The regulation affecting the ability of ISA to conduct activities in certain restricted countries and to interact with persons residing in those countries is the Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”) within the US Department of the Treasury. References to “ISA” includes ISA itself, as well as ISA Sections, Districts, Divisions, etc.
Presently, restricted countries include Cuba, Crimea Region of Ukraine, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. The permissible and impermissible activities listed below apply to those countries. Additional countries are relevant should ISA wish to organize or sponsor a conference or other event in one of those countries. These are identified below as well.
Here is what ISA can do:
- Allow persons in restricted countries to become members
- Invoice and collect dues from those members
- Sell journals, newsletters, and other publications (print or electronic)
- Allow attendance at ISA events
- Publish (including peer review and substantive editing), market, and pay royalties for articles and books authored by persons in restricted countries who are not employees or representatives of the government of the restricted country
Here is what ISA cannot do:
- Form or recognize chapters or similar units of members in a restricted country
- Issue an ISA certification, certificate, or similar earned designation to any person in a restricted country
- Bestow awards (non-financial)
- Conduct certification preparation or examinations in a restricted country
- Provide peer review or substantive editing to works authored by any employee or representative of the government of the restricted country
- Sponsor or co-sponsor conferences or events at conferences
- Provide training, consulting, research assistance, or similar services
- Award scholarships
- License materials, including standards, if the license allows for the alteration or enhancement or adaptation of those materials
ISA Sections and Regions
Activities that are impermissible for ISA to engage in directly also cannot be engaged in indirectly, e.g., through a Section, District or Division, even if located in a country that does not have the same restrictions as the US. Sections are legally separate and exercise a material degree of independence, but they are not autonomous. ISA has extensive rules for the operation of sections, and unless and until OFAC issues guidance the exonerates a US-based international organization from the conduct of its organizational units, ISA sections (and regions and contractors) should follow these same rules.
Securing a Specific License
For some of these prohibited activities, such as events, certification, and certain publishing, it may be possible to obtain a specific license from OFAC to conduct those activities.
Other Restricted Countries for Events
If ISA would like to hold or sponsor an event of any kind in certain countries – specifically, the Balkans, Belarus, Burma, Congo, Iraq, Liberia, and Zimbabwe – ISA should consult with OFAC well in advance.
Please bear in mind that criminal penalties can be imposed for violations of the prohibitions on doing business in restricted countries and with persons in restricted countries. Therefore, it is best to be cautious in this regard.
*Updated 17 September 2020