EU removes FARC from its terrorism sanctions

In September last year, the EU suspended its terrorism sanctions on Colombian guerrilla movement FARC, in recognition of the peace agreement signed between FARC and the Colombian government (see previous blog). The EU has now removed FARC from its terrorism sanctions listings.

See Regulation 2017/2061 amending Regulation 2580/2001, Implementing Regulation 2017/2064 implementing Regulation 2580/2001, Decision 2017/2072 updating and amending Common Position 2001/931/CFSP, and Decision 2017/2073 amending Common Position 2001/931/CFSP.

EU implements expanded investment ban on North Korea and updates list of banned luxury goods

In October, the EU decided to expand its ban on EU investment in and with North Korea to all economic sectors and lower the amount of personnel remittances that can be sent to North Korea from EUR 15,000 to EUR 5,000. The EU has now published a new regulation to ensure uniform application of these new measures across the EU.

The Regulation also publishes a new list of luxury goods subject to an import and export ban, after the Council invited the EU Commission to review the existing list in consultation with member states.

See Council Regulation (EU) 2017/2062 amending Council Regulation (EU) 2017/1509.

EU imposes arms embargo and targeted sanctions on Venezuela

The EU Council has published its conclusions on the situation in Venezuela, where the it says democratic institutions have been eroded by the establishment of “an all-powerful Constituent Assembly” and the UN believes “extensive human rights violations and abuses” have taken place (UN report here).

As foreshadowed last week (see previous blog), the EU Council has decided to impose an arms embargo on Venezuela, and also to introduce a legal framework for travel bans and asset freezes against those involved in human rights violations and non-respect for democracy or the rule of law.

The Council says that the measures will be used “in a gradual and flexible manner” alongside its diplomatic and political efforts, and called on the Venezuelan government to hold credible and meaningful negotiations, respect democratic institutions, adopt a full electoral calendar, and liberate all political prisoners. Although the Council said that the sanctions can be reversed if Venezuela makes progress on these issues, it also warned that the sanctions may be expanded if the situation warrants.

The relevant legal measures are Council Regulation (EU) 2017/2063 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/2074.

EU to impose arms embargo on Venezuela

Venezuela1.jpgEU ambassadors have agreed to impose an arms embargo on Venezuela, as well as a ban on any equipment capable of being used to repress opponents within the state. Next week, EU Foreign Ministers will vote on whether to approve the measures. The proposed sanctions follow a UN report (published August 2017) which concluded that “extensive human rights violations and abuses” had been carried out in the context of country-wide anti-Government demonstrations.

In the US, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has added 9 individuals (and updated the details of one person) to its Venezuela sanctions list, see OFAC Notice here and FAQs here. The US Treasury has announced that all 10 individuals are “current or former Venezuelan government officials… associated with undermining electoral processes, media censorship, or corruption in government-administered food programs in Venezuela”. Furthermore, it is stated that this designation follows the 15 October 2017 state elections in Venezuela, which had been “marked by numerous irregularities”, strongly suggesting that “fraud [had] helped the ruling party unexpectedly win a majority of governorships.”

EU renews listing of vessel under Libya sanctions

Ship2.jpgIn line with the UN Security Council, the EU has renewed and amended the listing of vessel ‘Lynn S’ under its Libya sanctions regime until 29 January 2018, see Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2017/2008 and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/2006 (which amend the lists found in Annex V to Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/1333 and Annex V to Council Regulation (EU) 2016/44).

The EU Notice explains that the shipowner may submit a request at any time to the “Focal Point” of the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee for a reconsideration of the vessel’s inclusion, and may challenge the Commission’s Implementing Regulation in the EU General Court. UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) Notice here.

EU renews Libya vessel listing

Ship.jpgIn line with the UN Security Council, the EU has renewed and amended the listing of a vessel under its Libya sanctions regime until 18 January 2018, see Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2017/1976 and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1974 (which amend the lists found in Annex V to Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/1333 and Annex V to Council Regulation (EU) 2016/44).

The EU Notice explains that the shipowner may submit a request at any time to the “Focal Point” of the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee for a reconsideration of the vessel’s inclusion, and may challenge the Commission’s Implementing Regulation in the EU General Court. UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation Notice here.

EU updates entry on Sudan sanctions list

EU3The EU has adopted Council Implementing Decision (CFSP) 2017/1948 and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1942, which updates the information relating to Mr Alnsiem on its Sudan sanctions list (see Annex I to Council Regulation (EU) No 747/2014). The UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) has published a Notice on the amendment.

EU renews Guinea and Moldova sanctions

EU1.jpgThe EU has renewed its Guinea sanctions until 27 October 2018, and  Moldova sanctions until 31 October 2018. Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/1934 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2017/1935.

The EU has published a Notice for those on the Guinea list, renewing their inclusion in the Annex to Council Decision 2010/638/CFSP (as amended) and Annex II to Council Regulation (EU) No 1284/2009. The Notice explains that they can submit a request to the EU Council before 30 June 2018 for a reconsideration of their inclusion, and can challenge the Council’s listing decision in the EU General Court.