On 5th November, the second and final batch of US sanctions against Iran, which had been suspended under the JCPOA, came back into force.
DESPITE SANCTIONS, IRAN UNLIKELY TO RESTART NUCLEAR PROGRAMME — YET
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists on 5th November published an article saying that, despite re-imposed US sanctions, this is unlikely to trigger a drastic shift in Iran’s approach to the nuclear agreement. Most likely it will continue to adhere to JCPOA terms — at least in the short term.
Reuters on 3rd November reported that the US intends to end trade benefits for Mauritania on 1st January for not making sufficient progress on ending forced labour practices, the US Trade Representative’s Office has said.
On 22nd October, law chambers 11KBW published an article saying that HMRC’s civil information powers are set out in Schedule 36 to Finance Act 2008. Part 1 of that Schedule sets out HMRC’s powers to obtain information and documentation by way of written notices. HMRC consulted on extending the information notice powers in a document issued in July, and the article says that now seems an opportune time to recap on the extent of those powers and the scope for challenging information notices. It says that Information Notices are a powerful and increasingly used weapon in HMRC’s armoury. However, with careful consideration, it may be possible to mount a successful challenge such that the notice is set aside or varied.
FIATA on 5th November reported that the customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority has revoked the operating licences of 20 freight forwarders for falsifying the port of loading documents from India to other countries. Out of the 20 freight forwarders, 13 are said to have diverted transit goods while 7 are being punished for falsifying the port of loading documents from India.
On 2nd November, Project Alpha published an article which outlines the Alpha-Proliferation Open Source Platform (Alpha-POST), developed by Project Alpha to leverage big data analysis for non-proliferation purposes. The article demonstrates how a variety of open source software tools can be fused together into a ‘software stack’ capable of ingesting, processing and leveraging vast quantities of data to aid human analysts. While Alpha-POST leverages tools such as Natural Language Processing (NLP), link chart analysis and machine learning in the non-proliferation domain, Project Alpha argues that the approaches outlined in this paper could be applied to any discipline or sphere.
A news release from Europol on 5th November reported that more than 30,000 artefacts, including Greek and Roman ceramics, helmets, funeral urns, lamps, arrowheads and spears – thought to be either genuine or forged – have been seized as a result of the latest operation targeting trafficking of cultural goods in Europe. The seizures were made as part of Operation Sardica run by the Spanish Guardia Civil and the Bulgarian Criminal Police. 17 property searches were carried out simultaneously in Bulgaria and Spain during the action day on 23rd October, resulting in the arrest of 13 suspects and some €180 000 in cash seized.