Earlier today, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the "MFA") published an updated guidance on asset freeze measures. The guidance was originally published in 2018, and today's update adds additional guidance and reflects recent developments in legislation.
EU adopts 11th package of sanctions against Russia. Developments in UK sanctions against Russia and Belarus
The long-awaited 11th package of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine was announced earlier today, after EU ambassadors reached a consensus earlier this week. As expected, the package seeks to strengthen existing sanctions and crack down on circumvention.
The long-anticipated BIMCO Price Cap Clause was published on 2 June 2023, in response to the price caps on Russian origin crude-oil and petroleum products introduced by G7, EU and others. In this article we take a practical first look at the clause in context.
In a summary judgment relating to a dispute arising out of the charterers’ failure to make hire payments under bareboat charterparties, the Commercial Court provides guidance on the impact of sanctions on the parties’ obligations to make payment.
Russia sanctions: further US and UK designations, expansion of US authorities, UK announces ban on Russian-origin diamonds, copper, aluminium and nickel
On 19 May 2023, coinciding with the first day of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, both the US and the UK announced several new sanctions designations. In addition, the US has expanded sanctions authorities targeting certain sectors of the Russian economy and banned export of architecture and engineering services to Russia, and the UK has announced coming bans on Russian diamonds, copper, aluminium and nickel.
In recent weeks, the EU established a new sanctions regime in response to the situation in Moldova, and the US has expanded the scope of its Sudan regime.
In recent weeks, the UK has expanded on its existing trade restrictions on Russia, added further designations to the consolidated sanctions list, published and updated various sanctions related guidance documents, imposed trust services bans in respect of all persons already subject to asset freeze measures and published its Economic Crime Plan for 2023-2026.
Close to midnight on Friday 24 February, the Council reached a consensus on the tenth package of sanctions on Russia. The new sanctions coincided with the commemoration of one year since the full-scale invasion and war of aggression against Ukraine.
Earlier today, on 24 February 2023, one year after Russia's full scale invasion of Ukraine began, the US and the UK imposed further sanctions on Russia. As of yet, no consensus has been reached on the EU's tenth package of sanctions.
Under vignetten «Nye muligheter – Norge mot 2030» arrangerer Wikborg Rein fagseminarer gjennom vårt 100-årsjubileum i 2023 der vi belyser viktige temaer for næringslivet, og staker ut kursen videre. Først ut i år var sanksjoner og hvitvasking.
On 5 February 2023, the price cap policy for Russian petroleum products took effect in the G7 countries, as well as in the EU and Australia (members of the so-called Price Cap Coalition). The price caps have been set to (i) USD 45 per barrel for petroleum products traded at a discount to crude oil, and (ii) USD 100 per barrel for petroleum products traded at a premium to crude.
EU adopts ninth package of sanctions on Russia, UK imposes new financial and trade sanctions on Russia, Norway implements price cap on Russian crude oil
Earlier today, the 16 December 2022, the Council of the EU adopted a new, ninth package of sanctions on Russia. The UK has also adopted new financial and trade sanctions on Russia, and Norway has implemented the price cap policy on Russian crude oil. In addition, both the UK and the US have designated additional entities and individuals.
The massive and unprecedented sanctions imposed against Russia have required significant efforts to manage the risks and impact of sanctions, particularly in view of creative attempts to circumvent by some parties. In this article we explain why you should update your sanctions clause, and how to ensure that it is fit for purpose.
Vi er stolte over å kunne presentere Tine Elisabeth Vigmostad, Elise Johansen, Preben Milde Thorbjørnsen og Andreas K. Lund som nye partnere i Wikborg Rein fra 1. januar 2023.
On 7 December 2022, president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, outlined a proposal for a ninth package of sanctions.
Today, the fifth of December 2022, the G7 price cap policy for Russian crude oil takes effect. The price cap has been set to 60 dollars per barrel.
On 25 November 2022, the EU introduced for the first time a sanction regime on Haiti, aimed in particular at gang leaders and their financiers held responsible for the current security and humanitarian crisis in Haiti. In addition on 28 November 2022, the EU Council adopted a decision to add the violation of restrictive measures to the list of 'EU crimes'.
In light of Russia's escalating war against and illegal annexation of Ukraine, there have recently been developments to the Norway, UK and US sanctions regimes on Russia, as well as further sanctions designations from the EU, since our last update. In addition, G7 members have updated on the upcoming price cap exemption for the maritime transportation of Russian oil and oil products to third countries.
Changes to sanctions regimes on Haiti, Nicaragua and Iran, new export controls on China, and other development
Below we summarise the developments in EU, UK and US sanctions regimes that are not Russia-related.
Earlier today, 6 October 2022, the EU adopted another package of sanctions on Russia, in the wake of escalated Russian aggression against Ukraine, and in particular the in particular the organising of the "sham referenda" and the illegal annexation of Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.
The recent weeks has seen a high level of activity from EU, US and UK sanctioning authorities, in response to escalated Russian aggression against Ukraine. In this WR Sanctions Alert, we briefly summarise some key developments.
If a contract requires payment in a certain currency and, as a result of sanctions, payment cannot be made in that currency, does the obligation to use "reasonable endeavours" to overcome a force majeure event (such as payment issues relating to sanctions) require payment in a different currency? The English Commercial Court recently held that it does not.
Today, on 17 June 2022, Norway adopted additional Russia related sanctions, by largely implementing sanctions equivalent to the EU's sixth sanctions package (which was adopted by the EU on 3 June 2022).
New enforcement powers for sanctions breaches and accompanying guidance indicate a strengthening of UK sanctions enforcement going forward. Civil liability for breach of UK sanctions can as of today be imposed on a strict liability basis.
Additional Russia-related sanctions from the EU, UK, US and Norway and developments in Russian countermeasures
Since our last update on 21 April 2022, the EU has adopted its sixth Russia related sanctions package, while Norway has aligned its sanctions regime with the EU's fifth sanctions package. Furthermore, the UK and US have introduced additional sanctions, and Russia has developed its countermeasures.
Since our last update on 11 April 2022, the UK has introduced new sanctions, the US has designated additional individuals end entities, and Russia has announced developments to its counter-measures. Furthermore, the EU and US have introduced certain exemptions to its sanctions regimes relating to humanitarian activities.
Russia has announced and implemented several countermeasures against so-called "unfriendly states". Some of these countermeasures involve intellectual property rights (IPR), meaning that entities of so-called "unfriendly states" now face countermeasures limiting the protection of their IPR in Russia. Entities of such states that do not anticipate continuing to do business in Russia can expect to see their intellectual property utilised in Russia without compensation.
In view of the gravity of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the US, the EU and the UK have adopted additional sanctions against Russia since our previous update on 5 April 2022.
Increasing US, EU and UK sanctions against Russia; Norwegian alignment with EU sanctions; new Russian countermeasures
Since our previous update on 21 March 2022, the US and UK have implemented additional sanctions in response to Russia's continued military aggression against Ukraine, and Norway has aligned its regime with the latest EU sanctions. Russia has responded with additional countermeasures. We outline the main points of these developments below.
Since our update on 14 March 2022, the EU, UK and US have announced additional sanctions following Russia's continued military aggression against Ukraine. In addition, Norway has implemented much of the EU sanctions imposed in the recent months.
On 11 March 2022 the EU, US and G7 made a coordinated announcement of additional sanctions against Russia in response to Russia's military aggression against Ukraine.
Since our previous update on 4 March 2022, the EU, UK and US have announced additional sanctions against Russia and Belarus in response to Russia's military aggression against Ukraine.
In the last week, Russia has announced and implemented several countermeasures against so-called "unfriendly states", i.e. states that recently have imposed sanctions against Russia in response to Russia's military aggression against Ukraine.
In the last 48 hours, the EU, UK and US have announced additional tranches of sanctions against Russia in response to Russia's military aggression against Ukraine.
Following Russia's continued military aggression towards Ukraine, the EU, UK and US have adopted new sanctions against Russia since our last WR Sanctions Alert on 25 February 2022. We have summarised the main developments below.
In the last 48 hours, the US, UK and EU have announced a host of additional sanctions against Russia in response to its military invasion of Ukraine.
Yesterday, 22 February 2022, the US, UK and EU announced a new wave of sanctions against Russia. These sanctions build on those announced on 21 February 2022 and are a response to Russia's movement of troops across the Ukrainian border.
Earlier this month, we noted the possibility of increase in US and EU sanctions against Russia, should Russia take aggressive steps towards Ukraine. Yesterday, 21 February, Russia took steps to recognise the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) regions of eastern Ukraine as independent entities.
As Russia continues its military build-up along the Ukrainian border, both the US and the EU warn of new sanctions that will be used against Russia if it takes aggressive steps. Reportedly, the US and EU are preparing a coordinated response to deter Russian military initiatives towards Ukraine, which they have stated would have "massive consequences" for Russia.
New Year Update: New US restrictions on narcotics trafficking, Xinjiang and Cambodia, and expanded EU sanctions framework on Mali
During the weeks leading up to Christmas, the US adopted sanctions and other restrictions relating to narcotics trafficking, Xinjiang forced labour and Cambodia related exports and imports, whilst the EU has established an autonomous sanctions framework on Mali.
On 9 August 2021, the one year anniversary of the fraudulent presidential elections in Belarus, the US, the UK and Canada all imposed new measures aimed at the Lukashenka regime. Two days later, Switzerland imposed similar measures.
Over the course of an eventful week, the EU, the US, the UK and Canada increased the sanctions pressure on Belarus considerably.
On 3 June 2021, President Biden issued a new Executive Order, making important changes to the sanctions regime aimed at companies involved with the Chinese military.
On April 26, 2021, the UK launched a new sanctions regime, aimed at preventing and combatting serious corruption.
On 15 April 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order targeting a broad array of individuals and entities deemed by the US to be involved in malign activities directed by the Russian government.
In response to the 1 February 2021 coup in Myanmar (Burma), President Biden last week issued an Executive Order imposing sanctions on the Myanmar military.
On 5 January 2021, President Trump issued an "Executive Order Addressing the Threat Posed By Applications and Other Software Developed or Controlled By Chinese Companies," taking aim at makers of Chinese software applications.
As the Brexit transition period has recently come to an end, we highlight below some key differences brought about by the UK's new sanctions regime and what you need to know about the new regime.
The US Congress has passed the National Defense Authorisation Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (the "NDAA 2021"), and the annual defense spending bill is now pending President Trump's approval. Below, we briefly outline some key elements of the pending bill from a sanctions perspective.
Yesterday, 7 December 2020, the EU adopted a new global human rights sanctions regime, equipping itself with a framework for targeting serious human violations and abuses.
On 26 November 2020, the European Parliament issued a resolution on the escalating tensions in Varosha, stressing the urgent need for the resumption of talks, and calling for "tough sanctions" on Turkey.
Amidst escalating tensions in US-China trade relations, President Trump last week issued an Executive Order ("the EO") on Addressing the Threat from Securities Investments that Finance Communist Chinese Military Companies
Last week, the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control amended the North Korea Sanctions Regulations (31 CFR part 510, "the Regulations"). The revised Regulations implement the Treasury-administered provisions of the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act as amended by Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. The amendments include certain secondary sanctions, and took effect on 10 April 2020.
US imposes secondary sanctions over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in Europe, currently under construction led by Russian state company Gazprom. The intention is to stop completion of the pipeline.
Turkey's military offensive in north-east Syria has led to new US primary and secondary sanctions from the US and announcements of potential future sanctions from the EU.
Last week, the Trump Administration imposed sanctions against Chinese entities and individuals that it has determined have been trading in Iranian oil.
In previous Sanctions Alerts, we have discussed the Trump administration's shift in its sanctions policy against Cuba. Last week, the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took additional steps intended to financially isolate the Cuban government.
In April 2019, we informed that the US would not renew any of the Significant Reduction Exceptions ("SRE"s) that previously had authorized eight countries – including China – to purchase oil form Iran without facing risk of US sanctions.
On 5 August 2019, President Trump expanded the existing sanctions on Venezuela by issuing Executive Order "Blocking Property of the Government of Venezuela" (the "EO").
On 26 July 2019, President Trump issued Executive Order 13882 "Blocking Property and Suspending Entry of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Mali" to address the deteriorating security situation in Mali.
Multiple lawsuits filed under Libertad Act.
US threatens secondary sanctions over the European Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Foreign parties involved in the construction could be subject to future US sanctions.
On 24 June 2019, President Trump announced another set of sanctions targeting Iran.
• US sanctions now prohibit Norwegian companies and banks from engaging in most transactions in Iran's metal sector. • There are fewer than 60 days left to wind down Iranian metal transactions that began before the sanctions were implemented.
US warns of potential secondary sanctions on INSTEX.
Significant shift in US extraterritorial sanctions against Cuba. US sanctions and EU regulations go head to head
On 17 April 2019, the Trump Administration announced that US nationals will be allowed to file lawsuits against any person or company trafficking in Cuban confiscated property, before US courts. This by activating the long-suspended Title III of the Libertad Act. In his reasoning, the Secretary of State remarked that "Sadly, Cuba’s most prominent export these days is not cigars or rum; it’s oppression." The EU views the decision as contrary to international law and will, according to its High Representative, use the EU Blocking Regulation to prohibit EU persons from complying with it.
On 22 April 2019, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced, somewhat surprisingly, that the US will not renew any of the existing Significant Reduction Exceptions ("SRE"s) that were issued for eight countries on 3 November 2018. The decision aims to "bring Iran’s oil exports to zero", according to the White House, and underscores the US determination to expand and enforce its maximum pressure against Iran.
On 10 April 2019, President Trump extended the US sanctions relating to Somalia for 1 year.
On 1 April 2019, President Trump declared that the US sanctions in relation to South Sudan will continue for 1 year.
On 17 April 2019, OFAC designated Banco Central de Venezuela under Executive Order 13850, as amended, for operating within the Venezuelan economy. At the outset, this means that all dealings involving Banco Central de Venezuela, or entities owned 50 % or more by this bank, are prohibited if subject to US jurisdiction.
The EU has extended its sanctions against Egypt for 1 year until 22 March 2020.
On 11 April 2019, the High Representative of the EU, Federica Mogherini, made statements that, by some, have been interpreted as a possible warning of further EU sanctions relating to Libya.
This week, the Council of the EU extended its restrictive measures responding to serious human rights violations in Iran.
Previously, we have informed of developments to the US primary sanctions on Venezuela. This week, the US indicated that also secondary sanctions might be on their way.
On 12 March 2019, the US renewed the legal basis for its sanctions against Iran.
Last week, we informed that OFAC had issued General Licences 3D and 9C relating to certain Venezuelan bonds and Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. ("PdVSA") securities. Yesterday, OFAC issued yet another General Licence relating to US sanctions against Venezuela.
Previously, the US President has issued various Executive Orders ("EO"s) to stop the human rights abuses and antidemocratic actions of the regime of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Various General Licenses, issued by OFAC, do however provide exemptions from the EO provisions in order to minimize the impact on the Venezuelan people and US interests.
On 21 December 2018, the EU decided to extend its Russia-related sectoral sanctions and export controls for another six months, until 31 July 2019.
On 20 December 2018, President Trump signed into law the Nicaragua Human Rights and Anticorruption Act of 2018. Being quite limited in scope, the Act instructs the US to oppose international loans and financial or technical assistance to the Nicaraguan government for projects in Nicaragua, unless the loans are sought for the purposes of addressing basic human needs or promoting democracy in Nicaragua.
On the 10th of December, the EU terminated its sanctions regime against Eritrea.
Earlier this month, we informed that the UN has lifted its sanctions against Eritrea after nine years as a consequence of the improved political and military situation in the country.
On 14 November 2018, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2444 (2018) terminating all UN restrictive measures against Eritrea with immediate effect.
In this article, we discuss the first UK case dealing with the scope of a sanctions exclusion clause in the context of the re-imposed US sanctions on Iran and the EU Blocking Regulation. We also provide some pointers for in-house counsel drafting sanctions exclusion clauses.
At last month's State of the Union address, President Trump called on Congress to "address the fundamental flaws in the terrible Iran nuclear deal". Trump has been attacking the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the "JCPOA"), since he began campaigning for the presidency. But this latest statement, made at one of Washington's most important political events and coming on the heels of Trump's January 12 threat to withdraw from the JCPOA, suggests that the president may be closer to taking action. If Trump does decide to end US participation in the JCPOA, how will he do it? And what will this mean for Norwegian companies considering business in Iran?
Privilege against self-incrimination is a fundamental principle that protects witnesses from revealing information which might expose them to an accusation or criminal charge. Many legal systems recognise this privilege, and in Norway the right to protect oneself against self-incrimination is a rule of law. The privilege derives both from the right to a fair hearing as defined in article 95 of Constitution and article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights in addition to article 14(3)g of the United Nations Convention on Civil and Political Rights. In the US the privilege is enshrined in the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.
On May 8, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.