The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has published a Note on the policy that the Government intends to adopt in relation to exceptions to activities prohibited by sanctions and the grounds for issuing licences under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill.
It states that in many areas of sanctions – namely, asset freezes, counter terrorism, restrictions on financial activities and investment, and export controls – the UK will maintain a similar framework to existing licensing grounds. Other points of note; the Government plans to:
- use general licenses for purposes such as humanitarian or development aid;
- split people and legal entities into different licensing grounds for “basic needs” licensing;
- clarify licensing for holding and maintaining frozen funds;
- avoid “extraordinary expenses” becoming a catch-all;
- ensure that judgment pre designation can be enforced. However, “persons who commence litigation after designation should be aware that there is an asset freeze in place, and so have no reasonable expectation that they can enforce their rights against frozen funds when they assert their right to start proceedings”;
- provide for travel ban exemptions for non UN designations.