OUTCOMES OF FATF PLENARY – including Guidance for a Risk-Based Approach to Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers

On 21 June, FATF issued a news release containing details of the outcome of a week-long Plenary meeting in Orlando, where they celebrated the 30th Anniversary of FATF.  Outcomes included –

  • a public statement and a risk-approach guidance on virtual assets and virtual asset service providers;
  • Launch of a Strategic Review to analyse the progress made on effective implementation of AML/CFT measures, review the FATF/FSRB assessment processes, and identify drivers of positive change;
  • Discussion of the mutual evaluation reports of Greece and Hong Kong, China;
  • Re jurisdictions with strategic AML/CFT deficiencies – Serbia no longer subject to ongoing monitoring, but Panama is, and monitoring of Iran continues; with reviews of Brazil and Iceland progress; and
  • Approval of risk-based guidance for lawyers, accountants and TCSP


Report: FATF Actions to Identify and Disrupt ISIL, Al-Qaeda and Affiliates’ Financing

The 10th update of this mechanism was approved.  


Guidance for a Risk-Based Approach to Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers



Statement on Brazil and actions to remedy shortcomings identified in mutual evaluation


US Sanctions and the EU Blocking Regulation: Issues of Legal Uncertainty

The London-based  Financial Markets Law Committee has published a report on extension of Regulation (EC) No 2271/96 protecting against the effects of the extra-territorial application of legislation adopted by a Third Country to cover Iran post-JCPOA.  The role of the Committee is to identify issues of legal uncertainty or misunderstanding, present and future, in the framework of the wholesale financial markets which might give rise to material risks and to consider how such issues should be addressed.  This paper examines the issues of legal uncertainty which arise under English law as a result of the amendment to the Blocking Regulation to cover certain re-imposed US sanctions on Iran, and seeks to illustrate particular areas of risk that the Committee has identified as a result of these uncertainties.    


Court of Appeal – UK should not have granted export licences for the sale or transfer of arms or military equipment to Saudi Arabia that could be used in Yemen

The EU Sanctions Blog reported on 21 June that the Court had said that the Secretary of State’s own arms export policy precludes the grant of arms export licences where there is a “clear risk” that the arms might be used to commit a serious violation of international humanitarian law, but that the Government had not even attempted to analyse whether past violations had taken place or whether Saudi Arabian law prohibited violations and it remitted the case to the Government to reconsider.


OFAC Sanctions Members of Nicaraguan President Ortega’s Inner Circle

On 21 June, OFAC announced sanctions against 4 Nicaraguan government officials – Gustavo Eduardo Porras Cortes, Orlando Jose Castillo Castillo, Sonia Castro Gonzalez, and Oscar Salvador Mojica Obregonfour.  The sanctions are said to target Nicaraguan government officials who persecute Nicaraguan citizens exercising their fundamental freedoms, enact repressive laws, silence news media, and deny medical care to the Nicaraguan people.