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Web Alert: EU increase sanctions against Syria

25 January 2012

The EU published Council Regulation (EU) No 36/2012 on 18 January 2012 with immediate effect in a move to further increase sanctions against Syria.

The latest restrictions include the following prohibitions for any EU person:

• Importing crude oil or petroleum products from Syria or originating in Syria into the EU
• Selling, supplying or transferring new Syrian banknotes and coins printed in the EU to the Central Bank of Syria
• Directly or indirectly supplying/exporting equipment or infrastructure or providing technical or financial assistance that could be used for constructing power plants; further details are contained in Annex VII
• Providing any financial credit or engaging in any joint ventures with Syrian entities which includes exploration/production of crude oil.
• Providing insurance to the Syrian state or any Syrian public bodies or corporations
• Directly or indirectly supplying/exporting equipment that could be used for internal repression (as listed in Annex I to the Regulation)
• Directly or indirectly providing goods and technology listed on the EU ‘Common Military List’
• Directly or indirectly supplying/exporting equipment, technology or software as listed in Annex V and VI
• Directly or indirectly providing technical assistance/brokering services relating to the items listed in Annex V and VI

Full details of the Regulation including the Annexures specifically listing the prohibited items can be found here.

Criminal liabilities may flow if a person or entity breaches these sanctions. The criminal penalties will be determined by each EU state. Under English law a person committing such an offence may face up to 2 years imprisonment and/or a fine. Where the offence is committed by a corporate body with the consent or connivance of any director, manager, secretary or similar officer, that person is additionally guilty of such an offence.

In addition to this on 24 January the EU have increased the number of persons and entities listed as designated persons and full list of persons designated by the UN, EU and UK can be found here.

These restrictions enhance the sanctions put in place by the EU in banning imports or transportation of Syrian crude oil and petroleum products under EU Regulation 878/2011 and it restricts further the degree to which the shipowners can trade with Syria.