Administrative Court re-determines disclosure issues in Bank Mellat damages action

RCJ.jpgAs previously reported, the Court of Appeal held in October 2015 that the principles relating to the disclosure of closed material in the context of control orders, as set out in the House of Lords judgment in AF (No. 3), also applied to disclosure in the context of applications to set aside a financial restrictions decision, see: Bank Mellat v HM Treasury (No 4) [2015] EWCA Civ 1052, and remitted the case to the Administrative Court to consider whether there had been sufficient disclosure by HM Treasury in Bank Mellat’s action to set aside financial restrictions affecting it.

The Administrative Court has just decided, in a closed judgment, that some material may be withheld and other disclosed. The open judgment (Bank Mellat v HM Treasury [2017] EWHC 2931 (Admin)) sets out the relevant principles applied in the closed judgment.

Switzerland adopts UN sanctions against Mali

Switzerland1The Swiss Federal Council has transposed into Swiss law the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 2374 (2017), which orders the freezing of assets and a ban on travel for individuals or entities acting (directly or indirectly) to undermine the peace, security and stability of Mali. Click here for the Swiss press release.

OFAC expands N Korea SDN list with 34 designations (5 Chinese)

OFAC3.jpgOFAC has added 1 person (Chinese), 13 entities (4 Chinese and 9 North Korean), and 20 vessels (all North Korean) to its SDN list in order to “disrupt North Korea’s illicit funding of its unlawful nuclear and ballistic missile programs”.

OFAC has stated that the designations “target third-country persons with long-standing commercial ties to North Korea, as well as the transportation networks that facilitate North Korea’s revenue generation and operations”.

Eleven designations were issued pursuant to Executive Order 13810, which targets, among others, persons that operate in the North Korean transportation industry, as well as persons who have engaged in a significant importation from or exportation to North Korea. The remaining entities were sanctioned pursuant to Executive Order 13722, which targets, among others, persons involved in the exportation of workers from North Korea, including exportation to generate revenue for the Government of North Korea. See OFAC Notice here, and US Treasury press release here.

These designations come the day after President Donald Trump announced that the US would be placing North Korea back on its list of State Sponsors of Terrorism (North Korea was removed from the list in 2008).

BCC Corporate SA settles with OFAC for violating Cuba sanctions

OFAC2BCC Corporate SA (BCCC), a Belgium-based credit card issuer and corporate service company, has admitted to 1,818 violations of the Cuban Assets Control Regulations.

In particular, BCCC had “failed to implement controls to prevent BCCC-issued credit cards from being used in Cuba”. Between April 2009 and February 2014, it had processed 1,818 transactions totalling $583,649.43 for more than 100 distinct corporate customers of BCCC whose cards were used in Cuba or that otherwise involved Cuba.

American Express Company (AMEX), a parent company of BCCC, has agreed to remit $204,277 to OFAC in order to settle the violations. For the full enforcement information, released on 17 November 2017, click here.

UK provides for EU sanctions on Venezuela

Parliament3The UK has passed the Venezuela (European Union Financial Sanctions) Regulations 2017, SI 2017/1094, which comes into force on 6 December 2017.

The Regulations make provision for UK enforcement, licensing, penalties etc in respect of Council Regulation (EU) 2017/2063, the EU’s sanctions on Venezuela (see previous blog here).

Sudan pledges to sever ties with N Korea

Sudan1.jpgFollowing bilateral meetings in Khartoum with US Deputy Secretary of State Sullivan, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry has formally announced Sudan’s commitment to sever all trade and military ties with North Korea. Click here for the US Department of State press release.

 

OFAC designates German and Iranian parties involved in attempt to circumvent EU export controls

OFAC2OFAC has added two individuals (Reza Heidari and Mahmoud Seif) and four entities (ForEnt Technik GmbH, Pardazesh Tasvir Raya Co, Printing Trade Center GmbH and Tejarat Almas Mobin Holding) to its SDN list.

The individuals and entities have been designated for being part of a “network… involved in a large-scale scheme to help Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) counterfeit currency to support its destabilizing activities”. In particular, the network is stated to have “employed deceptive measures to circumvent European export control restrictions and [to have] procured advanced equipment and materials to print counterfeit Yemeni bank notes potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars for the IRGC-QF”.

The IRGC-QF was designated pursuant to the global terrorism Executive Order 13224 on 25 October 2007. Click here for the OFAC Notice, and here for the US Treasury press release.

Singapore’s N Korea prohibitions

Singapore Customs.pngWith effect from 8 November 2017, Singapore has prohibited  all commercially traded goods from or to the DPRK, whether they are imported, exported, transhipped or brought in transit through Singapore.

In relation to non-commercial transactions (e.g. personal or household effects) from or to the DPRK, the prohibition will apply to goods that are sanctioned under UN Security Council Resolutions 2371 (2017) and 2375 (2017) as published in the Regulation of Imports and Exports (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 2017 (also to take effect from 8 November 2017). Individuals who contravene any of the prohibitions are guilty of an offence. Click here for the circular notice issued by Singapore Customs.