In December 2022, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution which introduced a standardized humanitarian exemption across UN regimes according to which activities necessary for humanitarian assistance and other activities that support basic human needs are exempt from sanctions in the form of asset freezes imposed by the Security Council or by its Sanctions Committees. All UN sanctions regimes except the Afghanistan regulations will now include a standardized humanitarian exception to the asset freeze provisions.
On 26 January 2023 HM Revenue & Customs announced that, as of 1 January 2023, it has nine live Corporate Criminal Offenses investigations for the failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion, with a further 26 investigation opportunities under review. These live and potential investigations cover 11 different business sectors including software providers, labor provision, transport, accountancy and legal services.
On 5 January 2023, the US and Turkish governments imposed sanctions targeting four individuals and two entities determined to be associated with the financial facilitation network of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The UK has introduced a sanctions regime designed to target criminal actors, gangs and their financiers whose actions are causing instability in Haiti, pursuant to The Haiti (Sanctions) Regulations 2022, which enters into force on 28 December 2022.
The European Commission has put forward a proposal to harmonize criminal offences and penalties for the violation of EU sanctions. The proposal follows a decision by the Council which identified the violation of EU sanctions as an EU crime and sets out common EU rules which will make it easier to investigate, prosecute and punish violations of EU sanctions in all Member States alike.
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.
Welcome to our Virtual Year-End Review of Import/Export and Trade Compliance Developments Conference resource center. Baker McKenzie’s international trade compliance lawyers from around the world discussed the major global legislative, judicial and administrative activities and trends in export controls, trade sanctions, customs compliance, and import requirements in nine 75 minute sessions which took place from 15 to 17 November 2022.