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Global Magnitsky Designations - Ventspils Freeport Authority

On 9 December 2019, OFAC made a number of designations under its “Global Magnitsky” sanctions programme. This programme (under the authority of Executive Order 13818) targets human rights violators and those responsible for corruption, and authorises the imposition of travel bans and asset freezes against persons determined to have violated human rights or committed acts of corruption anywhere in the world. The list of persons designated under the programme was amended on 9 December to include:

LEMBERGSAivarsVentspils, Latvia; DOB 26 Sep 1953; POB Jekabpils, Latvia; nationality Latvia; Gender Male (individual) [GLOMAG].


OFAC states that Aivars Lembergs is designated for “…being a foreign person who is a current or former government official responsible for or complicit in, or directly or indirectly engaged in, corruption, including the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources, or bribery”. Lembergs is reported by OFAC to own and control Ventspils Freeport Authority.

The designation of the Ventspils Freeport Authority could affect use of the port by members. Any person providing material assistance to, or goods or services in support of Ventspils Freeport Authority risks the imposition of sanctions as set out in Executive Order 13818.

At the same time, OFAC issued Global Magnitsky General License No. 1 which licenses “…all transactions and activities prohibited by the Global Magnitsky Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. part 583, that are ordinarily incident and necessary to the wind down of transactions involving, directly or indirectly Ventspils Freeport Authority or any entity Ventspils Freeport Authority owns, directly or indirectly, a 50 percent or greater interest, are authorized through 12:01 a.m. eastern standard time, January 08, 2020.”

There is therefore leeway for members to take steps to wind down their use of Ventspils port by 8 January 2020.