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Dimitris Mourkas

Dimitris Mourkas is a Knowledge Lawyer in Baker McKenzie, London office.

The EU Council has unanimously decided to add the violation of restrictive measures to the list of ‘EU crimes’. Currently Member States have different definitions of what constitutes a violation of EU sanctions and what penalties should be applied in the event of a violation. In a related development, the Justice ministers of France and Germany have jointly published an article which argues that the European Public Prosecutor’s Office should be given the competence to prosecute and punish violations of EU sanctions.

There have been three important changes to OFSI’s enforcement powers: for breaches of financial sanctions that are committed after 15 June 2022, OFSI will be able to impose civil monetary penalties on a strict civil liability basis; there will be greater flexibility on challenging OFSI’s decisions to issue monetary penalties for sanctions violations; and OFSI will now have the power to publicise details of financial sanctions breaches in cases where a breach has been found, but it has not imposed a monetary penalty. These changes are introduced by the SI 2022/638 – The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act 2022 (Commencement No. 2 and Saving Provision) Regulations 2022.