President Barack Obama recently issued an Executive Order terminating the U.S. sanctions program targeting Liberia. The program began in 2004 and was intended to deprive former Liberian President Charles Taylor and others of arms and funding for West African conflicts. President Obama cited the conviction of former President Charles Taylor and Liberia’s freely held elections in 2005 and 2011 as factors leading to termination of the program.
As part of terminating the Liberian sanctions program, President Obama removed 107 parties previously designated under the program from the list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (“SDN List”) maintained by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control. As of today, only six entities with Liberian addresses remain on the SDN List, each of which are United Arab Emirates shipping companies designated under the U.S. sanctions program against Iran.
Although U.S. companies doing business internationally should continue to screen third parties involved in such business to ensure that they are not identified on any U.S. restricted parties lists, the previously heightened sanctions-related risk associated with doing business with or involving Liberia has been reduced.