EU extends sanctions to prohibit import of Syrian oil

EU Council Regulation - (EU) No 878/2011 entered into force on 2 September, with new measures to target the importation, financing, transport, insurance and reinsurance of crude oil or petroleum products originating from Syria. The Regulation takes the form of an amendment to an earlier regulation (442/2011) in which the scope of applicability is defined as shown below.

Article 17 This Regulation shall apply: (a) within the territory of the Union, including its airspace; (b) on board any aircraft or any vessel under the jurisdiction of a Member State; (c) to any person inside or outside the territory of the Union who is a national of a Member State; (d) to any legal person, entity or body which is incorporated or constituted under the law of a Member State; (e) to any legal person, entity or body in respect of any business done in whole or in part within the Union.

Under Article 3a of the new regulation it is prohibited:

(a)  to import crude oil or petroleum products into the Union if they:

(i) originate in Syria; or

(ii) have been exported from Syria;

(b)  to purchase crude oil or petroleum products which are located in or which originated in Syria;

(c)  to transport crude oil or petroleum products if they originate in Syria, or are being exported from Syria to any other country;

(d)  to provide, directly or indirectly, financing or financial assistance, including financial derivatives, as well as insurance and re-insurance, related to the prohibitions set out in points (a), (b) and (c); and

(e)  to participate, knowingly and intentionally, in activities whose object or effect is, directly or indirectly, to circumvent the prohibitions in point (a), (b), (c) or (d).

Under Article 3b of the new regulation, a period of grace is granted in respect of obligations arising from a contract concluded before 2 September 2011. The article provides that the above prohibitions shall not apply to:

(a)  the execution, on or prior to 15 November 2011, of an obligation arising from a contract concluded before 2 September 2011, provided that the natural or legal person, entity or body seeking to perform the obligation concerned has notified, at least 7 working days in advance, the activity or transaction to the competent authority of the Member State in which it is established, as identified on the websites listed in Annex III; or

(b)  the purchase of crude oil or petroleum products which had been exported from Syria prior to 2 September 2011, or, where the export was made pursuant to point (a), on or prior to 15 November 2011.

The Club is taking further advice on the implications of the insurance ban, but in the meantime Members who are involved in trade to Syria should consider their position carefully.

This web article is for information only and should not be considered as legal advice.  Members are strongly recommended to take advice as to the potential application of any sanction legislation to any activity involving sanctioned countries. 

The full regulation can be found attached to the head of this article as a pdf and at the EU's website Delegation of the European Union to Syria.

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