Sanction Law
Your Guide to the Office of Foreign Assets Control

Senator Seeks Removal of Zimbabwe Sanctions

U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe has reintroduced the Zimbabwe Sanctions Repeal Act of 2011 in an attempt to remove economic sanctions imposed on that country nearly a decade ago with the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001 (Zidera). Zidera is codified at 22 U.S.C. 2151.

According to a release from Senator Inhofe’s office, the US has for the first time admitted that Zidera imposes sanctions on the country, as opposed to just targeted individuals. Senator Inhofe is contending that under the U.S. backed power sharing agreement that Zimbabwe’s economy is beginning to recover, however, the sanctions imposed upon the African nation are slowing the country’s growth.

There is an outstanding question on whether the passing of the Zimbabwe Sanctions Repeal Act of 2011 would impact the sanctions targeting Zimbabwe imposed by Executive Order 13288. On March 7, 2003, as a result of actions and policies by certain members of the government of Zimbabwe, and its supporters to undermine democratic institutions and processes in Zimbabwe, President Bush issued Executive Order 13288 imposing sanctions against specifically identified individuals and entities in Zimbabwe. The list of targeted parties under this program now also includes immediate family members of any designated individual of the Zimbabwe sanctions, as well as those persons providing assistance to any sanctions target. This executive order was issued pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”), the National Emergencies Act and sections 301 of title 3 of the United States Code.

Even with the passing of the Zimbabwe Sanctions Repeal Act of 2011, the sanctions imposed under E.O. 13288 would still remain. However, this may not be an issue for Senator Inhofe because it seems from the statements released from his office that he has taken issue with the country wide impact of sanctions; not those sanctions specifically targeting particular individuals and entities. As such, regardless of the outcome of the Zimbabwe Sanctions Repeal Act of 2011, U.S. parties will still need to proceed with caution when engaging in transactions with Zimbabwe.

The author of this blog is Erich Ferrari, an attorney specializing in OFAC matters. If you have any questions please contact him at 202-280-6370 or

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