On 13 July 2018, the UN Security Council adopted UNSC Resolution 2428 (2018), which (inter alia) imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan until 31 May 2019 and designated two “high-ranking” individuals (Malek Reuben Riak Rengu and Paul Malong Awan) for targeted measures (previous blog).
Earlier this week (13 August), the EU implemented those UN sanctions on South Sudan. See Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1125, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1115, Council Regulation (EU) 2018/1116 and EU press release.
Last week, the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) added 44 Chinese entities (8 entities and 36 subordinate institutions) to the Entity List for “acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States”. Some were specifically listed for their involvement in the “illicit procurement of [US-origin] commodities and technologies for unauthorized military end-use in China”.
For all 44 entities, BIS has imposed a licence requirement for all items subject to the Export Administration Regulations, and a licence review policy of presumption of denial. The licence requirements apply to any transaction in which items are to be exported, re-exported or transferred (in-country) to any of the 44 entities or in which such entities act as purchaser, intermediate consignee, ultimate consignee, or end-user. In addition, no licence exceptions will be available for exports, re-exports or transfers (in-country) to the entities. See Final Rule in the US Federal Register (contains the list of the 44 Chinese entities).
Last week (2 August 2018), Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland tweeted her support for, and called for the release of, a prominent Saudi Arabian human rights activist, Samar Badawi, who was recently detained by the Gulf state (she has family links in Canada). In response to Ms Freeland’s remarks, Saudi Arabia has:
- Begun selling its Canadian assets;
- Expelled the Canadian Ambassador Dennis Horak (see Canadian response);
- Frozen new trade and investment with Canada;
- Suspended a student exchange programme to Canada;
- Suspended all flights by state-owned Saudi Arabian Airlines to Canada;
- Suspended all medical treatment programmes in Canada, and will be transferring all Saudi Arabian patients out of the country.
Yesterday, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that new investment in Canada would continue to be on hold until the crisis had been resolved, but added that existing trade and investment would not be affected.
The UN Security Council has removed the ‘Directorate General of Geological Survey and Mineral Investigation’ from its Iraq sanctions list. As a result, it will no longer be subject to UN asset freezing measures. See UN press release and UK OFSI Notice.
This is the ninth entity to be delisted from the UN’s Iraq sanctions since June 2018 (see our previous blogs).
In light of the US decision to cease participation in the JCPOA and to reimpose all nuclear-related sanctions lifted or waived in connection with the deal, President Donald Trump has issued today a new Executive Order reimposing certain sanctions on Iran.
On 7 August 2018, sanctions will be reimposed on:
- The purchase or acquisition of US bank notes by the Government of Iran.
- Iran’s trade in gold and other precious metals.
- Graphite, aluminium, steel, coal, and software used in industrial processes.
- Transactions related to the Iranian rial.
- Activities relating to Iran’s issuance of sovereign debt.
- Iran’s automotive sector.
On 5 November 2018, the remaining sanctions will be reimposed, including sanctions on:
- Iran’s port operators and energy, shipping, and shipbuilding sectors.
- Iran’s petroleum-related transactions.
- Transactions by foreign financial institutions with the Central Bank of Iran.
The US Administration will also relist hundreds of individuals, entities, vessels, and aircraft that were previously included on sanctions lists. See Statement from the President, Text of a Letter from the President, and White House Fact Sheet. The Fact Sheet states that the “Trump Administration intends to fully enforce the sanctions reimposed against Iran, and those who fail to wind down activities with Iran risk severe consequences”.
In addition, OFAC has published new FAQs relating to today’s Executive Order and updated existing FAQs. See OFAC Notice.
We reported last week that the US had added Turkey’s Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gul and Minister of Interior Suleyman Soylu to its Global Magnitsky sanctions list (Executive Order 13818) over the “leading roles” they played in the arrest and detention of US Pastor Andrew Brunson.
In response, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on 4 August that he would instruct his officials to freeze any Turkish assets of US Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Secretary Zinke is responsible for managing the US’s natural resources and cultural heritage.
Today, OFAC has sanctioned Russian-registered bank Agrosoyuz Commercial Bank, pursuant to Executive Order 13810, for “knowingly facilitating a significant transaction on behalf of an individual designated for weapons of mass destruction-related activities in connection with North Korea”.
OFAC has also sanctioned a Moscow-based individual, Ri Jong Won, and two entities, Dandong Zhongsheng Industry & Trade Co Ltd and Korea Ungum Corporation, for “facilitating North Korean illicit financial activity”. See OFAC Notice and Treasury press release.
Last week (27 July), Standard Chartered announced that it has agreed to a further extension of its US Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) until 31 December 2018.
The bank entered into the DPA with the US Department of Justice and the New York County District Attorney’s Office in December 2012 over breaches of sanctions against Iran and other countries.
In the announcement, the bank states that it has “taken a number of steps and made significant progress toward compliance with the requirements of the DPA and enhancing its sanctions compliance programme, but that the programme has not yet reached the standard required by the DPA”. Furthermore, that the bank will continue to cooperate with an ongoing US sanctions-related investigation, namely, whether it had continued to breach sanctions by processing US dollar transactions for Iranian entities even after the DPA was signed in 2012.