On February 17, 2023, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued a statement indicating that it will expedite the processing of export license applications for items needed to assist in ongoing relief efforts in Turkey and Syria in response to the massive earthquake on February 6, 2023.
Turkey and Syria are subject to different licensing requirements under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). As a NATO ally, Turkey is subject to less stringent export controls and BIS notes that “most items needed to aid the Turkish people do not require an export license, but BIS will expedite any necessary license applications it receives.” Regarding Syria, BIS maintains broad government sanctions. BIS, however, has stated, “These export and reexport license requirements should not prevent or otherwise impede the shipment of aid and recovery-related items intended directly for the Syrian people or through nongovernmental humanitarian organizations (NGOs) in-country, including in areas under the control of the Assad regime and non-state actors.”
In addition to BIS’s statement, on February 19, 2023, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced an additional $100 million in assistance in response to the earthquake and indicated the United States “will continue working with the international community to provide lifesaving aid to earthquake affected areas.” See also State Department Fact Sheet regarding U.S. assistance.