EU introduces new asset freezing measures against Yemen

On 19 December, the EU published Council Decision 2014/932/CFSP and Regulation 1352/2014 in relation to the situation in Yemen. The measures came into force immediately upon publication.

The new measures impose an asset freeze on three individuals: Abdullah Yahya Al Hakim, Abd Al-Khaliq Al-Huthi and Ali Abdullah Saleh. These individuals were designated on the basis that they have engaged in acts which threaten the peace, security or stability of Yemen. Continue reading

Recent Sanctions Developments: EU relaxes certain Syrian sanctions and amends measures relating to North Korea, Iran and Tunisia; US relaxes Myanmar sanctions

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. Continue reading

New EU Directive: Reporting by Extractive Companies on Government Payments

The European Parliament and Council of Ministers have agreed the final form of the new EU rules for the disclosure, on a project by project basis, of payments to governments by companies operating in the extractive  industries. The EU’s agreement is part of a suite of transparency initiatives which are designed to promote good governance and improved national development outcomes for developing countries.

All large companies “active” in the oil, gas and minerals industries or the logging of primary forests will be affected and the rules will apply to both EU-incorporated companies and non-EU companies that have a listing in the EU.

We have summarised in a briefing the key aspects of the new requirements, when they will come into force and how they compare with the similar requirements being introduced in the United States under the Dodd-Frank Act.

Please email Fiona Rafla if you would like a copy of this briefing.

Zimbabwe: a further relaxation of the EU financial sanctions regime

In our earlier post we commented on the EU’s first step towards easing its sanctions regime in relation to Zimbabwe: with effect from 21 February 2013, twenty one individuals and one entity were removed from the EU’s list of designated persons, and the travel ban imposed on six members of the Government was suspended.   The EU has now suspended the effect of the asset freeze as it applies to eighty one additional individuals and 8 entities.  This briefing summarises these most recent changes.

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EU takes steps towards easing Zimbabwe sanctions

Susannah Cogman and Jeremy Sher comment on the EU’s recent easing of the Zimbabwe sanctions regime.

On 19 February 2013, the European Union (“EU“) took a small step towards easing its sanctions regime in relation to Zimbabwe.  Twenty one individuals and one entity were removed from the EU’s list of designated persons, and the travel ban imposed on six members of the Government was suspended.  These twenty one designated persons had been subject to the EU’s asset freezing regime under Council Regulation (EC) No 314/2004.  These amendments have effect from 21 February 2013.

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Iran sanctions update: New EU measures in force

On 22 December 2012, three new EU measures in relation to Iran were published in the EU Official Journal.  These expand the existing suite of EU sanctions, and are likely to be relevant to any EU companies, or persons within the EU, still engaged in trade with Iran, Iranian persons or Iranian-origin goods.

Probably the most eye-catching measure is the bringing into force of the EU embargo on Iranian-origin gas.  The new regulations, however, deserve full and careful reading.  In addition to the gas embargo, new trade and financial sanctions have been introduced, the existing trade sanctions and associated ‘grandfathering’ provisions have been amended to some extent, and the EU’s asset freeze regime has been extended to cover additional persons.

A summary of the new measures is provided below, under the following headings:

  • The new EU measures
  • UK implementation and guidance
  • The gas embargo
  • Other trade sanctions
  • Financial sector restrictions
  • Other new provisions of interest
  • Conclusion  Continue reading

EU implementing Regulations for Iran oil embargo

On 23 January 2012, the European Council adopted Decision 2012/35/CFSP, setting out a range of new sanctions on Iran, including an oil embargo. Many elements of the extended sanctions required implementing legislation to be brought into force.  That legislation was introduced over the weekend, in the shape of Regulation 267/2012 (the “2012 Regulation”) which consolidates and replaces the previous key Regulation 961/2010.  Herbert Smith’s briefing on the Decision which the new Regulation implements can be found here.  This briefing provides a high level overview of some key elements of the 2012 Regulation. Continue reading

New sanctions against the Iranian Financial Sector

HM Treasury on Monday 21 November 2011 imposed new financial prohibitions on dealings with the Iranian banking sector, the Financial Restrictions (Iran) Order 2011 (2011/2775) (the “Direction”). From 3.00 pm Monday 21 November, all UK credit and financial institutions were required to cease business relationships and transactions with all Iranian banks, including their branches and subsidiaries, and the Central Bank of Iran. This prohibition applies to existing as well as future business relationships and transactions. Continue reading