EU consolidates North Korea sanctions into new measure

The EU has consolidated its sanctions on North Korea into a new Regulation, in view of the large number of amendments that had been made to the old measure. It has also substantially updated the relevant Decision to reflect a number of these changes.

See Council Regulation 2017/1509 repealing Council Regulation 329/2007 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/1512 amending Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/849.

EU implements humanitarian exemptions to N Korea sanctions

The EU has implemented a UN exemption to its sanctions on North Korea, allowing for certain transactions with North Korean entities Foreign Trade Bank and Korea National Insurance Company. The exemptions allow transactions with FTB or KNIC if they are solely for the operation of diplomatic missions in North Korea or humanitarian activities that are undertaken by, or in coordination with, the UN.

See Council Regulation (EU) 2017/1501 amending Council Regulation 329/2007 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/1504 amending Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/849.

Venezuela’s rival legislature votes to prosecute supporters of US sanctions

Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly, which was set up by the Maduro government as a rival legislature to the country’s democratically elected National Assembly, has voted to investigate and prosecute anyone deemed to be a supporter of US sanctions against Maduro’s administration on charges of treason. Members of the Constituent Assembly accused opposition politicians of supporting the sanctions, which were substantially expanded in the past week (see previous blog).

US imposes new sanctions on Venezuela’s government

The US has imposed wide-ranging new financial sanctions on President Maduro’s administration in Venezuela. The US accuses Maduro’s government of depriving Venezuelans of food and medicine, imprisoning the democratically-elected opposition, and violently suppressing freedom of speech. Most recently, President Maduro created a rival legislature and transferred to it the powers of the democratically elected National Assembly (see previous blog).

The new sanctions prohibit dealings in new debt and equity issued by the government of Venezuela and its state oil company.  They also prohibit dealings in certain existing bonds owned by the Venezuelan public sector ad dividend payments to the government of Venezuela.  To mitigate harm to the American and Venezuelan people, the US Treasury has issued several general licences, including for financing most commercial trade, 30-day wind-down periods, and the financing of humanitarian goods.

The White House’s press release is here, and the relevant executive order and general licences are here.

OFAC fines COSL Singapore for violating US sanctions on Iran

OFAC has announced a $415,350 settlement with Singaporean oilfield services company COSL Singapore, in respect of 55 apparent violations of US sanctions on Iran.  COSL Singapore, through its subsidiary companies, is said to have exported or attempted to export oil rig supplies from the US to Singapore and the UAE, and from there to 4 separate oil rigs located in Iranian territorial waters.

OFAC determined that COSL Singapore had not voluntarily disclosed the violations, but that they constituted a non-egregious case.

EU adds Trinidadian man to sanctions on ISIL

The EU has added Trinidadian Shane Dominic Crawford to its sanctions on ISIL & AL-Qaida, in order to implement his UN listing.  The UN listed Mr Crawford earlier this month for serving as an English language propagandist for ISIL in print and video media.  He is believed to be in Syria, where it is thought he also serves as a sniper.  He is wanted in Trinidad and Tobago for firearm related offences and larceny, and was once arrested on suspicion of involvement in an alleged plot to assassinate the country’s prime minister and several members of its government.

See Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1500 amending Council Regulation (EU) 881/2002.  The EU’s notice to him is here.

Japan to impose new sanctions on supporters of N Korea

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga, told reporters on 25 August that Japan had decided to freeze the assets of 4 Chinese entities, 2 Namibian entities, and 1 Chinese person for supporting North Korea.  The new listings are said to be a response to North Korea’s continued violations of UN resolutions on ballistic missile tests, and the still unresolved issue of several kidnappings of Japanese citizens. Earlier this week, the US imposed its own secondary sanctions on Chinese, Russian, and Singaporean firms (see previous blog).

Australia adds to its autonomous sanctions on Syria

Australia has added 40 people and 14 entities to its sanctions against Syria, which impose asset freezes and travel bans.  The new listings target those said to be linked to the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons programme by association with Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC), the government body responsible for developing and producing chemical and biological weapons. The US targeted people associated with the SSRC in April (see previous blog).

A total of 142 people and 42 entities are now sanctioned under Australia’s autonomous sanctions on Syria.  The Australian foreign ministry’s press release is here, and a full list of people and entities subject to the sanctions is here.