US OFAC issues guidance on sanctions compliance services

New guidance issued by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) clarifies that U.S. attorneys, compliance personnel, and others are not prohibited from providing services related to compliance with U.S. sanctions laws, even where sanctions would otherwise prohibit U.S. persons from direct or indirect involvement in the underlying business activities.  To read more from our CC&I team, click here.

EU extends the duration of asset freeze in relation to Ukraine’s territorial integrity

On 15 September 2016, the European Council announced that the EU's Russia-related asset freezing measures imposed in relation to Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence (which were previously due to expire on 15 September 2016) will be extended for a further six months until 15 March 2017.  This extension was effected by Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/1671 of 15 September 2016 (the "Decision"), amending Council Decision 2014/145/CFSP. The Decision came into force upon publication in the Official Journal on 16 September 2016.

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EU further expands sanctions against Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

In light of missile and nuclear weapons tests by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (“DPRK”) earlier this year, which the EU has described as posing “a grave threat to international peace and security”, the EU Council has decided to impose additional restrictive measures against DPRK. This follows the EU’s expansion of its DPRK sanctions in May 2016, in response to UN Security Council Resolution 2270 (2016) in March 2016.

The EU measures, as summarised in this briefing, include:

  • a prohibition on investment into the EU by DPRK persons;
  • restrictions on funds transfers to/from DPRK and the ability of EU financial institutions to carry out transactions with DPRK; and
  • additional trade sanctions, including a ban on the import of listed petroleum products from DPRK.

We also provide a summary of recent US developments in relation to DPRK, in particular its recent designation as a jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern and the special measures proposed in relation to this finding.

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Sanctions update – creation of Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation and changes to UK financial sanctions regime

The Summer Budget 2015 contained a commitment to significantly revamp the UK's approach to the implementation and to the enforcement of financial sanctions, at both the administrative and legislative level.  These changes have now begun to be introduced, through the creation of the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation ("OFSI") within Her Majesty's Treasury ("HMT") and the proposed introduction of new financial sanctions legislation contained in the draft Policing and Crime Bill (the "Bill").  The Bill provides for an increase in the minimum criminal penalties applicable to breaches of financial sanctions, and introduces a new power for HMT to impose civil monetary penalties in certain circumstances.  The Bill also provides for swifter implementation of UN financial sanctions in the UK.  

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Corporate Crime Monthly Update October 2015

Welcome to the October 2015 edition of our corporate crime update – our round up of developments in relation to corruption, money laundering, fraud, sanctions and related matters. Our update now covers a number of jurisdictions. For the full update on each jurisdiction, please click on the name of the jurisdiction below. Below we provide a brief overview of what is covered in each update.

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Sanctions Update: Iran

Further to our previous briefing, it has been announced that negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran regarding Iran’s nuclear program have been further extended and will now continue until 10 July. As with previous announcements regarding the timeframe for negotiations, no steps have yet been taken by the UN, US or EU to introduce additional sanctions relief and so all previous sanctions against Iran remain in force.

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EU extends duration of sanctions against Russia and Crimea & Sevastopol

The EU has recently announced an extension of its sanctions imposed in response to the situation in Ukraine. EU leaders had previously confirmed that the duration of sanctions affecting Russia would be linked to the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, currently foreseen to be completed by 31 December 2015. The EU has therefore taken steps to extend the validity of its sanctions against Russia beyond this period; the underlying Council Decisions would otherwise have expired before the Minsk Agreements are expected to be fully implemented.

This briefing provides a summary of the new EU legislation and the revised expiry dates of the various measures. There have been no substantive changes to the restrictive measures and EU persons should therefore continue to comply with all applicable measures.

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