In an updated general license issued by the US Treasury Department on Thursday, it was announced that Americans will now be able to pay taxes, fees, and import duties in Russia. This permit extension comes as a relief to US nationals who were previously subject to a reporting requirement if they had any property in which Russian financial institutions held an interest.
The new order allows “US persons, or entities owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by a US person” to conduct transactions such as paying taxes, fees, or import duties, as well as purchasing or receiving permits, licenses, registrations, or certifications. However, these transactions must be considered necessary for day-to-day operations in the Russian Federation of the US persons or entities involved. The permit is valid until November 8, 2023, at 12:01 am eastern standard time.
It is important to note that the general license does not permit any debit transactions with the Bank of Russia, the National Wealth Fund, or the Ministry of Finance on the books of a US financial institution. Additionally, the license strictly prohibits any transactions that are otherwise prohibited by the Russian Harmful Foreign Activities Sanctions Regulations (RuHSR). This includes transactions involving any person blocked pursuant to the RuHSR, unless separately authorized.
The extension of this permit replaces and supersedes the previous one issued on May 19, and it will become effective on August 10.
These financial measures imposed by the US against Russia are part of broader sanctions implemented due to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. The sanctions have had a significant impact on various aspects of the Russian economy, including trade, energy exports, investment, finance, and tourism. Additionally, numerous Russian individuals have been blacklisted, and about half of Russia’s foreign currency reserves have been frozen.
The move to allow Americans to pay taxes, fees, and import duties in Russia is seen as an attempt to ease some of the burdens placed on US nationals and entities operating in the Russian Federation. By providing this authorization, the US Treasury Department aims to facilitate the day-to-day operations of American individuals and entities, while still maintaining necessary restrictions on certain financial transactions.
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