International Sanctions February 2021

2021-03-15

INTERNATIONAL SANCTIONS FEBRUARY  2021

 

EUROPEAN UNION

 

GERMANY

 

  • On 8 February 2021, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/138[1] and Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/142[2] repealing respectively Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1128 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1132 were published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

This amendment adds one (1) German entity to the counter-terrorism list.

 

SAUDI ARABIA

 

  • On 8 February 2021, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/138[3] and Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/142[4] repealing, respectively, Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1128 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1132 were published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

This amendment adds two (2) natural persons of Saudi nationality to the counter-terrorism list.

 

AUSTRALIA

 

  • On 8 February 2021, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/138[5] and Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/142[6] repealing, respectively, Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1128 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1132 were published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

This amendment adds one (1) natural person of Australian nationality to the counter-terrorism list.

 

BELARUS

 

  • On 26 February 2021, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/339[7] and Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/353[8] were published in the Official Journal of the European Union, amending, respectively, Annex I of Regulation (EC) 2006/765 and Article 8 of Decision 2012/642/CFSP.

 

These amendments extend the restrictive measures against Belarus until 28 February 2022.

 

CANADA

 

  • On 8 February 2021, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/138[9] and Council Decision (CFSP)[10]2021/142 repealing, respectively, Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1128 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1132 were published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

This amendment adds one (1) natural person of Canadian nationality to the counter-terrorism list.

 

COLOMBIA

 

  • On 8 February 2021, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/138[11] and Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/142[12] repealing, respectively, Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1128 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1132 were published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

This amendment adds one (1) Colombian entity to the counter-terrorism list.

 

EGYPT

 

  • On 8 February 2021, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/138[13] and Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/142[14] repealing, respectively, Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1128 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1132 were published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

This amendment adds one (1) Egyptian entity to the counter-terrorism list.

 

PHILIPPINES

 

  • On 8 February 2021, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/138[15] and Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/142[16] repealing, respectively, Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1128 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1132 were published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

This amendment adds one (1) Philippine entity to the counter-terrorism list.

 

INDIA

 

  • On 8 February 2021, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/138[17] and Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/142[18] repealing, respectively, Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1128 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1132 were published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

This amendment adds three (3) Indian entities to the counter-terrorism list.

 

IRAN

 

  • On 8 February 2021, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/138[19] and Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/142[20] repealing, respectively, Implementing

 

Regulation (EU) 2020/1128 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1132 were published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

This amendment adds five (5) natural persons and one (1) entity to the counter-terrorism list.

 

LEBANON

 

  • On 8 February 2021, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/138[21] and Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/142[22] repealing, respectively, Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1128 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1132 were published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

This amendment adds one (1) natural person and one (1) entity to the counter-terrorism list.

 

THE NETHERLANDS

 

  • On 8 February 2021, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/138[23] and Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/142[24] repealing, respectively, Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1128 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1132 were published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

This amendment adds one (1) natural person of Dutch nationality to the counter-terrorism list.

  

PALESTINE

 

  • On 8 February 2021, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/138[25] and Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/142[26] repealing respectively Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1128 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1132 were published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

This amendment includes six (6) Palestinian entities on the counter-terrorism list.

  

PAKISTAN

 

  • On 8 February 2021, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/138[27] and Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/142[28] repealing, respectively, Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1128 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1132 were published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

This amendment adds one (1) natural person of Pakistani nationality to the counter-terrorism list.

 

PERU

 

  • On 8 February 2021, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/138[29] and Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/142[30] repealing, respectively, Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1128 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1132 were published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

This amendment adds one (1) Peruvian entity to the counter-terrorism list.

 

SRI LANKA

 

  • On 8 February 2021, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/138[31] and Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/142[32] repealing, respectively, Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1128 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1132 were published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

This amendment adds one (1) Ceylonese entity to the counter-terrorism list.

 

TERRORISM

 

  • On 25 February 2021, Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/350[33] amending Annex I of Council Regulation (EC) 2002/881 was published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

This amendment removes two (2) natural persons from the list of sanctioned persons.

 

TURKEY

 

  • On 8 February 2021, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/138[34] and Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/142[35] repealing, respectively, Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1128 and Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/1132 were published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

This amendment adds one (1) natural person and four (4) Turkish entities to the counter-terrorism list.

 

  • VENEZUELA

 

On 22 February 2021, Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/275[36] and Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/276[37] amending Annex IV to Regulation (EU) 2017/2063 and Annex I to Decision (CFSP) 2017/2074, respectively, were published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

By these amendments, nineteen (19) natural persons of Venezuelan nationality have been added to the list of sanctioned persons for “undermining democracy or the rule of law and for being responsible for serious violations of human rights”.

 

ZIMBABWE

 

  • On 19 February 2021, Council Regulation (EU) 2021/251[38], Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/253[39] and Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/258[40] amending, respectively, Annexes III and IV of Regulation (EC)

 

2004/314 and Article 10 and Annexes I and II of Decision (CFSP) 2011/101 were published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

 

These amendments remove one (1) individual of Zimbabwean nationality from the list of sanctioned persons and suspend, until 20 February 2022, the measures imposed on three (3) other natural persons and one (1) entity, all of Zimbabwean nationality.

 

 UNITED STATES

 

SAUDI ARABIA

 

  • On February 26, 2021, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), under the Global Magnitsky Sanctions Regulations, has added one (1) natural person and one (1) Saudi entity to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List.

  

CUBA

 

  • A letter dated 28 January 2021 has been sent from Spain to the Vice President of the European Commission. The Biden Administration has an opportunity for Spain and other EU members to help resolve the issue of the 5,913 certified claims against Cuba without the use of the H-B Act.

 

In the case of Spain, the suspension of the H-B Act is one of the main priorities as the H-B Act is “seriously affecting our trade and investments in Cuba, particularly with regard to tourism, in which Spanish companies are market leaders”.

 

  • An article has been published on Cubatrade.org dated 2 February 2021 regarding the United States Department of Agriculture’s (“USDA”) update of reports on Cuba’s use of Market Access Program (“MAP”) and Foreign Market Development (“FMD”) funds authorised by the 2018 Farm Bill.

 

In 2018, legislative advocates argued that the insertion of the aforementioned programmes into the Farm Bill was critical to increasing exports of agricultural and food products to Cuba. However, the number of applications has been surprisingly low. Since 2018, only one entity has used MAP funding in Cuba and none has used FMD funding.

 

In 2021, three entities have applied for MAP funding, although they have not yet used it. For FY 2021, USDA is accepting applications from eligible organisations for funding for five export market development programmes: the Market Access Program, the Foreign Market Development Program, the Specialty Crop Technical Assistance Program, the Quality Samples Program, and the Emerging Markets Program.

 

  • On 2 February 2021, an article has been published on Cubatrade.org on the appointment of Emily Mendrala as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, with responsibility for Cuba and regional migration.

 

  • On 5 February 2021, the H-B Act lawsuit by Odette Blanco Rosell against Crowley Maritime was withdrawn. However, this same lawsuit has been re-filed 158 miles to the south, in the same district where Ms. Blanco Rosell filed another lawsuit against Seabord Marine. There is speculation that this move by the plaintiff may be strategic to its interests.

 

  • On 6 February 2021, an article has been published on Cubatrade.org regarding the Cuban government’s initiative for the expansion of small private sector enterprises.

 

The Cuban Minister of Labour and Social Security said that the current list of 127 permitted activities will be expanded to include more than 2000. Cuba is currently going through one of its biggest economic crises. The pandemic caused the country to close its borders for several months last year, severely affecting the tourism sector and the economy in general. The government is trying to implement reforms to boost the sector again.

 

  • On 8 February 2021, the chairman of the US Senate Finance Committee introduced the US-Cuba Trade Act 2021 to “normalise trade relations with Cuba”.

 

The Act would repeal key statutes codifying sanctions against Cuba, including the H-B Act and the Cuban Democracy Act, as well as other provisions affecting trade, investment and travel with Cuba.

 

  • Dated 9 February 2021, an article has been published on Cubatrade.org on the 36.6% decrease in US agri-food exports to Cuba in 2020 compared to the previous year.

 

  • On 9 February 2021, the Cuban Government referred to the 3 February 2021 ruling of the US Supreme Court in the Federal Republic of Germany et al. v. Phillipp et al. lawsuit to support the dismissal of Exxon Mobil’s H-B Act lawsuit.

 

  • On 9 February 2021, documents relating to Carnival Corporation’s H-B Act claim dating back twenty years were discovered.

 

  • On 10 February 2021, news of the lawsuit filed by Central Santa Lucía L.C. against the Spanish company Meliá Hotels International S.A. for damages for the use of land in Cuba came to light.

 

After the judge ordered the inclusion of the Government of Cuba and the company Gaviota S.A. as defendants on 11 January 2021, Central Santa Lucía L.C. has replied to the court, arguing that the Government of Cuba can only be included as a defendant if it consents to it. On the other hand, Meliá argues that the Cuban Government must be a defendant in any case.

 

  • On 12 February 2021, an article has been published on Cubatrade.org about certain changes in Biden’s policies towards Cuba related to Covid-19.

 

The Biden Administration has agreed to allow entry to individuals holding a Cuban-issued passport for the purpose of conducting commercial transactions without being subject to OFAC restrictions. In addition, commercial airlines will again be allowed to serve all Cuban airports as long as passengers possess a Cuban passport. Finally, Western Union will once again be authorised to provide transfer services from the United States to Cuba as long as the sender presents a Cuban passport.

 

  • On 13 February 2021, an article has been published on Cubatrade.org detailing that Cuba’s Ministry of Labour and Security has listed 124 prohibited activities within the country’s self-employment sector. This is the first step in the reform of Cuba’s private sector. The regulations are still being drafted.

 

  • On 15 February 2021 an article has been published on Cubatrade.org regarding a new Cuban rum from LVMH called Eminente Reserva. This rum is one of the few rums classified as “Denominación de Origen Protegida”.

 

  • On 16 February 2021, an article has been published on Cubatrade.org speculating on when the appointment of the US ambassador to Cuba will be made official. It is expected that Ms. Lyan Torres Rivera will soon be officially appointed US Ambassador to Cuba.

 

  • On 17 February 2021, Odette Blanco Rosell filed a lawsuit against the Danish company A.P. Moller – Maersk A/S (“Maersk”), the world’s largest container shipping company, based on the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (“Libertad”) Act of 1996 (H-B Act). In this way, the lawsuit against Maersk joins the list of lawsuits filed by Odette Blanco Rosell and her representatives against Crowley Maritime Corporation and Seabord Marine, LTD.

 

UNITED STATES

 

  • On 18 February 2021, OFAC announced a settlement, with a total value of USD 537,375, with BitPay, Inc., an Atlanta, Georgia-based company that offers merchants the ability to accept digital currencies as payment for the provision of goods and services. BitPay has agreed to settle its potential civil liability for 2,102 apparent violations of multiple sanctions programmes.

 

The apparent violations, carried out between approximately 10 June 2013 and 16 September 2018, relate to BitPay’s processing of payments on behalf of individuals who, judging by their IP address and information available on transaction receipts, were located in sanctioned jurisdictions such as the Crimea region of Ukraine, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, Sudan and Syria. OFAC emphasises that the obligations imposed by the sanctions apply to all US persons, both natural and legal, including those involved in providing digital currency services. It concludes by stressing that the amount of the settlement reflects OFAC’s consideration that the apparent violations were not serious and were not wilfully disclosed by BitPay.

 

MYANMAR

 

  • On 11 February 2021, the US President issued Executive Order 14014 in response to the 1 February coup d’état against the democratically elected government of Myanmar.

 

Pursuant to this Executive Order, OFAC has added ten (10) Burmese nationals to the SDN List for being associated with the coup and “being or having been leaders or officers of the military or security forces of Myanmar”. In addition, three (3) Burmese entities have been added for “being owned or controlled by, or having acted on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the military or security forces of Myanmar”.

 

  • On 22 February 2021, OFAC, by virtue of Executive Order 14014 of 11 February 2021, added two (2) natural persons of Burmese nationality to the SDN List for “being or having been leaders or officers of the military or security forces of Myanmar“.

 

TERRORISM

 

  • On 16 February 2021, OFAC revoked General License No. 9, No. 10, No. 11 and No.12, issued on 19 January 2021, and General License No.13, issued on 25 January 2021.

 

In addition, OFAC has revoked the designations concerning the Ansarallah group, which means that Ansarallah is no longer sanctioned or blocked under the Global Terrorism Sanctions Regulations (GTSR), 31 C.F.R. part 594, the Foreign Terrorist Organizations Sanctions Regulations (FTSOR), 31 C.F.R. part 597, or Executive Order 13224, dated 23 September 2001. Thus, US persons no longer require OFAC authorisation to engage in transactions or activity with Ansarallah, as long as these activities do not involve sanctioned persons.

 

VENEZUELA

 

  • On 2 February 2021, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) issued General License No. 30A authorising transactions and activities with the Government of Venezuela prohibited by Executive Order 13884 of 5 August 2019, as incorporated into the Venezuela Sanctions Regulations 31 C.F.R part 591, provided they are timely and necessary for the operation and use of ports and airports in Venezuela.

 

UNITED KINGDOM

  

Belarus

 

  • On 18 February 2021 the UK Government, under The Republic of Belarus (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations of 31 December 2020, has added twenty-seven (27) natural persons to the UK Sanctions List (“UKSL List”) for their involvement in the repression of civil society and the rule of law, contributing to serious violations of human rights. The sanction imposed consists of an asset freeze and a travel ban.

 

Myanmar

 

  • On 18 February 2021 the UK Government, under The Burma (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations (“BSR”) of 31 December 2020, has added three (3) natural persons of Burmese nationality to the UK Sanction List (“UKSL List”) for being responsible for serious human rights violations during the coup d’état of 1 February 2021. The sanction imposed consists of an asset freeze and a travel ban.

 

  • On 25 February 2021, the UK Government, under the BSR, has added six (6) natural persons of Burmese nationality to the UKSL List for being responsible for serious violations of human rights during the coup d’état on 1 February 2021. The sanction imposed consists of an asset freeze and a travel ban.

 

Somalia

 

  • On 26 February 2021 the UK Government, under The Somalia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations of 31 December 2020, added three (3) natural persons to the UKSL List for involvement in terrorist activities. The sanction imposed consists of an asset freeze and a travel ban.

 

Yemen

 

  • On 25 February 2021 the UK Government, under The Yemen (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations of 31 December 2020, added one (1) natural person to the UKSL List for being responsible, as Director of the Criminal Investigation Department in Sana’a, for multiple human rights abuses against the people of Yemen. The sanction imposed consists of an asset freeze, a travel ban and an arms embargo.

 

Zimbabwe

 

  • As of 1 February 2021, the UK Government has added four (4) Zimbabwean nationals to the UKSL List as responsible for serious human rights violations. The sanction imposed consists of an asset freeze and a travel ban.

 

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[1] Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/138 of 5 February 2021 implementing Article 2(3) of Regulation (EC) No 2001/2580 on specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism.

implementing Article 2(3) of Regulation (EC) No 2001/2580 on specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism.

[2] Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/142 of 5 February 2021 updating the list of persons, groups and entities to which Articles 2, 3 and 4 of Common Position 2001/931/CFSP on the application of specific measures to combat terrorism apply.

[3] Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/138 of 5 February 2021 implementing Article 2(3) of Regulation (EC) No 2001/2580 on specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism.

implementing Article 2(3) of Regulation (EC) No 2001/2580 on specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism.

[4] Certain persons and entities for the purpose of combating terrorism.

  Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/142 of 5 February 2021 updating the list of persons, groups and entities to which Articles 2, 3 and 4 of Common Position 2001/931/CFSP on the application of specific measures to combat terrorism apply.

[5] Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/138 of 5 February 2021 implementing Article 2(3) of Regulation (EC) No 2001/2580 on specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism.

implementing Article 2(3) of Regulation (EC) No 2001/2580 on specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism.

[6] Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/142 of 5 February 2021 updating the list of persons, groups and entities to which Articles 2, 3 and 4 of Common Position 2001/931/CFSP on the application of specific measures to combat terrorism apply.

[7] Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/339 of 25 February 2021 implementing Article 8a of Regulation (EC) No 2006/765 concerning restrictive measures against Belarus.

[8] Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/353 of 25 February 2021 amending Decision 2012/642/CFSP concerning restrictive measures against Belarus.

[9] Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/138 of 5 February 2021 implementing Article 2(3) of Regulation (EC) No 2001/2580 on specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism.

implementing Article 2(3) of Regulation (EC) No 2001/2580 on specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism.

[10] Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/142 of 5 February 2021 updating the list of persons, groups and entities to which Articles 2, 3 and 4 of Common Position 2001/931/CFSP on the application of specific measures to combat terrorism apply.

[11] Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/138 of 5 February 2021 implementing Article 2(3) of Regulation (EC) No 2001/2580 on specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism.

implementing Article 2(3) of Regulation (EC) No 2001/2580 on specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism.

[12] Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/142 of 5 February 2021 updating the list of persons, groups and entities to which Articles 2, 3 and 4 of Common Position 2001/931/CFSP on the application of specific measures to combat terrorism apply.

[13] Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/138 of 5 February 2021 implementing Article 2(3) of Regulation (EC) No 2001/2580 on specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism.

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