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OFAC Further Clarifies Its 2012 Guidance on U.S. Participation in ISO and IEC Standards Development


UPDATED: On June 6, 2019, ANSI President and CEO Joe Bhatia sent a letter to the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) setting forth ANSI's view that continued engagement in open and unrestricted standards development activities is unaffected by the recent actions taken by BIS regarding Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.

UPDATED: On March 23, 2016, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) received written clarification from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) confirming that international standards development activities do not violate OFAC's Sudan sanctions regulations.

As OFAC stated in its initial guidance to ANSI on August 15, 2012, such activities were deemed to 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. [see related article]

Thus, 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.

Similar letters from OFAC relating to Cuba, Iran, and North Korea can be found here:


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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