20% DISCOUNT AVAILABLE FOR KEY ISSUES AND CHALLENGES IN SANCTIONS REGULATION CONFERENCE

March 19, 2019

* * * 20% discount available * * * Sanctionline is supporting this event On March 29, the new UK Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act will come into force. The Act allows for sanctions on people who commit gross human rights violations under the so-called ‘Magnitsky amendment’. The UK Government will gain the power to designate persons being sanctioned not only by name, but also by description…

Keep Reading →

INSTEX SPV to avoid US sanctions has been set up, but are the EU's efforts futile?

March 14, 2019

In September 2018, Sanctionline reported that the EU was planning on setting up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in order to facilitate payments between European companies and Iran while avoiding US sanctions. SWIFT’s reluctant agreement to comply with US sanctions on Iran provided further motivation to create the SPV. INSTEX, or the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges, was set up in…

Keep Reading →

Standard Chartered fined £102m and sets aside $900m for other penalties

March 04, 2019

In October, Sanctionline reported Standard Chartered could face penalties from US authorities for violating sanctions. The bank is now setting aside $900 million not only for potential US penalties but also for a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) fine of £102m for historical financial crime controls. Discuss here

Keep Reading →

20% discount available for Key Issues and Challenges in Sanctions Regulation conference

February 28, 2019

* * * 20% discount available * * * Sanctionline is supporting this event On March 29, the new UK Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act will come into force. The Act allows for sanctions on people who commit gross human rights violations under the so-called ‘Magnitsky amendment’. The UK Government will gain the power to designate persons being sanctioned not only by name, but also by description…

Keep Reading →

Huawei CFO arrested for alleged sanctions fraud against financial institutions

December 09, 2018

At the request of the US, Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s CFO, was arrested in Canada on 1 December. It is believed Huawei used Skycom Tech (a Hong Kong company), which operated as an unofficial subsidiary, for Iran related business. Meng Wanzhou is accused of covering this up in order to persuade banks to provide financial services in breach of US sanctions. No financial institutions are being…

Keep Reading →

Russian Sanctions strengthen Putin’s relationship with oligarchs

December 01, 2018

Russia’s wealthiest have always had close connections to the Kremlin, but US sanctions are pushing them even closer together. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, there was mass privatisation of state assets. This allowed individuals the opportunity to make millions, in some cases billions, of dollars through the acquisition of state property. And so the notorious Russian…

Keep Reading →

New feature! SDN search

November 26, 2018

Sanctionline introduces a new SDN and consolidated sanctions list search utilising fuzzy logic. No longer will you need to type out long and difficult to spell names in full – once you start typing the search will immediately show matching names. Give it a try! Discuss here

Keep Reading →

Société Générale receives $1.3bn penalty for sanctions violations

November 25, 2018

In September Sanctionline reported that French bank Société Générale SA (SocGen) was expecting a €1.2 billion penalty for US sanctions violations. This week it was revealed that SocGen entered into a three year Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with US authorities, incurring penalties of more than $1.3 billion. It is thought that SocGen processed and concealed USD transactions involving…

Keep Reading →

France and US sanctions for Khashoggi killing

November 24, 2018

Last month Sanctionline reported on the possible sanctions to be imposed for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. On 15 November OFAC imposed asset freezes and travel bans on 17 Saudi Arabian nationals under the US Global Magnitsky sanctions programme. On 19 November France announced the imposition of sanctions on 18 Saudi Arabian nationals in connection with the murder of Jamal…

Keep Reading →

OFAC extends expiration of EN+, RUSAL and GAZ general licenses

November 12, 2018

OFAC has again extended the expiration date of general licenses related to EN+ Group plc, United Company RUSAL PLC, and GAZ Group. General Licenses 13G , 14C , 15B , and 16C extend their expiration date from 12 December 2018 to 7 January 2019, for transactions related to the companies and their subsidiaries. Discuss here

Keep Reading →

SWIFT agrees to comply with US sanctions at the expense of EU regulations

November 06, 2018

Belgium-based SWIFT has agreed to suspend certain Iranian banks' access to its network, following US threats to sanction SWIFT for not doing so. SWIFT is the international financial messaging system which facilitates cross-border payments. It does not hold funds or process transactions, it is simply a messaging platform used by financial institutions to send information about transactions. SWIFT…

Keep Reading →

8 countries receive oil waivers for US Iran sanctions

November 06, 2018

On Monday the last remaining US sanctions on Iran were imposed, significantly impacting the oil industry. This caused fall-out amongst the countries who heavily rely on Iranian oil, as reported by Sanctionline last week. China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey have been given 180 day waivers from the US to continue importing crude oil with two conditions: 1) the…

Keep Reading →

OFAC issues new Venezuela Executive Order

November 01, 2018

Today, Donald Trump signed a new Executive Order Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Venezuela. Click here to read. Note OFAC has not numbered the Executive Order. Discuss here

Keep Reading →

UN report on the human rights impact of sanctions

October 31, 2018

The UN Human Rights Council issued a report on the impact sanctions have on human rights. The key recommendations from the Special Rapporteur are: A human rights impact assessment should be carried out by states before sanctions are applied For as long as the sanctions remain in place, ongoing monitoring of the human rights impact should be in place Mechanisms for judicial review and effective…

Keep Reading →

Countries asking for Iran sanctions waivers

October 31, 2018

With the final tranche of US sanctions on Iran taking effect on 5 November, numerous countries have approached the US asking for waivers. Whilst the EU is strongly opposed to the US' withdrawal from the JCPOA, it appears non-European countries and companies will be hit harder by the new sanctions. Many EU companies were fearful of doing business with Iran after sanctions were eased following the…

Keep Reading →

New feature! Sanctionline forum

October 29, 2018

Sanctionline introduces a forum to facilitate discussions, debates and information sharing. Feel free to post anything from technical legal interpretation questions to debates on the morality or politics surrounding sanctions. Perhaps you are a journalist writing about sanctions but do not understand CAATSA? Maybe you are looking for sanctions events in Europe or the US? The Sanctionline forum…

Keep Reading →

New US sanctions on Hizballah signed into law

October 29, 2018

Last week Sanctionline reported that the US passed two bills through Senate for imposing sanctions on Hezbollah/Hizballah. On 25 October Donald Trump signed this into law. Discuss here

Keep Reading →

US response to India’s business with Iran and Russia

October 27, 2018

It was expected that sanctions would be imposed on India following its decision to keep doing business with Iran and Russia in contravention of US sanctions. However, the US’ response brings uncertainty. From 5 November the remaining US sanctions on Iran come into force. Many media sources report this to be 4 November but to be clear, the 180 wind-down period ends at 23:59 on 4 November…

Keep Reading →

US passes two bills sanctioning Hizballah and Hamas

October 24, 2018

The US Senate has passed two bills which, once signed by Donald Trump, will impose new sanctions on the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah (Hizballah in the Bills). The first Bill, the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2017 is an amendment of the 2015 Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act. It aims at preventing Hizballah’s access to funding by sanctioning…

Keep Reading →

Sanctioned Russian oligarch sues Nordic banks

October 24, 2018

On 4 October Russian oligarch Boris Rotenberg, who was sanctioned by the US in April 2018, filed a suit against four Nordic banks; Nordea Bank Abp, Danske Bank A/S, Svenska Handelsbanken AB and OP Corporate Bank. Rotenberg claims that refusing to allow him to make payments is a violation of service agreements. He holds a Finnish passport and is thus not subject to EU sanctions. Discuss here

Keep Reading →

Possible sanctions on Saudi Arabia for murder of Jamal Khashoggi?

October 22, 2018

There is international speculation that sanctions will be imposed on Saudi Arabia following the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Initially Saudi Arabia denied knowledge of Khashoggi’s disappearance. The country’s public prosecutor now admits his death and claims he was killed in a fight in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. 18 Saudi nationals have been arrested and investigations…

Keep Reading →

OFAC extends general licenses related to GAZ group

October 21, 2018

On 19 October, OFAC extended the expiration of General License 13F Authorizing Certain Transactions Necessary to Divest or Transfer Debt, Equity, or Other Holdings in Certain Blocked Persons, and General License 15A - Authorizing Certain Activities Necessary to Maintenance or Wind Down of Operations or Existing Contracts with GAZ Group. Discuss here

Keep Reading →

New EU sanctions for the use and proliferation of chemical weapons following Skripal poisoning

October 15, 2018

More than one month after the US imposed sanctions on Russia for the use of chemical and biological weapons following the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, the EU has announced a new chemical weapons use and proliferation sanctions regime. EU-wide travel bans and/or asset freezes may be imposed on those “involved in the development and use of chemical weapons anywhere, regardless of their…

Keep Reading →

Possible $1.5 billion fine and criminal charges for Standard Chartered Iran sanctions violations

October 08, 2018

It was reported that Standard Chartered could again face a fine for violating US sanctions and has discussed a possible penalty of $1.5 billion with US authorities. US authorities have informed the bank criminal charges could be brought against two of its former employees for the violations. The bank allegedly processed payments for Iranian clients after committing to no longer doing business with…

Keep Reading →

OFSI publishes 2017-18 Annual Review

October 08, 2018

On 5 October, the UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) published its first Annual Review. The report provides an explanation of requirements such as asset freezes and reporting, looks back at OFSI’s 2017-18 activities, and looks forward at 2018-19. Looking back – key points The largest number of individuals and entities added to OFSI’s Consolidated List were from the…

Keep Reading →

OFAC reaches $5.3 million settlement with JPMorgan Chase for sanctions violations and finds further violations

October 06, 2018

JPMorgan Chase Bank NA (JPMC) reached a settlement with OFAC for almost $5.3 million to resolve liability for apparent Cuban, Iranian and weapons of mass destruction sanctions violations. The transactions involved airlines which were on OFAC’s list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (SDNs). Separate from the above investigation, OFAC issued a Finding of Violation with no…

Keep Reading →

ICJ issues provisional measures in Iran sanctions case and US withdraws from Amity Treaty

October 04, 2018

In “ICJ hears Iran’s case against the USA for re-imposing sanctions,” Sanctionline reported that Iran applied to the ICJ for provisional ruling against the USA for its 8 May decision to withdraw from the JCPOA, claiming the US has breached the 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations and Consular Rights. On 3 October, the ICJ concluded that, prima facie, it has jurisdiction over the case. The…

Keep Reading →

House of Commons paper on post-Brexit sanctions

September 25, 2018

The House of Commons Library published a Briefing Paper on the “The future of sanctions.” The paper considers the consequences of the new Sanctions and Money Laundering Act 2018 which provides the UK with its own powers to impose sanctions, separate from the EU. Given that the UK was the driving force behind many EU sanctions and consistently pushed for tougher sanctions, it is expected that the…

Keep Reading →

EU plans to use SPV to avoid US Iran Sanctions

September 25, 2018

Yesterday it was announced that the EU plans to set up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in order to facilitate payments between European companies and Iran while avoiding US sanctions. Further information is expected in the coming days. Discuss here

Keep Reading →

OFAC extends expiration date of General Licenses relating to Russian entities

September 21, 2018

On 21 September OFAC extended the expiration date of the below general licenses (providing for the wind down of activities) from 23 October 2018 to 12 November 2018: General License 13D Authorising Certain Transactions Necessary to Divest or Transfer Debt, Equity, or Other Holdings in Certain Blocked Persons. The extension only applies to United Company Rusal and EN+ Group, not to GAZ Group and…

Keep Reading →

Possible US sanctions on China for Muslim detention camps

September 13, 2018

Republican leaders have urged the Trump administration to impose sanctions on seven Chinese officials under the human rights based Global Magnitsky Act. It is estimated that one million people part of Muslim minority groups are being detained in Xinjiang under China’s counter-terrorism campaign. It is reported that Chinese companies involved in the surveillance and detention of the Muslims might…

Keep Reading →

New US Executive Order for foreign interference in US elections

September 13, 2018

On 12 September 2018 the US issued Executive Order (EO) 13848 concerning foreign interference in US elections. After every US election, the extent of any foreign interference will be assessed. Sanctions can be imposed on foreign individuals, entities and governments which have been found to have engaged, sponsored, concealed, assisted, authorised, directed or otherwise supported interference in…

Keep Reading →

US threatens to sanction ICC for investigating Afghanistan war crimes

September 11, 2018

In November 2017 the Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) requested an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by members of the US armed forces and secret detention facilities in Afghanistan used by the CIA, mostly in 2003 and 2004. The US does not recognise the legitimacy of the court. The US is not only refusing cooperation but has also threatened ICC officials…

Keep Reading →

EU sanctions on Russia extended for six months

September 05, 2018

The EU has again extended sanctions on Russia (asset freezes and travel bans) for six months until 15 March 2019, resulting from Russia’s refusal to withdraw from Crimea. Discuss here

Keep Reading →

Euroclear breached UN sanctions

September 05, 2018

The UN Panel of Experts for the Libya Sanctions Committee have determined that Belgian financial institution Euroclear has not complied with the 2011 UN Libya asset freeze. The experts’ report found Euroclear allowed interest payments from frozen funds of the former Gaddafi regime to be made available to unknown beneficiaries holding various accounts managed by the Libyan investment Authority…

Keep Reading →

Société Générale expects EUR 1.2 billion penalty for US sanctions violations

September 04, 2018

The French bank expects US authorities to impose penalties of around EUR 1.2 billion in relation to the US investigation into alleged sanctions violations. The authorities have been investigating past US Dollar transactions involving US sanctioned countries. SocGen expects the matter to draw to a close in the coming weeks. Discuss here

Keep Reading →

UN Mali sanctions renewed for one year

August 30, 2018

Today the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2432 (2018), renewing the Mali asset freezes and travel bans until 31 August 2019. The sanctions derive from SC Resolution 2374 (2017) imposing travel bans and asset freezes on individuals and entities who prevent the peace, security or stability of Mali. Discuss here

Keep Reading →

ICJ hears Iran’s case against the USA for re-imposing sanctions

August 29, 2018

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has begun hearing Iran’s request for provisional ruling against the USA for its 8 May decision to withdraw from the JCPOA. The 8 May decision re-imposed sanctions previously removed under the agreement. Following wind-down periods, all of which end in November, the final sanctions will take effect targeting Iran’s oil and energy sector. Iran’s Application…

Keep Reading →

US sanctions Russia for the use of chemical and biological weapons

August 27, 2018

The first tranche of US sanctions on Russia relating to the use of chemical and biological weapons came into force on 27 August 2018. The US Department of State determined that the Russian Federation has used chemical weapons in violation of international law or against its own nationals. It is believed Russia is responsible for the nerve agent attack in the UK against two UK citizens, ex-spy…

Keep Reading →

EU blocking statute comes into force

August 07, 2018

The EU Blocking Statute came into force on 7 August 2018, driven by the US withdrawing from the JCPOA and re-imposing sanctions on Iran. The Blocking Statute was first introduced in 1996 in response to the extra-territorial reach of US sanctions on Cuba, Iran and Libya. However, the Statute was not relied on by major corporations and the extra-territorial strength of US sanctions, with the…

Keep Reading →