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Syria Accountability Act - FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions on the U.S. Trade and Financial Sanctions Against Syria

  • How does the SAA affect business with Syria?
  • Are there other U.S. laws restricting exports to Syria?
  • Do I need a license to import U.S. items to Syria?
  • Are there any exemptions to the export restrictions?
  • What other SAA sanctions could be implemented in the future against Syria?
  • Does the United States review the implementation of the SAA?
  • Do Sanctions influence Syrian visa applicants?


How does the SAA affect business with Syria?

The SAA requires the President to select two or more sanctions of the six sanctions defined in the SAA.  One of the two sanctions the President chose to implement is a ban on exports of products of the United States to Syria (other than food and medicine). The definition of a U.S. product is any good produced in or shipped from the United States or any good with more than 10% de minimus U.S. origin content. The other sanction the President chose to implement is prohibiting Syrian air carriers from take-off, landing, and overflight of the United States.


Are there other U.S. laws restricting exports to Syria?

Syria’s inclusion on the State Sponsors of Terrorism List as well as the SAA requires the President to restrict the export of any items to Syria that appear on the U.S. Munitions List (weapons, ammunition) or Commerce Control List (dual-use items).

Do I need a license to import U.S. items to Syria?

Yes, but there are a few exceptions, including food and some types of medicine.

Are there any exemptions to the export restrictions?

Yes, but the Department of Commerce will review license applications on a case-by-case basis for exports or re-exports to Syria under a general policy of denial.  Items potentially eligible include: medical devices and supplies, parts and components for civil safety of flight, and telecommunications equipment.


What other SAA sanctions could be implemented in the future against Syria?

  • Ban on U.S. businesses investing or operating in Syria;
  • Restriction on travel of Syrian diplomats to within a 25-mile radius of their posting in the United States;
  • Reduction of diplomatic relations with Syria; or
  • Blocking U.S. persons or entities from engaging in any property transactions with the Syrian government.


Does the United States review the implementation of the SAA?

The U.S. government constantly reviews Syria's progress toward meeting the conditions set forth in the SAA.  By law the President must annually formally review sanctions as imposed, deciding whether to maintain, decrease, or increase the sanctions and notifying Congress of his conclusions. In addition to the annual formal review, the President can at any time decide to implement additional SAA sanctions.

Do Sanctions influence Syrian visa applicants?

No, unless you are one of the people named by the EO. The visas are judicated in accordance with the U.S. law and are separate from financial and trade sanctions.