Trump pledges ‘additional major’ sanctions on N Korea

Trump2.jpgIn light of North Korea’s recent ballistic missile test, President Donald Trump has pledged “additional major” sanctions against the state.

Yesterday, the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting in which France, in particular, advocated for the acceleration and expansion of existing sanctions against North Korea.

OFAC targets Colombian cocaine trafficking network by adding three to Kingpin SDN list

Logo_of_the_U.S._Office_of_Foreign_Assets_Control_(OFAC)OFAC has designated two Colombian nationals (Tito Aldemar Ruano Yandun and Junior Onofre Aguino Arboleda) and a Colombian entity (Ruano Yandun Drug Trafficking Organization) as Specifically Designated Narcotic Traffickers (SDNTs), pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act.

Mr. Ruano Yandun is stated to be “the leader of an international drug trafficking organization responsible for the production, transportation, and trafficking of multi-ton quantities of cocaine from Colombia and Ecuador through Central America and Mexico using speedboats, fishing vessels, and self-propelled semi-submersible vessels, ultimately bound for the United States”. Mr. Aguino Arboleda has been designated for “his role [in] supporting and coordinating maritime drug trafficking activities in Colombia and Ecuador for [Mr.] Ruano Yandun”.

Click here for the OFAC Notice, and here for the US Treasury press release.

N Korea officially added to US list of State Sponsors of Terrorism

North Korea Flag and Missiles.jpgThe US has officially added North Korea to its list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. The designation (dated 20 November 2017) carries, among other things, a ban on defence exports and sales, certain controls over exports of dual use items, and restrictions on US foreign assistance.

We previously reported here that the US would be adding North Korea to the list.

OFAC issues a Violation Finding to US company for breaching Iran sanctions

OFAC3OFAC has issued a Finding of Violation to Dominica Maritime Registry Inc. (DMRI), headquartered in Massachusetts, for a violation of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations.

In particular, OFAC determined that on 4 July 2015, DMRI had violated the Regulations by having “[dealt] in the property or interests in property of the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), an entity identified by OFAC as meeting the definition of the Government of Iran and whose property and interests in property [were] blocked”. Specifically, DMRI had executed a binding Memorandum of Understanding with NITC, which OFAC determined to have been a contingent contract and, therefore, property in which NITC, a blocked person, had had an interest.

OFAC issues general licence and guidance on Ukraine/Russia

OFAC2OFAC has issued Ukraine/Russia-related General Licence 1B and has published updated FAQs and one new FAQ on Ukraine/Russia.

These changes relate to the amended Ukraine/Russia-related Directive 1 and Directive 2 that were issued on 29 September 2017, in accordance with Title II of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017 (CAATSA). Certain CAATSA-related prohibitions in the amended Directives had a delayed effective date of 28 November 2017.

In order to account for the fact that the CAATSA-related prohibitions in the amended Directives have now come into effect, General Licence 1B addresses the decrease in the debt/equity maturity dates for Directive 1 from 30 days to 14 days, and the decrease in the maturity dates for Directive 2 from 90 days to 60 days (these new prohibitions relate to debt issued on or after 28 November 2017).

UK updates nine open general export licences in line with EU measures

ECOThe UK Export Control Organisation (ECO) has updated and amended nine open general export licences (OGELs) to reflect recent amendments to the EU dual-use control list in Annex I to Council Regulation (EC) 428/2009.

The changes to the OGELs were due to come into force today, but have been delayed as the EU amendments have yet to come into force. The ECO anticipates that the EU changes will happen in the next few days and when they do, the changes in the OGELs will come into force (further notice will be issued to exporters).

Click here for the ECO Notice, and here for a summary of the proposed changes to the EU control list of dual-use items.

UK Sanctions Bill raises constitutional concerns


The House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution has published its Report on the UK Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, in which it (inter alia):

  1. Considers it “constitutionally inappropriate” for Ministers to have such broad delegated powers, in particular to create new forms of sanctions, and says there must be sufficient safeguards and adequate parliamentary scrutiny to make those powers “constitutionally acceptable”.
  2. Recommends that the requirement for designation decisions to be limited by the concept of “proportionality” should appear on the face of the Bill, that EU law remedies for those subject to UN sanctions should be retained, that reviews of designations should take place more frequently than every 3 years, and that those designated are given rights of defence.
  3. Invites the House of Lords to consider whether the power to designate by description as opposed to name, and by connection with certain countries, are appropriate, too broad and whether they comply with legal certainty.
  4. Expresses “deep concern” that the Bill permits criminal offences to be created by regulation.
  5. Asks whether the consent of the devolved legislatures should be required when regulations are made amending or repealing legislation that they enacted.

The Explanatory Notes to the Bill have also been published – link here.

Zimbabwe’s new President and US / EU sanctions

Emmerson MnangagwaAfter the 37-year rule of Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe has sworn in Emmerson Mnangagwa as its new President. He is still subject to US sanctions for “undermining democratic processes or institutions in Zimbabwe” (SDN entry here, and OFAC Notice here).

EU sanctions on Mr Mnangagwa (imposed on him for being a member of the Zimbabwean government) were lifted on 20 February 2016, see: Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/218, amending Council Regulation (EC) 314/2004. Maya Lester QC, instructed by Peters & Peters Solicitors, acted in a legal challenge in the EU court in which Mr Mnangagwa & others challenged their inclusion in the EU measures.