EU Council agrees new trade rules on capital punishment and torture goods

The EU Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) has, on behalf of the Council, agreed amendments to the EU’s rules on the sale and export of goods that may be used for capital punishment or torture.  The amendments to Regulation 1236/2005, agreed in view of developments since its introduction in 2006, would:

  1. prohibit the brokering of banned equipment listed in Annex II, to cover transfers of goods that are not located in the EU;
  2. prohibit the transit of goods listed in Annex II, and of goods listed in Annex III or IIIA where the transporter is aware that they may be used for capital punishment or torture;
  3. ban the provision of brokering services by any broker for goods listed in Annex III or IIIA, where the broker is aware that they may be used for capital punishment or torture;
  4. ban the supply of technical assistance in respect of goods listed in Annex III or IIIA by anyone who is aware that they may be used for capital punishment or torture;
  5. introduce a prior authorisation regime for brokering services and technical assistance for Annex III and Annex IIIA goods;
  6. ban the advertising or promotion of Annex II goods at exhibitions and trade fairs;
  7. provide for an urgency procedure in case rapid amendments to the Annexes are needed when new goods enter the market; and
  8. establish a coordination group, as a platform for Member States and the Commission to exchange information on administrative practices.

The amendments are due to be approved by the EU Parliament in September, and will then be submitted to the Council for adoption.  The Council’s press release is here.

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About Michael O'Kane

Michael O’Kane is a partner and Head of the Business Crime team at leading UK firm Peters & Peters. Described as ‘first-rate’ (Legal 500 2012), he “draws glowing praise from commentators” (Chambers 2013) for handling the international aspects of business crime, including sanctions, extradition and mutual legal assistance. Called to the Bar in 1992 and prior to joining Peters & Peters he was a senior specialist prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service Headquarters(CPS). At CPS HQ he was a key member of a small specialist unit responsible for the prosecution of serious and high profile fraud, terrorist and special interest criminal matters including the Stansted Airport Afghan hijacking and the prosecution of Paul Burrell (Princess Diana’s butler). Michael joined Peters & Peters in 2002. He became a partner in May 2004, and Head of the Business Crime team in May 2009. Since joining Peters & Peters, Michael has dealt with a wide range of business crime matters. He has particular expertise in international sanctions, criminal cartels, extradition, corruption, mutual legal assistance, and FSA investigations. Described as“ an influential practitioner in fraud and regulatory work, so much so that he is top of the referral lists of many City firms for independent advice for directors” (The Lawyer’s Hot 100 2009), he was recognised as one of the UK’s most innovative lawyers in the 2011 FT Innovative Lawyer Awards and included in the list of the UK's leading lawyers in 'The International Who's Who of Asset Recovery 2012. In 2012 he was the winner of the Global Competition Review Article of the Year. Michael regularly appears on television and radio to discuss his specialist areas and he is the author of the leading textbook on the UK Criminal Cartel Offence “The Law of Criminal Cartels-Practice and Procedure” (Oxford University Press 2009). Recent/Current Sanctions Work • Representing 109 individuals and 12 companies subject to designation by the European Council under targeted measures imposed against Zimbabwe. This is the largest and most complex collective challenge to a sanctions listing ever brought before the European Court. • Acting for a former Egyptian Minister and his UK resident wife, challenging their designation by the European Council of Ministers under targeted measures brought against former members of the Egyptian Government. • Advising a company accused in a UN investigation report to have breached UN sanctions imposed in relation to Somalia. • Advising a UK company in relation to ongoing commercial relationships with an Iranian company listed under both EU and UN sanctions. • Advising an individual in relation to a UK investigation for alleging breaching nuclear export controls.

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