Sanctions lawyers help clients navigate the intricate sanctions landscape globally. They provide timely and targeted advice and representation to their clients regarding sanctions exposure.
The international community uses sanctions to change the behavior of a country in the case where a country violates human rights, is waging war, or endangering international peace.
As a way to address major international law violations, human rights violations, and any other form of sponsored crime, a country imposes financial or economic sanctions against such nations globally.
The sanctions are applicable to a variety of financial restrictions imposed to achieve the objectives of foreign policy through pressure on the economy. Sanctions present a solution to political conflicts in geographical regions and avoid military intervention. Some sanctions initiatives include:
Since sanctions are financial solutions, their practical implications depend on the power of a country to implement them. Therefore, the issuing country needs to issue sanctions lists with an update information on targets while implementing sanctions compliance of the regulations on all people within their administration.
Given the frequency of sanctions worldwide, financial institutions should understand their obligations and which sanctions apply within their administration. These include:
The UN issues a comprehensive sanctions list that clearly lists the names of its worldwide sanctions targets.
UN sanctions occur in three instances: violation of international human rights laws, activities involving violence within a country’s borders, and threats to international peace. A majority vote passes these UN sanctions. However, any of its five permanent members can veto their request.
As a result, this leads to a lack of UN action. For example, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the Russian government utilized the veto power and blocked all UN sanctions against it. Also, China blocked its sanction against Myanmar due to the treatment of the Rohingyas.
Upon successful imposition of the UN sanctions, the other member states enforce all the relevant measures.
The European Union implements various economic sanctions against its targets.
To enhance the EU’s democratic values, defend international law and promote global peace, the Common Foreign and Security Policy task force issues EU sanctions. EU sanctions have continued to evolve since their inception.
The EU has since introduced sanctions regimes, such as cybercrime and global human rights, that target human rights violations. The European Union also allows the blocking statute, a legal measure preventing EU individuals from adhering with third party sanctions forced by a third country.
The HM Treasury implements and enforces the sanction list in the UK.
Since leaving the EU in early 2020, the United Kingdom has continued implementing independent sanction regimes such as anti money laundering regime, human rights regime, and anti-corruption regime.
China’s economic status has grown exponentially and hence can exert global influence. Following the trade war with the US in 2019, China’s ministry of commerce, MOFCOM, announced that it would implement sanctions.
China implemented the Blocking Rules in retaliation to the US third-party sanctions that prevented Chinese companies from trading with North Korea and Iran.
The DFAT implements and enforces all sanctions for Australia.
The Australian sanctions regime reflects foreign policies and security issues, such as the Magnitsky-style law that helps address international human rights violations.
Canada’s sanctions regime matches the UN obligations with a focus on upholding human rights.
Canada is one of the largest economies in Northern America; hence, the economic sanctions influence international trade. With the recent Russian- Ukraine war, Canada has imposed Russian sanctions. Canada has also sanctioned Myanmar due to the military regime.
The Office of Financial Assets Control (OFAC) upholds many sanctions programs on behalf of the US treasury.
The US sanctions regime, under the Biden administration is one of the most influential globally. This is because the US shares many global economic, geopolitical, and security concerns with other nations. Therefore its sanction programs align with those of the UK, EU, and the UN.
In 2016, the US introduced the Magnitsky Act, which targets specific individuals or groups found to violate human rights other than involving the entire country. The Act has inspired other nations to have similar human rights sanctions regimes.
In addition to the global sanction that applies directly to US persons, the US also implements secondary sanctions against third countries, even under the Biden administration. These sanctions block third parties from doing business with targets of the US sanctions at the risk of trade restrictions with the United States.
Sanctions lawyers who are well versed with rules in international economic sanctions are best suited to help you limit the risk of sanctions. The recent Russia sanctions have left many international companies at risk of violating sanctions.
Depending on the jurisdiction of your international trade, ensure that you choose the best lawyer to help you stay updated on the ever-changing sanction rules, foreign assets control, and export controls. You must ensure that our business doesn’t violate any economic sanctions.
However, if you, unfortunately, receive administrative subpoenas, you must comply and provide all requested documentation. You have been assured a smooth process through a sanctions lawyer as you remedy the situation.