The US Departments of State, Treasury, and Homeland Security warned companies in a new advisory that deceptive practices by North Korea to evade US, UN, and other sanctions could put them at risk of prohibited or sanctionable dealings with the North Korean regime. The advisory published on July 24, 2018 follows February 2018 guidance from the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control regarding certain deceptive shipping practices of North Korea to avoid US sanctions (see our prior blog post here). The new advisory encourages companies to undertake enhanced due diligence within their supply chains to avoid prohibited or sanctionable: (i) sourcing of goods, services, or technology from North Korea and (ii) use of the labor of North Korean citizens or nationals, which is presumed to be forced labor, regardless of where such labor occurs.Read more…
Following on from a meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council (“FAC“) yesterday, at which the FAC unanimously agreed to impose restrictive measures on Venezuela, the EU has today published Council Decision 2017/2074 and Council Regulation (EU) 2017/2063 (together, the “Legislation“). The Legislation prescribes targeted sanctions against Venezuela, including an arms embargo, with immediate effect.
The Legislation has been formulated in response to the continuing crisis in Venezuela and the perceived deterioration of democracy, the rule of law and human rights. In particular, the EU has expressed concern over the opaque and irregular election by which the Constituent Assembly was elected, and reported violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The EU therefore views the Legislation as a justified tool to help foster a credible and peaceful negotiated solution.
The Legislation has two primary aspects:
- Extensive export restrictions against the Venezuelan regime. These consist of a tripartite embargo on the following:
- Arms and related material of all types as well as the financing of military activities and provision of related services such as technical assistance;
- Equipment which might be used for internal repression as well as financial assistance relating to such equipment and provision of related services such as technical assistance;
- Equipment, technology or software intended primarily for use in telecommunications monitoring or interception by the Venezuelan regime, as well as financial or technical assistance to install, operate or update such equipment, technology or software.
- A legal framework for designated party controls, comprising travel bans and asset freezes, to be applied to persons who are responsible for (i) serious human rights violations; (ii) the repression of civil society and democratic opposition in Venezuela; or (ii) actions, policies or activities that otherwise undermine democracy or the rule of law.
At the time of publication, no designations of individuals or entities have been imposed by the EU. The Legislation states that a list of designated parties will be established and amended by the EU Council acting by unanimity upon a proposal by a Member State or the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
The Legislation will remain in force until 14 November 2018, and will be kept under review. The EU reserves the right to renew or amend the Legislation as appropriate if the EU Council deems that its objectives have not been met.
On September 21, 2017 the Ministry of Economy published in the Federal Official Gazette an Administrative Regulation that modifies the one that prohibits the exportation or importation of diverse goods to the indicated countries, entities and persons.Read more…
On 20 June 2016, the European Council (the “Council“) published conclusions on EU strategy with Myanmar/Burma which reaffirm the EU’s strong commitment to support the reform efforts of Myanmar’s government (the “Conclusions“). These follow the adoption of a Joint Communication to the European Parliament and Council on 1 June 2016, and the EU’s most recent renewal of its remaining sanctions against Myanmar/Burma on 21 April 2016.
Council Conclusions on EU strategy with Myanmar/Burma
In the Conclusions, the Council reiterates its support for Myanmar/Burma’s transformative agenda, including through the joint programming of EU and Member States’ development cooperation. The Council also states that a review of EU bilateral development cooperation will be undertaken, possibly in 2017, once a new national comprehensive development plan becomes available.
For further detail, please see the full text of the Conclusions here.
Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council entitled “Elements for an EU strategy vis-à-vis Myanmar/Burma: a special partnership for democracy, peace and prosperity”
The publication of the Conclusions comes after the adoption by the EU Commission of a Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council entitled “Elements for an EU strategy vis-à-vis Myanmar/Burma: a special partnership for democracy, peace and prosperity” (the “Joint Communication“) on 1 June 2016.
The Joint Communication envisages intensified EU engagement with Myanmar in its transition process, including by stimulating European business interest through the conclusion of an Investment Protection Agreement, while also promoting corporate social responsibility and responsible investment.
For further details, please see the full text of the Joint Communication here.
Extension of EU sanctions against Myanmar/Burma
The Conclusions also follow the EU’s most recent renewal of its remaining sanctions against Myanmar/Burma until 30 April 2017 by Decision (CFSP) 2016/627 (amending Decision 2013/184/CFSP), dated 21 April 2016. The remaining restrictive measures comprise an arms embargo on providing Myanmar/Burma with arms and goods that might be used for internal repression, and prohibit the provision of related technical assistance and financial assistance.
The Conclusions also follow amendments by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC“) to the Burmese Sanctions Regulations (“BSR“), 31 C.F.R. Part 537 and to its List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (“SDN List“) in May 2016. For further details on these U.S. developments, please see our previous blog post “U.S. Government Eases Sanctions Targeting Burma and Amends SDN List“.