EU RENEWS GUINEA SANCTIONS

On 21 October 2014, the EU decided to renew sanctions currently in force against Guinea.

Council Decision 2010/638/CFSP, which was adopted on 25 October 2010 and contains travel restrictions and asset freezes, was reviewed by the EU. The restrictive measures have been extended until 27 October 2015, but ‘shall be kept under constant review’ and the Decision will ‘be renewed or amended, as appropriate, if the Council deems that its objectives have not been met’.

EU sanctions against Guinea are imposed pursuant to the EU’s autonomous Common Foreign and Security Policy powers. A Notice in the Official Journal of the EU informs listed people of the possibility of applying to relevant Member States to authorise the use of frozen funds for basic needs or specific payments. It also notifies those listed that they may submit a request for reconsideration to the Council or challenge the Council’s decision before the General Court of the EU

A list of all EU sanctions in force against Guinea is on the ‘sanctions in force’ section of this blog.

 

EU IMPLEMENTS UN ADDITIONS TO SOMALIA SANCTIONS

On 21 October 2014, the EU published Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1104/2014 and Council Implementing Decision 2014/729/CFSP which implement the updates made by the United Nations Security Council to its sanctions relating to Somalia. Both of the measures enter into force on the date of their publication in the Official Journal of the EU.

The amendments add two new people (Maalim Salman and Ahmend Diriye) on the basis of their senior roles in al-Shabaab. The new Regulation implements Article 12(1) of Council Regulation (EU) No 356/2010 and the new Decision implements Council Decision 2010/231/CFSP.

The UN has targeted restrictive measures against Al-Shabaab and Somalian individuals deemed to threaten the peace process since 2008.

A Notice published in the Official Journal informs listed people of the possibility of challenging the decision in the General Court of the EU or submitting a request to the United Nations Focal Point or Council of the EU for reconsideration.

A full list of EU sanctions in force against Somalia can be found on the ‘sanctions in force’ section of this blog.

 

UK GIVES EFFECT TO CRIMEA/SEVASTOPOL IMPORT RESTRICTIONS IN UK OVERSEAS TERRITORIES

The European Union prohibited the import into the European Union of goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol on 23 July 2014 (see previous blog). The UK has now published a statutory instrument, the Russia, Crimea and Sevastopol (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) Order 2014, which gives effect those EU prohibitions in certain specified UK Overseas Territories.

The EU prohibitions to which it gives effect are Council Decision 2014/386/CFSP of 23 June 2014 (as amended by Council Decision 2014/507/CFSP of 30 July 2014), and Council Decision 2014/512/CFSP of 31 July 2014, as amended by EU Council Decision 2014/659/CFSP of 8 September 2014.

The territories to which the order extends are: Anguilla; British Antarctic Territory; British Indian Ocean Territory; the Cayman Islands; the Falkland Islands; Montserrat; Pitcairn, Henderson, the Ducie and Oeno Islands; St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia in the Island of Cyprus; the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Virgin Islands.

The order entered into force on 16th October 2014.

 

 

EUROPEAN COMMISSION TO BAN SRI LANKAN IMPORTS IN FIGHT AGAINST ILLEGAL FISHING

On 14 October 2014, the European Commission issued a press release on its efforts to curb illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing around the world.

The Commission has decided to ban all imports of fisheries products from Sri Lanka, as the county has failed to demonstrate a sufficient commitment to tackling IUU fishing in its waters. The decision comes after four years of dialogue between the Commission and Sri Lanka, with a formal warning having been made in November 2012. The ban shall take effect as of mid-January 2015.

The Commission also announced the removal of Belize from its list of non-cooperating third countries, and a termination of steps against Fiji, Panama, Togo, and Vanuatu. These five countries, who received a formal warning from the European Commission at the same time as Sri Lanka, have all been seen to have taken appropriate steps to curb IUU fishing within their borders.

The Commission release states that a decision has been made to prolong cooperation efforts with Korea, Curacao and Ghana until January 2015. These countries received a formal warning from the Commission in November 2013, and are now being encouraged to make improvements in their fishing practices.

The Commission has published a Q&A memo on their recent decisions which may be found here.

EU COURT ANNULS DESIGNATION OF LTTE ON TERRORIST BLACKLIST

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were added to the European Union’s list of terrorist organisations in 2006.  The LTTE brought an application to annul its designation in 2011, and all of its subsequent re-listings.  The General Court of the EU has just found in its favour, in Joined Cases T-208/11 and T-508/11 LTTE v Council (judgment of the Extended Composition of the Sixth Chamber here).  The United Kingdom, Netherlands, and European Commission all intervened in the case.

The Court rejected the LTTE’s argument that EU terrorist legislation does not apply in situations of armed conflict within the meaning of international humanitarian law, and noted that terrorism was also condemned by international humanitarian law and that EU blacklisting legislation was not a violation of the international law principle of non-interference.  The Court also rejected the LTTE’s argument that the EU had picked sides in a political fight, nothing that the EU legislation does not seek to say who is right or wrong, but to combat terrorism.

However, the LTTE won because the Court found that the Council had not properly applied the two-tier process mandated by the EU legislation on terrorist designations, which requires there to be a decision of a competent authority classifying the LTTE as a terrorist organisation.  In this case the Council had not assessed whether the Indian competent authority protected rights of defence and effective judicial review in a manner equivalent to protection at EU level.  The Court would not permit the Council to rely on French and German decisions that were raised ex post facto, nor out of date assessments by the UK. Nor could the Council rely on its own press and internet searches as opposed to the considerations actually taken into account by the relevant national authorities (the UK and India).

The Council annulled the LTTE’s designation, but suspended the effects of its judgment for 3 months in order to permit the Council to correct the error if it wished to do so.  The Court ordered the Council to pay the LTTE’s costs and the interveners to bear their own costs.

EU PUBLISHES AMENDED SYRIA SANCTIONS

As announced yesterday, the EU has now published its updated targeted sanctions relating to Syria.

Council Implementing Decision 2014/730/CFSP and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1105/2014 of 20 October 2014 add 16 individuals and 2 entities to the list of those subject to an EU asset freeze and travel ban in connection with the situation in Syria. The measures update the information relating to a number of listed individuals, and remove Dr Mohammad Nidal Al-Shaar from the list following the 3 July 2014 judgment of the General Court annulling his designation in Case T-203/12 Mohamad Nedal Alchaar v Council (see previous blog).

A list of EU sanctions in effect relating to Syria can be found in the ‘EU sanctions in force’ section of this blog.

EU STRENGTHENS SANCTIONS ON SYRIA

On 20 October 2014, the Council of the European Union issued a press release announcing 18 new names to be added to the list of those sanctioned in relation to the EU’s restrictive measures against the Syrian regime. The new measures target fourteen persons said to be linked to the violent repression of the civilian population, as well as two persons and two entities providing support to the Syrian regime. The sanctions impose an asset freeze and travel ban on all those listed.

The full Decision and list of names will be published tomorrow in the EU’s Official Journal.

In addition to the targeted measures above, the Council has reached a political agreement to impose a ban on exporting jet fuel and relevant additives to Syria. This has been done in an attempt to curb the indiscriminate air attacks that have been inflicted on the civilian population. The legal acts supporting this decision have yet to be formally adopted.

US ADDS 13 NEW PARTIES TO SYRIAN SANCTIONS

On 16 October 2014, the United States Department of Treasury announced new sanctions related to Syria.

The latest measures target a senior Syrian Air Force Intelligence Officer (Qusay Mihoub), believed to be responsible for serious human rights abuses in the region.

The sanctions also list 12 individuals and entities deemed to be supporters and officials of the Syrian regime. These include one Lebanese company (DK Group Sari) and its General Manager, two Cypriot companies (Piruseti Enterprises Ltd. and Frumineti Investments Ltd.) and their directors, four state-controlled Syrian banks (Agricultural Cooperative Bank, Industrial Bank, Popular Credit Bank, and Saving Bank), and two senior Syrian government officials (Khodr Orfali and Kamal Eddin Tu’ma).

By these measures, the designated individuals and entities will henceforth be subject to a freeze on any assets held within US jurisdiction. US citizens and persons within the US are also prohibited from doing business with any listed parties.