International Sanctions: US sanctions have a limited effect

2019-07-02 News

US secondary sanctions


Lupicinio International Law Firm and the Institute of Compliance Officers have organized this Friday, June 28, the webinar Regulatory compliance in international sanctions, which has highlighted the dynamism of the sanctions, which is an added risk to the process of internationalization and an obligation of compliance on the part of the companies.

In this sense, it has been emphasized that companies must not only comply with the regulations in which they carry out their business activity, but must pay attention to the foreign ones. For example, secondary sanctions, sanctions of the United States that affect any subject without ties to the US for maintaining relations with countries that are subject to prohibitions (such as those imposed on Iran in November 2018), can significantly complicate the access of a company to the North American financial market.

The lawyer of Lupicinio International Law Firm, José Luis Iriarte, has underlined the extraterritorial effect of these sanctions: “The sanctions imposed by the US oblige the employer to decide who he wants to operate with: the United States or the sanctioned countries.” However, the lawyer also wanted to emphasize that not a whole country is sanctioned, but certain sectors or products.

Therefore, if a country has sanctions, it does not mean that it cannot be operated with it. According to Iriarte: “The US sanctions have a limited effect, aimed at giving fear beyond their worrying reality.”

He also mentioned that there are exceptions to US sanctions in which some transactions are authorized, the so-called licenses in their various modalities. On the other hand, Europe has the Blockade Statute, which counteracts or limits the internationally wrongful extraterritorial effects of sanctions imposed by third States to protect the assets of European operators.

In this context, the managing partner of Lupicinio International Law Firm, Lupicinio Rodríguez, reminded the attendees that the firm has achieved on numerous occasions that secondary sanctions do not affect, condition or damage the business interests of international companies with commercial or investment traffic in sanctioned countries. To comply with the sanctions, the managing partner has insisted that “each operation needs a tailor-made investigation to determine how to avoid the pitfalls of sanctions.”

About Lupicinio International Law Firm

Founded in 1980, Lupicinio International Law Firm is a multidisciplinary law firm, with a pioneering practice in international sanctions. The firm has established itself as the first Spanish-speaking firm with a consolidated practice in the Court of Justice of Luxembourg in matters of sanctions. The firm has advised public administrations and public and private companies from different sectors in investment or international trade operations linked to or focused on countries that suffer international sanctions.


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