US sanctions affect the port of Ventspils, Latvia
On 9 December, the US State Department through Office for Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) designated, amongst others, a former government official in Latvia, Mr Aivars Lembergs, and four companies owned or controlled by him. Of particular interest for members is the designation of Ventspils Freeport Authority.
Members contemplating calling the port of Venspils are recommended to obtain legal advice from sanction specialists and/or contact the Club’s correspondents Pandi Balt or any other local source at their own cost.
The four companies designated by OFAC:
Ventspils Freeport Authority
Ventspils Attistibas Agentura
Biznesa Attistibas Asociacija
Latvijas Tranzita Biznesa Asociacija.
To this end, the Club’s correspondents Pandi Balt has provided the following information:
We hereby inform you that Ventspils Freeport Authorities have been included into the sanctions list of US Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Latvian Government has decided to take over management of the Ventspils port due to inclusion of the Ventspils Freeport Authorities to the sanctions list. The background of the sanctions is an activity of the Ventspils city Major, against who several criminal processes and trials were commenced in Latvia. He is one of the Board Members of the Ventspils Freeport Authorities but recently has announced his decision to resign.
Currently necessary amendments to legislative acts are in process of development. The government also is in a process of negotiations with US Authorities regarding exclusion of the Ventspils Freeport Authorities from the sanctions list. According to the official information of the Latvian Financial and Capital Market Commission, currently bank accounts of the Ventspils Freeport Authorities are blocked. We expect that this situation will be solved soon and we recommend to the Club’s Members to wait while situation is solved prior to make any payment to the Ventspils Freeport Authorities. If they need to make a payment in order to enter or leave the port, please ask them to contact us. We will consider each case separately and give our advice on how to proceed.
Please also note that the Government has decided to take over management in the Freeport of Riga as well. Freeport of Riga Authorities personally are not in the sanctions’ list, but they are one of the members of one of the associations which is in the list. Currently there is no information on any real consequences for the Port Authorities. We are monitoring the situation and will inform you if Freeport of Riga Authorities have any problem which can concern the Members.
Member of the Board / Lawyer
Mob. +371 29418601
Member Alert is published by The Swedish Club as a service to members. While the information is believed correct, the Club cannot assume responsibility for completeness or accuracy.