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UK Implements EU blocking statute

February, 2019

Will criminalise compliance with US sanctions where they are not compatible with EU law.

UK Implements EU blocking statute

Legislation is now in force in the United Kingdom which criminalises activity in contravention of the EU blocking statute – e.g., compliance with US sanctions where not compatible with EU law.

In June 2018, following the announcement of the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (‘JCPOA’ or ‘Iran nuclear deal’), the EU amended (to include the reversal of the US position on Iran) its original blocking statute of 1996, which was drafted to

‘counteract the effects of the extra-territorial application of laws, including regulations and other legislative instruments adopted by third countries, and of actions based thereon or resulting therefrom, where such application affects the interests of natural and legal persons in the Union engaging in international trade and/or the movement of capital and related commercial activities between the Union and third countries.’

The UK implementing law is the Extraterritorial US Legislation (Sanctions against Cuba, Iran and Libya) (Protection of Trading Interests) (Amendment) Order 2018.

An explanatory note states: ‘Criminal offences in respect of breaches by United Kingdom entities and nationals of Council Regulation (EC) No.2271/96 protecting against the effects of the extraterritorial application of legislation adopted by a third country, and actions based thereon or resulting therefrom (OJ No. L 309, 29.11.1996, p.1) (“the Regulation”) were created by the Extraterritorial US Legislation (Sanctions against Cuba, Iran and Libya) (Protection of Trading Interests) Order 1996 (S.I. 1996/3171). This Order amends S.I. 1996/3171 so that it refers to the Regulation as last amended by Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2018/1100 (OJ L I 199, 7.8.2018, p. 1), thereby ensuring that the criminal offences extend to conduct within scope of the Regulation as amended.’

 

The UK legislation is at:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/1357/pdfs/uksi_20181357_en.pdf

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