Archives: EU Sanctions

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EU Blocking Statute Takes Effect to Counter US Re-Imposed Sanctions on Iran

In response to President Trump’s Executive Order re-imposing certain Iran-related sanctions, summarized in our recent post, the EU has expanded the scope of the EU Blocking Statute to cover certain US Iran-focused sanctions.  On August 7, immediately following the US government’s re-imposition of certain Iran-related sanctions, the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/1100 amending the annex … Continue Reading

EU Extends the Scope of EU Blocking Statute to Protect Against Extra Territorial Application of US Re-Imposed Sanctions on Iran

On June 6, and in furtherance of its May 16 announcement, the European Commission adopted a delegated act to amend the annex to the EU Blocking Statute by adding within its scope US Iran-related secondary sanctions that have extra-territorial application.  The delegated act will enter into force once it is published in the EU Official … Continue Reading

A Brief Explanation of the EU Blocking Statute Process in Support of the JCPOA

On May 18, the Commission announced the launch of the formal process to activate the EU “blocking statute” (Council Regulation (EC) 2271/96) by updating the list of US sanctions on Iran falling within its scope. The Commission starts the formal process after receiving unanimous informal support from the leaders of the EU Member States to … Continue Reading

EU Moves to Reactivate Blocking Statute, Launches Other Initiatives Regarding Iran

Here’s the official press release.  The EU Blocking Regulation, which in its heyday was only sparingly (if ever) enforced with respect to Iran, is now coming to the fore as one of the European Union’s key  tools to help EU companies cope with President Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA.  The European Union also announced other … Continue Reading

The Plot Thickens: EU Prepares to Invoke Blocking Regulation in Response to U.S. Withdrawal from JCPOA

As the world seeks to come to grips with President Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA, it appears that the European Union will play one of its strongest cards by invoking its “Blocking Regulation“, which would prohibit European companies from complying with U.S. sanctions against Iran.  European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had this to say: As the … Continue Reading

President Trump Reissues Iran Sanctions Waivers, but Warns That Concerns over JCPOA Must Be Addressed

On January 12, President Trump announced that he was reissuing statutory waivers necessary to continue certain sanctions relief pursuant to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA” or Iran nuclear deal), but stated that this was the last time he would reissue such waivers unless his concerns over the agreement were addressed.  On the same … Continue Reading

UN and EU North Korea Sanctions: Impacts on European and Cross-Border Trade

As tensions continue to escalate between the United States and North Korea, and President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un trade increasingly tense lobs, the United Nations, the EU, the United States, and other countries continue to impose further stringent sanctions against North Korea to a breaking point (for details on UN Security Council Resolution 2375 … Continue Reading

Economic Sanctions Webinar

On Wednesday, November 15 at 12:00 PM EST, Anthony Rapa will be presenting “Recent Developments in Economic Sanctions: Russia, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, and Cuba,” a webinar hosted by Federal Publications.  As described on the Federal Publications website: From “decertifying” the Iran deal to disputes with “Rocket Man,” the economic sanctions world has seen dizzying … Continue Reading

EU Adopts Initial Set of Sanctions Against Venezuela

In light of the continuing deterioration of the democracy and human rights in Venezuela, the Foreign Affairs Council of Ministers agreed on November 13 to adopt a first set of sanctions measures against Venezuela. These measures are reflected in two EU legal instruments, Council Regulation (EU) 2017/2063 of 13 November 2017 concerning restrictive measures in view … Continue Reading

EU Raises Specter of Blocking Regulation as Trump Administration Ponders JCPOA

In a panel hosted by the Atlantic Council last week, the EU Ambassador to the United States, David O’Sullivan, stated that the European Union could block U.S. sanctions on Iran if the United States pulls out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”). The U.S. Congress built in a requirement under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review … Continue Reading

European Commission Proposes EU-Wide Scheme for Screening Foreign Investments in the EU

The European Commission issued on September 13th 2017 a Proposal for a Regulation establishing a framework on the screening of foreign direct investments (FDI) into the EU. The objective of this proposal is two-fold: pushing third countries to open their domestic markets to EU investments, and protecting EU assets against foreign takeovers detrimental to the … Continue Reading

Between a rock and a hard place: How to ensure sanction compliance when operating a facility in a sanctions-targeted country

The recently reported resignation of cement manufacturer LafargeHolcim’s CEO has thrown a spotlight on the risks of operating commercial activities in countries targeted by economic sanctions.[1] Without drawing any conclusions on the legal qualification of LafargeHolcim’s conduct in the specific circumstances, the following provides an overview of the principal issues at stake in this case. … Continue Reading

What’s in a Photo? And Thoughts on the UK Sanctions Scene

A couple of recent news items throw into sharp relief what we long have noted here at the International Compliance Blog—that economic sanctions are a key tool of a country’s national security and foreign policy, and can serve as an instrument by which to influence a broad array of events. First, take a look at this photo: … Continue Reading

OFSI Issues Regulations Implementing Civil Penalties for Financial Sanctions Violations

Following up on our previous post, yesterday the UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) issued regulations formally implementing the civil penalties framework set out in the Policing and Crime Act 2017.  OFSI has issued a press release, regulations regarding civil penalties, responses received to OFSI’s request for consultation regarding draft guidance issued in December … Continue Reading

UK to Move Towards US-Style Sanctions Enforcement with Upcoming Penalty Regulations

The UK’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation will soon issue regulations that could significantly alter the British sanctions enforcement environment, and bring it closer in line with the US’s approach to such violations.  On the heels of the newly-enacted Policing and Crime Act 2017, the regulations will introduce civil penalties for the violation of financial … Continue Reading

Non-Member States Align with EU on Russia Sanctions Extension

On October 24, the EU announced that Liechtenstein, Norway, Montenegro, Albania, and Ukraine would renew sanctions against Russia in alignment with current EU policy.  As we have previously discussed, the EU prolonged restrictive measures against Russia in September, after determining that the situation in Ukraine did not merit a change in sanctions policy.  The asset … Continue Reading

How the 2016 Election Will Impact Public Policy Developments

Sunday’s presidential town hall debate was the second of three opportunities for candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to make their case to the American electorate.  In addition to the discussion of personal and character issues, the candidates touched on a range of policy issues, including tax policy, financial services, energy, and international trade.  The … Continue Reading

EU Prolongs Sanctions Over Actions Against Ukraine’s Territorial Integrity

The Council of the European Union has decided to prolong by 6 months the application of EU restrictive measures targeting actions against Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence. These sanctions consist of an asset freeze and a travel ban against 146 persons and 37 entities.  They have been extended until 15 March 2017. The measures … Continue Reading

EU Extends Russia Sanctions Through January 2017

The EU has extended, today, economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy to 31 January 2017.  The extension is set out in Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/1071. The sanctions concern the financial, energy and defence sectors, as well as dual-use goods, and have been extended because the Council has assessed that the Minsk agreements … Continue Reading

French Senate Overwhelmingly Votes to Roll Back Russia Sanctions

Yesterday, the French Senate voted 302-16 to “gradually and partially” lift sanctions on Russia, despite opposition from the Hollande government.  While this vote has no legal effect, it was a strong showing of political opposition in France to the continuing EU sanctions.  The US and EU have largely remained aligned on their policy that Russia … Continue Reading

UK Government Proposes Increased Penalties for Sanctions Violations

On February 10, 2016, a draft of the Policing and Crime Bill 2015-16 (“the Bill”) was introduced to the UK House of Commons and given its First Reading.  The Bill is a lengthy document covering a wide variety of issues, including financial sanctions, which are contained within Part 8. Alongside the Bill, the UK government … Continue Reading

EU Ending Most Sanctions Against Belarus – Will the US follow?

According to a February 15, 2016 announcement, the Council of the European Union has decided to permanently end certain sanctions against Belarus. The EU will lift measures that froze the assets of individuals and entities connected to the regime of Alexander Lukashenko. An arms embargo and sanctions on persons closely linked to the disappearance of … Continue Reading

US, EU Implement Iran Sanctions Relief

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran and six world powers became effective on January 16, 2016 (“Implementation Day”), triggering significant sanctions relief in exchange for Iran curtailing its nuclear program.  While the EU has lifted most of its sanctions against Iran and the US has also eased a broad range of sanctions applicable … Continue Reading
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