Ross L. Denton


In two judgments in the last year, the English High Court has examined sanctions clauses in detail. Each case involved a refusal by parties to pay under an agreement, citing risks under US extraterritorial (“secondary”) sanctions. The Court’s judgments in these cases raise a number of issues for the drafting of sanctions clauses, and highlight the need to consider carefully the scope of the contract and the impacts that US sanctions may have upon its performance.

In approximately one month, the next round of changes to the EU Dual-Use list will take effect.

On 17 October 2019, the European Commission adopted a delegated Regulation updating Annex I to Regulation 428/2009 (the “Dual-Use List”). The update is not yet in force, but is currently halfway through a two month period during which the European Parliament or Council can raise any objections to the proposed changes. Once this two month period has lapsed in mid-December, or earlier if the Parliament and Council confirm to the Commission that they have no objections, the Regulation will be published in the Official Journal and will take effect the following day.

An overview of the proposed changes is provided in the comprehensive change note summary, which can be accessed here, and the full text can be accessed here.

On 14 October, the United States and European Union each adopted sanctions measures targeting Turkey, in response to Turkey’s military offensive in northern Syria.  Subject to certain exceptions discussed further below, the US measures under a new Syria-related Executive Order (“New Syria EO“) took effect immediately and authorize sanctions targeting parties engaging in certain Syria-related activities, the Government of Turkey and Turkish Government officials, and certain sectors of the Turkish economy.

The EU measures are expected to come into effect shortly.

At a meeting of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council on 14 October, the Council adopted a sanctions framework targeting Nicaragua. The sanctions will comprise asset freezes and travel bans targeting “persons and entities responsible for human rights violations or abuses or for the repression of civil society and democratic opposition in Nicaragua, as well as persons and entities whose actions, policies or activities otherwise undermine democracy and the rule of law in Nicaragua”. The legislation and list of restricted parties have…