Last week (5 October), EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström announced the EU’s response to the “human rights situation in Myanmar and Cambodia”.
In respect of Cambodia, the EU has given notice that it will launch the process of withdrawing Cambodia from the Everything But Arms (EBA) arrangement, which grants full tariff-free access to the European market for all exports, except arms and armaments.
In respect of Myanmar/Burma, the EU has given notice of its intention to “send an emergency, high-level EU mission to the country in the coming days to assess the situation on the ground. This high-level mission is within the framework of a potential withdrawal of Myanmar from the [EBA] arrangement. There is a clear possibility that a withdrawal could be the outcome.”
The EU has said that it will keep its channels of dialogue with both countries open, and that EU Member States will be kept informed of the next steps.
Today, OFAC sanctioned 4 Burmese military and Border Guard Police commanders and 2 Burmese military units for their involvement in “ethnic cleansing in Burma’s Rakhine State and other widespread human rights abuses in Burma’s Kachin and Shan States”.
Burmese military commanders Aung Kyaw Zaw, Khin Maung Soe, Khin Hlaing, and Border Guard Police commander Thura San Lwin, along with the 33rd Light Infantry Division of the Burmese Army and the 99th Light Infantry Division of the Burmese Army, were designated pursuant to Executive Order 13818 (Global Magnitsky). As a result, all the listed persons are now subject to a US asset freeze and, where applicable, a US travel ban. See OFAC Notice and Treasury press release. Aung Kyaw Zaw, Khin Maung Soe and Thura San Lwin are also subject to sanctions in the EU and Canada.
In April 2018, the EU adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/655 and Council Regulation (EU) 2018/647, which (inter alia) expanded the EU’s arms embargo on Burma/Myanmar to include:
- A prohibition on the export of dual-use goods for use by the military and border guard police;
- Restrictions on the export of equipment for monitoring communications that might be used for internal repression; and
- A prohibition on the provision of military training to, and military cooperation with, the Burma/Myanmar army (see previous blog).
The UK has made provision for this expanded EU arms embargo by adopting the Export Control (Burma Sanctions) (No. 2) Order 2018 (SI 2018/894), which comes into force on 14 August 2018. As a result, the Export Control (Burma Sanctions) Order 2013 (SI 2013/1964) has been revoked.
Canada has added 7 people to its targeted sanctions against Myanmar/Burma, by amending the Special Economic Measures (Burma) Regulations. The individuals were sanctioned (asset freezes imposed) for playing a role in the “military operations against the Rohingya in Myanmar’s Rakhine State in August 2017”. See Backgrounder and Press Release.
Earlier this week (previous blog), the EU added the same 7 people to its Myanmar/Burma sanctions: Aung Kyaw Zaw; Maung Maung Soe; Than Oo; Aung Aung; Khin Maung Soe; Thura San Lwin; and Thant Zin Oo.
Following those EU sanctions, the Myanmar/Burma army (Tatmadaw) announced that Maung Maung Soe (Myanmar’s former Major-General) had been permanently removed from his post. He has been subject to Canadian sanctions since February 2018, and US sanctions since December 2017, pursuant to the countries’ Magnitsky laws.
Today, the EU has added 7 individuals to its Myanmar/Burma sanctions list (asset freezes and travel bans imposed). The individuals are members of the Myanmar/Burma army (Tatmadaw), Border Guard or police force, and have each been listed for their “involvement in or association with atrocities and serious human rights violations committed against the Rohingya population in Rakhine State in the second half of 2017”. See Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/900, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/898, EU press release, and UK OFSI Notice.
These Myanmar/Burma targeted measures are the first to be imposed by the EU since it adopted a legal framework in April 2018 to impose targeted sanctions against individuals of the Tatmadaw and the Border Guard Police who are deemed responsible for (inter alia) serious human rights violations (previous blog). The EU previously had targeted sanctions in place against Myanmar/Burma but were completely lifted in April 2013 (previous blog).
The 7 individuals sanctioned today: Aung Kyaw Zaw; Maung Maung Soe; Than Oo; Aung Aung; Khin Maung Soe; Thura San Lwin; and Thant Zin Oo.
On 22 December 2017, the UN Security Council imposed its latest round of sanctions against North Korea by adopting Resolution 2397 (see previous blog here). Among other things, that Resolution expanded sectoral sanctions by introducing a ban on North Korean exports of food and agricultural products, machinery, electrical equipment, earth and stone, wood and vessels. It also introduced a ban on the supply, sale or transfer to North Korea of all industrial machinery, transportation vehicles, iron, steel and other metals.
The UK has provided for these new measures by passing the North Korea (United Nations Sanctions) (Amendment) Order 2018, SI 2018/523, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) (Amendment) Order 2018, SI 2018/524. Both Orders will come into force on 22 May 2018.
On 26 April 2018, the EU adopted (inter alia) a legal framework to impose targeted measures in relation to its Burma/Myanmar sanctions, see Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/655 and Council Regulation (EU) 2018/647 (previous blog here).
The UK has provided for this legal framework by passing the Burma (European Union Financial Sanctions) Regulations 2018, SI 2018/539. The Regulations will come into force on 21 May 2018.
Last week, the EU continued its arms embargo on Burma/Myanmar for 1 year and expanded it to include a prohibition on the export of dual-use goods for use by the military and Border Guard Police, and imposed restrictions on the export of equipment for monitoring communications that may be used for internal repression (previous blog). As a result, the UK Export Control Joint Unit has announced that it has amended and republished the following 5 Open General Export Licences (OGELs) (to remove Burma/Myanmar as a permitted destination from Schedule 2):
1. Export after exhibition: dual-use items
2. Export after repair/replacement under warranty: dual-use items
3. Export for repair/replacement under warranty: dual use items
4. Low value shipments
The EU has continued for 1 year its arms embargo on Burma/Myanmar, and has expanded it to include:
1. A prohibition on the export of dual-use goods for use by the military and border guard police;
2. Restrictions on the export of equipment for monitoring communications that might be used for internal repression; and
3. A prohibition on the provision of military training to, and military cooperation with, the Burma/Myanmar army.
The EU has also adopted a legal framework to impose targeted sanctions (travel bans and asset freezes) against individuals of the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw) and the border guard police who are deemed responsible for (inter alia) “serious human rights violations” (no individuals or entities listed yet). The EU previously had targeted sanctions in place against Burma/Myanmar but were completely lifted in April 2013 (previous blog here).
These EU measures were adopted today as a result of the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions of 26 February 2018 on the situation in Burma/Myanmar (previous blog here). See Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/655 and Council Regulation (EU) 2018/647. EU press release here, and UK OFSI Notice here.