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Sunny Mann

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On 3 April 2020, the European Commission issued its Decision granting relief from customs duty and import VAT exemptions for equipment necessary for combating the COVID-19 outbreak, following its announcement of its intention to do so on 20 March 2020 (please see our previous blog post here). Goods will only be exempt from customs duty and import VAT if they: are imported by or on behalf of State organisations, or by or on behalf of…

On 31 March 2020, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (“FCO”) announced that the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) had successfully concluded its first transaction. This transaction involved the successful export of medical goods from Europe to Iran, and paves the way for future transactions. In its announcement, the FCO stated: “Now the first transaction is complete, INSTEX and its Iranian counterpart STFI [(Special Trade and Finance Instrument)] will work on more transactions…

45 UK MPs and peers have signed a letter dated 18 March 2020 calling on Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, to ensure that the current UK Magnitsky legislation imposes sanctions on kleptocrats and corrupt oligarchs as well as on those who violate human rights. Their principal motivation stems from the fact that currently the UK’s stance falls short of the US’s Global Magnitsky Act and its various iterations in other jurisdictions. Whilst the Global Magnitsky Act…

From Monday 23 March 2020 until further notice, OFSI is recommending that all queries be sent to the OFSI mailbox (OFSI@hmtreasury.gov.uk) instead of the helpline where possible, with clear indications and explanations of urgency. OFSI has stressed that licence applications and compliance reports will continue to be assessed and communications sent, including requests for information on individual cases, but noted that they may not be able to respond in line with their usual timescales. Urgent…