OECD PEER REVIEWS ON THE EXCHANGE OF TAX INFORMATION: INCLUDES ISLE OF MAN & JERSEY

The OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purpose has published a number of Second Round Peer review reports on the Exchange of Information on Request.  These are for Jersey, Isle of Man, India, Denmark, Italy and Curacao.  The Global Forum concluded that the Isle of Man continues to be Compliant with the international standard on transparency and exchange of information upon request.  The second round peer review reveals the important progress made by Jersey in the implementation of the international standard, leading to the upgrade of its overall rating from Largely Compliant to Compliant with all elements determined to be in place and rated Compliant

https://www.accountancylive.com/cch_uk/cln/news_004986_oecd_global_forum

http://www.oecd.org/tax/transparency/

http://www.oecd.org/tax/transparency/second-round-global-forum-peer-review-reports-november-2017.htm

CAUTION IN FINANCIAL DEALINGS WITH VENEZUELA URGED

On 14th November, US law firm Watson Farley & Williams published a useful briefing dealing with the fine detail of the US financial sanctions on Venezuela, and particularly its oil company PdVSA.  As the briefing says, “the sanctions are broadly designed to make it more difficult for the Government of Venezuela to raise funds internationally. Although the sanctions are limited in scope, parties wishing to deal directly or indirectly with the Government of Venezuela or PdVSA should exercise caution, as there are many nuances and uncertainties in the application of the sanctions”

http://www.wfw.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/WFWBriefing-US-SANCTIONS-TARGET-VENEZUELAS-PDVSA-1.pdf

UPDATE: VENEZUELA – UK FINANCIAL SANCTIONS AND EXPORT CONTROL NOTICES

HM TREASURY ISSUES VENEZUELA SANCTIONS NOTICE

On 15th November, HM Treasury published a Notice re the sanctions imposed under EU Regulation 2017/2063 and involving a ban on the export of arms and equipment which might be used for internal repression, a ban on the export of surveillance equipment and the freezing of funds and economic resources of certain persons, entities and bodies responsible for serious human rights violations or abuses or the repression of civil society and democratic opposition and persons, entities and bodies whose actions, policies or activities otherwise undermine democracy or the rule of law in Venezuela, as well as persons, entities and bodies associated with them.

The Notice confirms that no persons have yet been designated under the Regulation.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/659761/HM_Treasury_Notice_15-11-2017_Venezuela.pdf

NOTICE TO EXPORTERS: VENEZUELA

Also on 15th November, the UK Export Control Joint Unit issued Notice to Exporters 2017/25.  This Notice details –

  • the fact that the UK interprets the arms embargo as applying to all items on the UK Military List;
  • the related prohibitions on the provision of technical assistance, financing and financial assistance, brokering services, and other related services
  • the prohibitions on the provision of technical assistance, financing and financial assistance, brokering services, and other related services
  • the supply of equipment, technology or software intended primarily for use in the monitoring or interception of internet or telephone communications on mobile or fixed networks, where a licence will be required
  • the fact that there is total prohibition on the provision of telecommunication or internet monitoring or interception services to Venezuela’s government or associated bodies

The Notice also refers to the financial sanctions mentioned in the HM Treasury Notice.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-to-exporters-201725-new-eu-sanctions-against-venezuela/notice-to-exporters-201725-new-eu-sanctions-against-venezuela

HM TREASURY ISSUES VENEZUELA SANCTIONS NOTICE

HM TREASURY ISSUES VENEZUELA SANCTIONS NOTICE

On 15th November, HM Treasury published a Notice re the sanctions imposed under EU Regulation 2017/2063 and involving a ban on the export of arms and equipment which might be used for internal repression, a ban on the export of surveillance equipment and the freezing of funds and economic resources of certain persons, entities and bodies responsible for serious human rights violations or abuses or the repression of civil society and democratic opposition and persons, entities and bodies whose actions, policies or activities otherwise undermine democracy or the rule of law in Venezuela, as well as persons, entities and bodies associated with them.

The Notice confirms that no persons have yet been designated under the Regulation.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/659761/HM_Treasury_Notice_15-11-2017_Venezuela.pdf

EU SANCTIONS – FARC, DPRK, VENEZUELA; ANDORRA MONEYVAL REPORT

EU REMOVES FARC FROM TERRORISM SANCTIONS LISTS

From 15th November, EU Council Decision 2017/2072/CFSP and 2017/2073/CFSP; and Regulations 2017/2061/EU and 2017/2064/EU refer.

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2017.295.01.0038.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2017:295:TOC

EU AMENDS THE LIST OF “LUXURY GOODS” SUBJECT TO NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS

EU Regulation 2017/2062 amends Regulation2017/1509 following a review of the list of luxury goods subject to an import and export ban.

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/AUTO/?uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2017.295.01.0004.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2017:295:TOC

EU SANCTIONS ON VENEZUELA

EU Regulation 2017/2063/EU gives effect to sanctions on Venezuela that impose an embargo on the supply of military equipment, and equipment that might be used for internal repression – with a parallel ban on the financing, brokering etc of the same.  The ban also applies to certain software and technology, including that used to intercept or monitor the Internet or telecommunications. Financial sanctions against individuals and entities are provided for, but no persons are designated to date.  The measures have effect from 14th November.

See also EU Council Decision 2017/2074/CFSP.

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?

uri=uriserv:OJ.L_.2017.295.01.0021.01.ENG&toc=OJ:L:2017:295:TOC

MONEYVAL PUBLISHES A REPORT ON AML/CFT IN ANDORRA

The Moneyval organisation, which reviews countries’ AML/CFT systems on behalf of the Council of Europe has published its mutual evaluation report on Andorra.  The report welcomed the reforms recently undertaken by the Andorran authorities to address the risks identified, but has called for a number of improvements, and calls for a clear political oversight to be put in place in order to monitor the implementation of the action plans adopted to mitigate those risks; also, as with other juridictions, the ratio between investigations and prosecutions, and subsequent convictions obtained appears to be modest.

https://www.coe.int/en/web/portal/-/moneyval-welcomes-reforms-in-andorra-to-combat-money-laundering-and-terrorist-financing-but-calls-for-some-improvements?src=ilaw

Please pass on the link to the blog to anyone you think might like or need it

EU FOREIGN MINISTERS APPROVE SANCTIONS ON VENEZUELA

On 13th November it was reported that EU foreign ministers had approved an arms embargo against Venezuela, and the legal framework for travel bans and asset freezes against those involved in human rights violations and non-respect for democracy or the rule of law; but held off listing any individuals for economic sanctions.

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/11/13/venezuela-eu-adopts-conclusions-and-targeted-sanctions/

LSE PODCAST: MILITARISATION AND THE ‘WAR ON CRIME’

LSE PODCAST: MILITARISATION AND THE ‘WAR ON CRIME’

Recording of a presentation and discussion that took place at the London School of Economics on 7th November, to launch a new (and expensive) book on the subject.  Speakers included the always excellent Misha Glenny.  Although over an hour long (if you include the Q&A session at the end), it is nevertheless fascinating and informative.

The LSE blurb includes the following – from the 70 year old “War on Drugs”, to the more recent “War on Human Smuggling”, politicians use militarised responses to look decisive on crime.  The deployment of armies, navies, military assets and militarised approaches can send a powerful message, but have produced mixed results. This debate will discuss 4 different areas of criminality – wildlife crime, piracy, human smuggling and drug trafficking – to see how effective a militarised response can really be, and what might be lost as collateral damage.

http://www.lse.ac.uk/website-archive/newsAndMedia/videoAndAudio/channels/publicLecturesAndEvents/player.aspx?id=3929

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: HIGHLIGHTING ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING (AM), INC 3D PRINTING — AS A POTENTIAL PROLIFERATION RISK

On 27th October, the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, Monterey USA published its Occasional Paper 33 which analyses a set of export-controlled items to understand the degree to which 3D printing might be used to produce — and thus represent a new pathway for proliferators to acquire — dual-use goods useful for the development of WMD. Additionally the study considers the degree to which communities using and promoting 3D printing may impact the risk of WMD proliferation.

Reassuringly perhaps, the study has found no evidence suggesting active pursuit or deployment of AM technology with a WMD proliferation aim in either relevant case study (North Korea and IS), but that claims to have produced 3D printers suggests North Korea’s intention is not merely to explore the use of 3D printing, but also to explore the production of AM equipment itself; and the widespread geographic distribution of AM technology etc has made the technology accessible by users in countries where the IS has been particularly active (and thus, if the IS leadership were to make the decision to vigorously explore AM as a potential pathway to WMD, the technology would be readily accessible, with little need to import from producer countries).

The report calls for further awareness-raising and, of course, more research.  In addition, export controls and nonproliferation efforts need to recognise the likely or potential risks involved with 3D printing, including in respect of professional 3D printing services and providers.

http://www.nonproliferation.org/op33-wmd-proliferation-risks-at-the-nexus-of-3d-printing-and-diy-communities/