A Final Rule from the Commerce Department adds 91 entities from Belize, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Malta, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, and UK to the Entity List. It says that the entities have been involved in, contributed to, or otherwise supported the Russian security services, military and defence sectors, and military and/or defence research and development efforts. The listing entails additional licence requirements on, and limit the availability of most licence exceptions for, exports, re-exports, and transfers (in-country) to listed entities.
On 8 March, KPMG reported that a new Executive Order prohibits importation into the US of Russian crude oil and certain petroleum products, liquefied natural gas, and coal; and any new US investment in Russia’s energy sector. OFAC has also issued new General License 16 and new and updated FAQ.
On 8 March, the Guardian reported that Turkey is the third biggest exporter of counterfeit products to the EU after China and Hong Kong. The value of counterfeits from Turkey more than tripled from 2019 to 2020, reaching nearly €134 million, and Turkey became the main source of fake designer clothing and medicine stopped at EU borders.
On 8 March, MRW reported that the Environment Agency (EA) has successfully gained a proceeds of crime confiscation order on 2 brothers from Solihull prosecuted for recycling fraud, involving claims for recycling 11,000 tonnes of electronic waste, between October 2011 and January 2012.
A news release from the Court of Justice of the EU on 8 March advised that in 2007, 2009 and 2015, OLAF sent mutual assistance messages to Member States, informing them in particular of the risk of extreme undervaluation of imports of textiles and footwear from China by shell companies. The EU claims non-cooperation from the UK resulted in over €2 billion in underpayment of customs duties. The court upholds the EU Commission’s action in part, ruling, in essence, that the UK has failed to fulfil its obligations under EU law by failing to apply effective customs control measures or to enter in the accounts the correct amounts of customs duties and accordingly to make available to the Commission the correct amount of traditional own resources in respect of certain imports of textiles and footwear from China, and by failing to provide the Commission with all the information necessary to calculate the amounts of duty and own resources remaining due.
On 8 March, a Notice from HM Treasury advised that it had listed Khatiba al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (formerly known as Jannat Oshiklari), a terrorist organisation operating under the umbrella of the international terrorist organisation Al-Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant.
Panama Covid-19 update – big day today, as the first day of school, with face-to-face classes, starting with the elementary schools, after 2 years when the majority of the 3,102 schools have been closed…
Today saw 362 new cases reported and 3 new fatalities, with active cases dropping by a further 195 to 3,113, with 23 in ICU and 115 in other wards.
7 MARCH 2022
ISLE OF MAN: VARIOUS SANCTIONS CHANGES
On 7 March, the Isle of Man issued no less than 6 news releases advising of changes to existing sanctions regimes. They advise of –
3 changes to entries on the North Korean sanctions lists;
Remove Hossein SALAMI, Mohammad Reza NAQDI and the SEPANIR OIL AND GAS ENERGY ENGINEERING COMPANY from the Iran sanctions lists;
Remove 7 individuals from the Iraq sanctions list;
Remove 2 individuals from the ISIL/Al-Qaida sanctions list;
Corrects the existing entry for Igor Ivanovich SHUVALOV on the Russia sanctions lists; and
Amends the entry for 1 individual on the Syria sanctions lists,
WHY THE EU’S POTASH SANCTIONS ARE LOOMING OVER SUPERMARKET PRICES
On 4 March, Politico published an article which informs one that Europe is fully dependent on external supply of potash – a mineral compound that contains potassium, one of three key nutrients needed to fertilise basic crops. While over 90% of potash is used to manufacture fertilizers, it is also widely used in the food industry for a variety of purposes. Potash-based fertilisers are Belarus’s second most important export after oil.
SOUTH AFRICA: ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT FLOW FROM MOZAMBIQUE AND ZIMBABWE CONTINUES UNABATED
On 3 March, Defence Web reported that the largest sources of illegal immigrants to South Africa are its eastern and northern neighbours – Mozambique and Zimbabwe. All told, soldiers handed 2 997 illegals to police and Department of Home Affairs (DHA) immigration officials in February.
EU COMMISSION LAUNCHES A WHISTLEBLOWER TOOL TO FACILITATE REPORTING OF POSSIBLE SANCTIONS VIOLATIONS
On 7 March, EU Reporter reported that the Commission is rolling out a secure online platform, which whistleblowers from around the world can use to anonymously report past, current, or planned EU sanctions violations.
SOUTH KOREA TO SUSPEND TRANSACTIONS WITH RUSSIA’S CENTRAL BANK AND SOVEREIGN FUNDS
On 7 March, the Yonhap News Agency reported that South Korea plans to suspend transactions with Russia’s central bank, sovereign wealth funds and another Russian lender as it has joined the global move to impose more financial sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
STEEL TYCOON SANJEEV GUPTA AGREES ON TAX DEAL WITH HMRC AS THEY WITHDRAW WINDING-UP PETITIONS
On 7 March, Sky News reported that HMRC has withdrawn a series of winding-up petitions against parts of his GFG Alliance conglomerate after a revised proposal was tabled by the businessman in recent days.
UK LAWYER REGULATOR UPDATES WARNING ON SLAPP MISCONDUCT
On 7 March, the Law Society Gazette reported that updated guidance from the Solicitors Regulation Authority reminded solicitors witnessing behaviour bearing the hallmarks of SLAPP (strategic litigation against public participation) should remember their obligations to report it to the regulator. Features of such cases may include ‘excessive or meritless claims, aggressive and intimidating threats’ or ‘otherwise acting in a day which fails to meet the wider public interest principles’.
On 7 March, Sandler Travis Rosenberg reported that the Biden Administration has finalised a regulatory change that will increase US content in the products purchased by the federal government and support domestic production of goods critical to US economic and national security. This change will take effect 25 October.
REPORT: COUNTERFEIT AND PIRATED GOODS GET BOOST FROM PANDEMIC
A news release from Europol on 7 March is concerned with an IP threat assessment produced jointly between Europol and the European Union Intellectual Property Office. It says that the health crisis has presented new opportunities for trade in counterfeit and pirated products, and criminals have adjusted their business models to the meet the new global demand. Clothes, accessories and luxury goods remain among the most popular product categories for counterfeit goods, sold both online and in physical marketplaces. They are one of the top categories of the approximatively 66 million counterfeit items seized by authorities in the EU in 2020.
HOME OFFICE TO PAY SLOVAKIAN UK RESIDENT £5,750 COMPENSATION FOR 10-HOUR CALAIS DETENTION
On 6 March, the Guardian reported that that the Home Office has reached a settlement with an EU citizen it detained at the border in a post-Brexit crackdown on Europeans entering the country last year. A Slovakian who has lived in the UK for 18 years, was so furious at his treatment in Calais that he sued after officials detained him for 10 hours alleging he was using a false name and had not declared a driving offence when he applied for EU settled status.
YEMEN 10 YEARS ON – NO REAL PROSPECTS FOR STABILITY
On 7 March, Control Risks published a report pointing out that it has been just a little over 10 years since President Ali Abdullah Saleh – following a year of popular demonstrations linked to regional Arab uprisings – decided to resign, thereby propelling Yemen into a decade of instability.
EU SANCTIONS ON RUSSIAN AVIATION — IMMEDIATE LESSOR ACTION REQUIRED
On 4 March, an article from Dentons was concerned with the effects of broad new sanctions on Russian airlines, the Russian aviation sector (including aviation insurance) and certain related activities, entities and persons.
FORMER HAMPSHIRE POLICE IT CHIEF JAILED FOR £22 MILLION CONTRACT PLOT
On 7 March, the Southern Daily Echo reported that a formerpolice IT chief who conspired to ensure a £22 million contract was awarded to an IT company, has been jailed for bribery, money laundering and false accounting offences. He abused his position as Chief Information Officer (CIO) at a company in Oxfordshire to secure a multi-million pound contract for an IT company which he had previous connections with.
SWITZERLAND ADOPTS FURTHER COMPREHENSIVE SANCTIONS PACKAGES IMPOSED BY THE EU AGAINST RUSSIA
A post from Baker McKenzie on 7 March said that the Swiss Federal Council has implemented a complete revision of the Ordinance on Measures connected with the Situation in Ukraine, thereby adopting further packages of EU sanctions against Russia.
JAPAN IMPOSES ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS ON RUSSIA, BELARUS AND THE SO-CALLED DONETSK AND LUHANSK PEOPLE’S REPUBLICS
On 7 March, a post from Baker McKenzie reported that on 3 March, the Japanese government announced additional sanctions against the Russia Federation, the Republic of Belarus and the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.
CHINA PERMANENT MILITARY FACILITY IN EQUATORIAL GUINEA
On 20 December, CSIS published a Commentary about a base at Bata, which the Washington Post claimed was where China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is seeking to establish a permanent military facility. The Equatorial Guinea government denied the claims. CSIS says that if the reports are true, and if China is able to construct a military base on the Atlantic Ocean, it would mark an important step forward in the PLA’s strategy to expand its global power projection capabilities.
UK: RUSSIA AND BELARUS SANCTIONS – DETAILS OF GENERAL LICENCES ISSUED BY OFSI
HM Treasury maintains a page containing all the General Licences issued by OFSI. On 7 March, OFSI General licence – INT/2022/1272278 was amended to update the references to UK legislation and expand the definition of a subsidiary.
THE UK – AND GIBRALTAR – INCLUDED ON RUSSIA’S LIST OF COUNTRIES TAKING “UNFRIENDLY ACTIONS” AGAINST IT
On 7 March, GBC reported that the UK, and overseas territories including Gibraltar, is on a list of countries issued by the Russian government, described as “taking unfriendly actions against Russia, Russian companies, and citizens”. The list also includes the US, Canada, and the EU states.
PANAMA’S POSITION ON THE ACTION PLAN TO GET OFF FATF GREY LIST
On 7 March, La Estrella carried an article explaining what the Ministry of Economy and Finance says it has done. It says that, despite Covid-19, Panama has completed 8 of the 15 actions, and has also continuously presented significant and tangible progress in the remaining 7 actions of the 2019 action plan. It says that includes the work undertaken included legislative modifications, exhaustive development of risk analysis, implementation of regulations, development of a ultimate beneficiary registry and the increase in investigations, focused on previous crimes abroad. Panama now has a deadline to comply fully by June 2022, or face stronger action.