Syria - Sanctions update
On 2 September 2011, Council Regulation (EU) 878/2011 (the “September Regulation”) was published. This extends the sanctions regime already in force.
Article 1 of the September Regulation prohibits the purchase, import or transportation from Syria of crude oil and petroleum products, and the provision of financing or financial assistance in relation to any of these activities. This includes the provision of insurance and re-insurance.
The September Regulation also extends the list of persons and entities to whom an asset freeze applies, and to whom it is prohibited to provide financial and economic resources. Four individuals are added to the list, and three corporate/financial entities namely Mada Transport, Cham Investment Group and the Real Estate Bank.
It is notable that the EU sanctions regime in relation to Syria is not yet as wide as that put in place by the United States, but could well be subject to further amendment in the near future.
The most recent US Executive Order in relation to Syria is that of 18 August 2011, which added five state-owned Syrian petroleum companies to the List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons. These companies are:
- the General Petroleum Company;
- the Syrian Petroleum Company (also known as the Syrian Crude Oil Transportation Company);
- the Syrian Company for Oil Transport;
- the Syrian Gas Company; and
The UN Security Council has not, as yet, passed any Resolutions in relation to Syria. A draft Resolution has been prepared, but this does not yet have the necessary support.
The international community continues to put pressure on the Syrian government, and the sanctions regimes may well be extended in the near future, depending on how the situation develops.
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