European Commission launches new public consultation seeking feedback to possible amendments to the EU Blocking Statute

In August 2021, we published a post about the European Commission’s roadmap / inception impact assessment in relation to its review of the current Blocking Statute (Regulation 2271/96). On 31 August 2021, the European Commission closed the initial feedback period for this impact assessment and, as a next step, has now launched a public consultation process seeking further feedback … Read more

Designated: A Sanctions Podcast EP2: History of US Sanctions Under the JCPOA May Offer Insight to Terms of Renewed JCPOA Participation

In this episode, Jonathan Cross, Brittany Crosby-Banyai and Dan Hudson discuss the history of the Iran sanctions program under the Iranian nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”). They also analyze the mechanisms by which sanctions were re-imposed when the US left the agreement. These considerations offer insight as to the … Read more

Proposed reforms to Australia’s sanctions regime to target corruption, cyber-crime, human rights violations

The Australian Government has announced plans to implement a targeted, Magnitsky-style sanctions regime by the end of 2021. What are the implications of the proposed reforms? The proposed reforms would expand Australia’s current country-based autonomous sanctions framework to include targeted sanctions focused on themes of conduct. This includes proliferation of malicious cyber activity, gross human … Read more

OFAC Issues Sanctions in Response to Belarus’s Forced Diversion of a Ryanair Flight

On June 21, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) designated sixteen individuals and five entities pursuant to Executive Order (“E.O.”) 13405 of June 16, 2006, entitled “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Undermining Democratic Processes or Institutions in Belarus.” According to a press release, OFAC designated these individuals and … Read more

New Commission opinion on EU sanctions and “making available”: the impact of a non-sanctioned company and its subsidiaries of having a Designated Person director

On 8 June 2021, the European Commission published an opinion on Article 2(2) of Council Regulation (EU) No 269/2014 of 17 March 2014 (the “Regulation”). The Regulation imposes an asset freeze on certain Russian individuals and entities in response to the situation in Ukraine. Article 2(2) contains the standard EU asset freeze wording providing that “no funds or economic … Read more

SAP SE Settlement With US Federal Agencies Signals Additional Sanctions and Export Controls Compliance Burden

On April 29, 2021, SAP SE (SAP), a leading international provider of enterprise application software based in Germany, entered into settlements and a non-prosecution agreement (collectively, the SAP settlements) with US federal agencies for alleged violations of US sanctions and US export controls with respect to Iran.   SAP entered into a non-prosecution agreement with the … Read more

BitPay Settlement Signals Growing OFAC Focus on Cryptocurrency Transactions

On February 18, 2021, BitPay, Inc. (“BitPay”), a major cryptocurrency payment processing platform, entered into a $507,000 settlement with the Office of Foreign Asset Control (“OFAC”), to settle allegations that it processed cryptocurrency payments which violated various US sanctions programs.  Significantly, OFAC did not allege that BitPay knowingly violated sanctions laws or took steps to … Read more

EU introduces global human rights sanctions regime

On 7 December 2020, the Council of the EU announced the introduction of a new global human rights sanctions regime, as part the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2020-2024. The new regime introduces a framework to impose a travel ban and asset freeze on individuals and entities identified as responsible for, involved … Read more