EU renews Libya vessel listing

Ship.jpgIn line with the UN Security Council, the EU has renewed and amended the listing of a vessel (named ‘Capricorn’) under its Libya sanctions regime until 18 January 2018, see Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2017/1976 and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1974 (which amend the lists found in Annex V to Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/1333 and Annex V to Council Regulation (EU) 2016/44).

The EU Notice explains that the shipowner may submit a request at any time to the “Focal Point” of the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee for a reconsideration of the vessel’s inclusion, and may challenge the Commission’s Implementing Regulation in the EU General Court. UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation Notice here.

Qatar seeks WTO review of UAE measures

WTOQatar has requested that the World Trade Organisation (WTO)  establish a dispute panel to consider measures imposed on it by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) affecting trade in goods and services and the protection of intellectual property rights.

The UAE had objected to Qatar’s request, stating  that it and eight other countries were forced to take measures in response to Qatar’s funding of terrorist organisations. The UAE argued that WTO rules allow members  to take action in the interests of national security. The UAE had also stated  that the issues in the dispute were not trade issues, the WTO’s dispute system was not equipped to hear them, and clear language existed in the agreements to exclude such disputes from the WTO.

The WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body has decided to defer the establishment of a panel. Click here for the WTO press release.


Interpol blocks Russian request to arrest British Magnitsky-campaigner

Interpol.jpgInterpol has rejected Russia’s request to arrest British businessman and Magnitsky-campaigner, Bill Browder.

We reported last week that Russia had “utilised its rights as an individual Interpol member to call for Mr. Browder’s arrest and extradition via a ‘diffusion’, which allows countries to, effectively, unilaterally place individuals on the Interpol database” (see previous blog here).

Interpol stated that the diffusion notice had been “non-compliant” and that “all information in relation to [the] request has been deleted from Interpol’s databases and all Interpol member countries informed accordingly.” This marks the fifth time that Interpol has rejected an attempt by Russia to issue a notice to have Mr. Browder arrested.

US identifies 39 Russian entities in intelligence & defence sectors

US-Russia.jpgThe US Department of State has issued guidance for the purposes of section 231(d) of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), naming 39 Russian entities that are “part of, or operate for or on behalf of, the defense and intelligence sectors of the Government of the Russian Federation”.

Section 231(a) of CAATSA imposes sanctions on persons who have knowingly engaged in a “significant transaction” with a specified person under section 231(d) of CAATSA. This guidance specifies individuals but does not itself impose sanctions. Click here for a background briefing from State Department officials.

US House passes sanctions Bill targeting Iran ballistic missiles

US HoRThe Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act, which expands sanctions on Iran with respect to ballistic missiles, has been passed in the US House of Representatives by a 423-2 vote. We previously reported here that the House was due to vote on the Bill.

The passing of the Bill comes two weeks after US President Trump announced his decision not to certify the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), having criticised Iran for its ballistic missile programme (see previous blog here).

The next stage in the Bill’s legislative process is for the US Senate to vote on it.

OFAC adds ten to N Korea SDN list for human rights abuses

OFAC2The US Department of State has released its third report on DPRK human rights abuses and censorship, identifying seven people and three entities responsible for “serious human rights abuses or censorship in the DPRK”. In conjunction with the report, OFAC has added the ten people and entities to the US North Korea SDN list. OFAC has also deleted a number of entities from its Transnational Criminal Organisations SDN list. Click here for the OFAC Notice, and here for the announcement from the Department of State.