USPS Homepage

514 Exceptions

Many OFAC sanctions programs have exemptions that cover the mailing of items such as certain humanitarian donations, personal communications containing nothing of value, or informational materials like books, newspapers, and CDs. In addition, under each sanctions program, OFAC has established “general licenses” that authorize shipments under certain conditions. If no exemption or general license applies, a mailing may be allowed if the mailer applies for and obtains a “specific license” from OFAC.

The exemptions and general licenses are specific to each sanctions program, and mailers are advised to review the OFAC regulations applicable to the relevant sanctions program.

Note: The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) also regulates exports to these countries and regions (see 532.1). The mailer might require separate authorization from both BIS and OFAC. For more information, see Publication 699.