The EU has decided to extend its sanctions on Belarus for one year, which consist of an arms embargo and targeted asset freezes and travel bans against 4 people. The 4 people are suspected of being involved in the unresolved disappearances of 2 opposition politicians, 1 businessman, and 1 journalist in 1999 and 2000. It has also prolonged a derogation allowing the export of biathlon equipment to Belarus, such as sporting rifles, subject to prior authorisation.
The relevant legal measures will be published in the Official Journal today and the EU’s press release is here.
The Law Society (England & Wales) is seeking to engage with the legal profession on sanctions issues. The first issues they are looking at are the new sanctions reporting obligation on legal professionals, and sanctions licensing issues (click here for further information). Please contact Helena Mumdzjana, AML Policy Adviser at the Law Society by 16 March 2018 if you would like to contribute to these discussions.
The Government is inviting submissions on the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill that is currently making its way through Parliament. The Bill is intended to allow the UK to operate its own sanctions policy following Brexit and continue to implement UN sanctions – currently the majority of its sanctions originate in or are implemented through the EU’s sanctions framework.
The Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons this week and has now been sent to a Public Bill Committee, which will meet for the first time on Tuesday 27 February. Submissions to the committee should be emailed to email@example.com, and the committee’s press release is here.
The House of Commons has published a briefing paper on the Bill, updated explanatory notes, and a transcript of the Bill’s second reading is available here.
The EU has amended the entry for Djamel Lounici, who is listed on its sanctions against ISIL & Al-Qaida. The amended version states that he returned to Algeria from France, as opposed to Italy, and no longer states that he is the son in law of Othman Deramchi. Mr Deramchi was deleted from the EU’s sanctions list in July last year.
See Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/256 amending Council Regulation (EC) 881/2002.
The Canadian Government has imposed targeted sanctions (asset freeze) against Burma’s former Major-General Maung Maung Soe, pursuant to the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law), by amending the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Regulations.
Maung Maung Soe was sanctioned for being “responsible for, or complicit in, gross violations of internationally-recognized human rights against the Rohingya in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State” which “forced more than 688,000 Rohingya to flee their country”. Canadian press release here.
OFAC added Maung Maung Soe to its Global Magnitsky sanctions list on 21 December 2017 (see previous blog here).
The UK has passed the Venezuela (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) Order 2018, SI 2018/179, which gives effect in specified Overseas Territories to the EU sanctions measures provided in Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/2074 and Council Regulation (EU) 2017/2063. Those include an arms embargo, framework to impose targeted measures against those responsible for human rights violations and/or undermining democracy and the rule of law in Venezuela (see previous blog here). The Order comes into force on 8 March 2018.
The Overseas Territories to which this Order extends: Anguilla; British Antarctic Territory; British Indian Ocean Territory; Cayman Islands; Falkland Islands; Montserrat; Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands; St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia in the Island of Cyprus; Turks and Caicos Islands; and Virgin Islands.
Last week, the Cambodia Accountability and Return on Investment Act of 2018 was introduced in the US Senate. The Bill makes provision for sanctions (US travel restrictions and asset freezes) to be imposed on “individuals involved in undermining democracy in Cambodia”, including senior officials of the Government of Cambodia (including the military, gendarmerie, police, and judiciary), officers and employees of entities owned or controlled by such officials, and immediate family members of those officials.
The Bill also requires the Secretary of the Treasury to “instruct the United States executive director to each international financial institution to use the voice and vote of the United States to oppose the extension by that institution of any loan or financial or technical assistance for the Government of Cambodia, other than to meet basic human needs”. The Bill has now been referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.