THE JOURNAL OF EXPORT CONTROLS AND SANCTIONS

Issue 57, February 2017

Circumvention of EU sanctions: a rose by any other name

Circumvention is not the same as violating a sanctions prohibition. Instead, it refers to actions that ‘frustrate’ a prohibition, without technically violating it. But, writes Paul..

European Union sanctions typically include provisions designed to prevent ‘circumvention’ of their prohibitions. Instinctively, we feel we know what this means – arrangements that try to step around the prohibitions on technical grounds – but it is difficult to be more specific, in part because there is only a modest amount of relevant case law and official guidance in the EU and UK. Fundamentally, however, there is an important distinction to be made between violating a prohibition and circumventing it, because circumvention involves conduct that frustrates a prohibition by undermining its effectiveness, without technically violating it. What matters then is...

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