Important information on U.S. prohibitions ON IRAN AND CRIMEA

We at the SCA care deeply about providing high quality coffee education to communities around the world. As an international association, we have an obligation to our members to ensure our organization operates within the law.

Current U.S. law requires us to comply with a variety of U.S. sanctions and regulations which prohibit SCA and anyone representing SCA or our products from providing member services, such as benefits, news updates, competitions, and education courses or certifications to people or businesses operating within certain countries and regions. This currently includes Iran and Crimea.

The SCA is a US-based nonprofit organization, exempt from tax under IRC 501(c)(6) and organized under the laws of California as a mutual benefit corporation, and therefore subject to the laws of the United States Government.

This means that the SCA, Authorized SCA Trainers (ASTs), and other SCA representatives cannot provide any services— including events, training, and membership— to someone who usually lives in Iran or Crimea. It also means that SCA staff and anyone representing the SCA cannot travel to Iran or Crimea to provided SCA services. However, if a customer is of Iranian or Crimean origin but usually resides in another country, then they are able to receive SCA services, like SCA courses and certificates.

What Does This Means for ASTs?

Effective immediately, all ASTs are advised to request a residential address from all students prior to teaching a course. If the student’s residential address is in Iran or Crimea, the AST cannot provide SCA education courses to that student.

Additionally, we have made changes to the Education Certificate Request Form to make it simple to collect residential address information from students. This information will be required for all students in order for SCA staff to process invoices and certificate requests.

ASTs with questions about these prohibitions may email Susan Hollins, SCA's Chief Education Officer, at

What Does This Mean for Competitions?

World Coffee Events (WCE) is a company owned by the SCA and must also comply with US regulations preventing persons living in Iran or Crimea from participating in our events. However, if a competitor of Iranian or Crimean origin resides in another country, they are able to participate in events as normal.

Has the SCA Banned People from Iran and Crimea? 

To be clear: The SCA has not banned anyone from Iran or Crimea. The SCA is a nonprofit association registered in the United States and has an obligation to its members to adhere to the law. The SCA's mission is to support specialty coffee communities in every corner of the world and we stand firmly against any laws that seek to divide us. We are doing our best to seek legal permissions to continue engaging with the coffee communities in Iran and Crimea and will provide updates as soon as we news.

Get In Touch

Do you have questions about these regulations? Please get in touch with us via email at