Government evidence on sanctions post-Brexit

The House of Lords EU External Affairs Sub-Committee has taken evidence from the UK Government on sanctions post Brexit as part of its inquiry into post Brexit sanctions policy (see previous blog).  It heard evidence from:

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (Paul Williams, Multilateral Policy Director; Andrew Murdoch, Legal Counsellor; Matthew Findlay, Deputy Head of International Organisations Department), Giles Thomson, Deputy Director, Sanctions and Illicit Finance, HM Treasury, and Rena Lalgie, Head of OFSI. You can watch the evidence session here.

EU extends ISIL sanctions for 1 year & de-lists 1 person

The EU has extended its sanctions on ISIL & AL-Qaida until 31 October 2018. It has also deleted the entry for Zulkifli Abdul Hir, implementing his deletion from the UN’s sanctions lists.

See Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/1560 amending Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/1693 and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1571 amending Council Regulation 881/2002.

Human Rights Watch calls for UN sanctions on Burma/Myanmar

Human Rights Watch has called on the UN to impose targeted sanctions and an arms embargo on Burma/Myanmar’s military, in response to the “ethnic cleansing campaign” against Rohingya Muslims.  It called on the Security Council to ask that Burma allow humanitarian aid agencies to access people in need, permit entry to a UN fact-finding mission to investigate human rights violations, and ensure the safe and voluntary return of displaced people.  The Human Rights Watch press release is here.

EU implements August round of UN sanctions on N Korea & 4 new listings

The EU has implemented the round of UN sanctions imposed on North Korea in August, which among other things extended the import ban on certain North Korean goods and limited the number of work authorisations that may be issued for North Korean nationals (see previous blog). The EU has also listed the 1 person and 3 entities designated in the UN’s latest round of sanctions, but has not yet implemented the other measures the UN introduced at that time (see previous blog).

See Council Regulation 2017/1548 amending Council Regulation 2017/1509 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/1562 amending Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/849, and Council Implementing Regulation 2017/1568 implementing Council Regulation 2017/1509 and Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2017/1573 implementing Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/849.

EU extends and updates Russia/Ukraine sanctions

The EU has extended its sanctions on people and entities that are said to be undermining the territorial integrity of Ukraine for 6 months until 15 March 2018.  It has also added Crimean Sea Ports to its list of designated people and entities, amended the sanctions to include a derogation for payments to Crimean Sea Ports for certain services, and updated the listing information for several people subject to the sanctions.

See Council Regulation 2017/1547 amending Council Regulation 269/2014, Council Implementing Regulation 2017/1549 implementing Council Regulation 269/2014, and Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/1561 amending Council Decision 2014/145/CFSP. The EU’s notice to listed persons is here.

US renews JCPOA sanctions relief, but deal’s future still in doubt

The US has extended some of the sanctions relief it granted to Iran under the JCPOA, however a State Department Spokesperson said that the administration was still reviewing its stance on the JCPOA as a whole.  In this regard, the Spokesperson said that Iran continued to engage in “reckless, malign” behaviour and was considered dangerous by the administration.  The full remarks are available here.

Separately, OFAC has designated Iranian company SABA for assisting Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in support of the country’s ballistic missile programme, and Ukraine-based Khors Aircompany and Dart Airlines for aiding designated Iranian and Iraqi airlines through the provision of aircraft and services. The details are here.

US Treasury targets cyberattackers and drug traffickers

OFAC has designated Iranian computer security company IT Sec Team and 3 people acting on its behalf for planning and executing DDoS attacks against at least 9 large US financial institutions in 2011 and 2012. It has also designated 4 Iranian nationals working for another Iranian computer security company Mersad Co., which used a botnet to target 24 corporations in the US financial sector with DDoS attacks in 2012 and 2013. On 24 March 2016, the Department of Justice announced that a grand jury had indicted the 7 people designated in this action (see press release here).

Separately, OFAC has designated 4 Mexican entities and 3 Mexican people linked to drug trafficking organisations the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion and the Los Cuinis Drug Trafficking Organisation. The organisations were designated in 2015, and in the Treasury’s press release OFAC Director John Smith said that the Treasury “continues to untangle and expose the web of businesses” they control.

The details of all the listings are here.

Trump authorises Treasury to begin imposing Global Magnitsky sanctions

Last year, President Obama signed the Global Magnitsky Act into law, which provides for asset freezes and travel bans on people anywhere in the world who are deemed to have violated human rights or been involved in significant corruption. It is an expansion of the original Magnitsky Act, which targeted only Russian citizens. President Trump has now authorised the Secretary of the Treasury, in coordination with the Secretary of State, to administer these sanctions. The President’s memo is here.