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Last week's major developments in sanctions - September 19th to September 23rd, 2022

Monday, September 19

  • There was no major development on this day.

Tuesday, September 20

  • The EU Council issued Decision 2022/1626 amending Decision 2013/798/CFSP concerning restrictive measures against the Central African Republic which changed the name of the sanctions regime to Council Decision 2013/798/CFSP of 23 December 2013 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in the Central African Republic. The EU Council also implemented changes that were decided by the UNSC regarding the arm embargoes against the Central African Republic. (Here)

Wednesday, September 21

  • OFSI updated its Russia guidance by updating three questions:

    1. Question 24: Are insurers allowed to insure Russian ships and cargo carrying food and fertiliser from Russia and Ukraine to a third country? Answer: Insurers may apply for a licence from OFSI under the food security purpose within the Regulations. This allows anything to be done in connection with the production or distribution of food for the benefit of the civilian population of a country, including providing insurance for vessels or goods. Furthermore, applying under the food security purpose does not preclude applicants from also applying under other purposes in the Regulations (e.g prior obligations) if applicable. Applicants must demonstrate how their activity satisfies that particular purpose, for example how their activity is in connection to the production/distribution of food.

    2. Question 25: Are financial institutions allowed to provide financial services, such as payment channels, for food and fertiliser exports from Russia and Ukraine to a third country? Answer: Yes, as long as the required licence is in place. Financial institutions may apply for a licence under the food security purpose to provide these services. However, there may already be an OFS licence in place permitting the food/fertiliser exports, which will usually contain a permission to allow banks and other financial institutions to effect the activities of the licence. Therefore separate licences for financial institutions are usually unnecessary.

    3. Question 26: Is the production and distribution of fertiliser covered by the licensing purpose for food security? Answer: Yes, OFSI considers that the production and distribution of fertiliser is within the scope of the food security licensing purpose.

Thursday, September 22

  • OFAC designated six high ranking individuals and one entity, the Morality Police, in Iran. The designations were following the death of a 22-year-old woman in Police custody. (Read the story about what happened here) These new designations are under E.O.13553 which targets the human rights abuses in Iran. (Here, Treasury's press release, State's press release)

Friday, September 23

  • Following the Iranian Government's shutdown of the internet of the country, OFAC issued General License D-2 which expanded the scope General License D-1. (Department of State's press release) OFAC also published three new FAQs. The new license:

    1. Adds covered categories of software/services to include social media platforms, collaboration platforms, video conferencing, as well as cloud-based services in support of such services, as well as tools that incorporate communication functions and are often included with authorized items or services (e.g., online maps, e-gaming, e-learning platforms, automated translation, web maps, and user authentication services)

    2. Provides additional authorization for the services that support the communication tools to assist ordinary Iranians in resisting repressive internet censorship and surveillance tools deployed by the Iranian regime.

    3. Continues to authorize anti-virus and anti-malware software; anti-tracking software; mobile operating systems and related software; anti-censorship tools and related software; Virtual Private Network (VPN) client software; and related software.

    4. Removes the condition that communications be "personal," which was resulting in compliance burdens for companies seeking to verify the purpose of communications.

    5. For activity not covered by GL D-2, expands existing case-by-case licensing policy, particularly to allow Iranian developers to create homegrown anti-surveillance and anti-censorship apps, which many Iranian people rely upon to circumvent domestic internet controls.

Recommendation of the week

  • Read the story about Starlink's move to pave the way for providing internet in Iran which was announced in response to Secretary Blinken's tweet about the new General License D-2. (Here)


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