On 6th August, the EU reported that, as the first batch of re-imposed US sanctions on Iran takes effect, the EU’s updated Blocking Statute enters into force on 7th August to mitigate their impact on the interests of EU companies doing legitimate business in Iran. It forbids EU residents and companies from complying with the listed extra-territorial legislation (now including the US re-imposition of sanctions) unless they are exceptionally authorised to do so by the EU Commission; allows EU operators to recover damages arising from such legislation from the persons or entities causing them; and nullifies the effect in the EU of any foreign court rulings based on it. EU operators should inform the European Commission – within 30 days since they obtain the information – of any events arising from listed extra-territorial legislation that would affect their economic or financial interests. According to the Blocking Statute, EU operators can recover “any damages, including legal costs, caused by the application of the laws specified in its Annex or by actions based thereon or resulting therefrom”.
The EU also published a Q&A on the Blocking Statute –
JOINT STATEMENT BY EU, UK, FRANCE & GERMANY ON THE RE-IMPOSITION OF US SANCTIONS ON IRAN
On 6th August, a statement was issued by the 3 countries’ foreign ministries and the EU saying that they deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the US, due to the latter’s withdrawal from JCPOA, and that the the EU updated Blocking Statute enters into force on 7th August to protect EU companies doing legitimate business with Iran from the impact of US extra-territorial sanctions. The remaining parties to the JCPOA have committed to work on, inter alia, the preservation and maintenance of effective financial channels with Iran, and the continuation of Iran’s export of oil and gas. On these, as on other topics, our work continues, including with third countries interested in supporting the JCPOA and maintaining economic relations with Iran. These efforts will be intensified and reviewed at Ministerial level in the coming weeks.