The EU has recently published a new Regulation (Regulation 697/2013 of 22 July 2013 (“Regulation 697/2013”)) which amends Regulation 36/2012, the key piece of legislation setting out the EU’s sanctions against Syria. In this briefing we analyse the new provisions and provide an update on other recent changes to EU and US sanctions.
In summary, the briefing covers the following developments:
- Member States can authorise certain prohibited transactions, including the import or purchase of Syrian oil, if the activity in question is for the purpose of providing assistance to the Syrian civilian population.
- EU financial institutions can be licensed to enter into certain transactions (such as the opening of new bank accounts) with Syrian banks, again, provided the relevant authorities are satisfied that the activity in question is for the purpose of providing assistance to the Syrian civilian population.
- Various amendments have been made to the restrictions on the provision of military and dual-use goods, including allowing Member States discretion as to whether they prohibit the supply of certain goods (or impose a prior authorisation requirement) and the introduction of an exemption for certain restricted items where they are supplied as consumer goods.
- EU financial institutions are subject to additional restrictions on their relationships with their counterparts in North Korea, including a restriction on establishing and maintaining correspondent banking relationships with North Korean banks.
- An additional category of persons and entities can now be designated by the EU as subject to the asset freeze. The new list will include individuals or entities acting on behalf of designated persons or assisting in the violation of sanctions (although there are currently no entries on the list).
- The trade sanctions relating to North Korea have also been amended so as to include, inter alia, additional prohibited items and to impose restrictions on the servicing of North Korean vessels carrying prohibited items.
- An Iranian company has successfully challenged its designation by the EU and been removed from the scope of the asset freeze.
- The identifying information relating to certain designated persons has been updated following the prior annulment of their designation by the EU General Court.
- President Obama has issued an Executive Order which repeals the previous Executive Order 13310 that implemented a broad ban, pursuant to the Burmese Freedom and Democracy Act, on the import of products from Myanmar to the US. Restrictions on the import of certain products (notably jadeite and rubies) remain in place, as do other measures including an SDN/asset freeze regime.
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