for its "continued attacks on Nicaraguans' freedom of expression and assembly."

The new EO grants the Department of Treasury the authority to designate certain persons that have operated in the gold sector of the Nicaraguan economy in the past or present, and allows for Treasury to sanction any other sector identified by the Secretary of the Treasury in consultation with the Secretary of State. The EO also includes provisions that empower the Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of Commerce to prohibit (i) new investment in certain identified sectors in Nicaragua, (ii) the importation of certain products of Nicaraguan origin into the United States and (iii) the exportation, re-exportation, sale or supply from the United States or by a United States person of certain items to Nicaragua.

Pursuant to the EO, OFAC designated Nicaragua's Head of State Security as well as Nicaragua's Directorate General of Mines. OFAC issued new General License No. 4, authorizing the wind down of transactions involving the Directorate General of Mines or the Nicaraguan Ministry of Energy and Mines. OFAC also published one related Frequently Asked Question.