Iranian Sanctions – Joint Action Plan is Implemented in EU

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Background
Implementation of the Joint Action Plan agreed between the E3/EU+3 in October 2013 by suspending certain sanctions against Iran in relation to nuclear proliferation began on 20 January 2014. This suspension includes sanctions relating to crude oil, petrochemicals and gold, precious metals and diamonds. Furthermore, the thresholds applying to fund transfer restrictions to and from any Iranian Person have been modified.

On 20 January 2014, the EU Council of Ministers, adopted with immediate effect, Regulation 2014/42/EU amending Regulation 267/2012 concerning restrictive measures against Iran. While this update describes EU actions, we note that the U.S. Government also implemented equivalent measures on the same day to relax certain U.S. sanctions against Iran as set forth in the Joint Action Plan.

As a result, any company seeking to restart commercial relationships with Iranian partners should ensure that they fully understand the limits of the amendments and the changes applicable to fund transfers to avoid falling foul of the remaining restrictions.

In summary, Regulation 2014/42/EU introduces the following amendments:

Transfer of Funds

Transactions regarding foodstuffs, healthcare, medical equipment, or for agricultural or humanitarian purposes:

  • between EUR 10,000 and EUR 1,000,000 (or equivalent) require prior notification; and
  • exceeding EUR 1,000,000 (or equivalent) require prior authorization.

Transactions regarding personal remittances:

  • between EUR 10,000 and EUR 400,000 (or equivalent) require prior notification; and
  • exceeding EUR 400,000 (or equivalent) require prior authorization. 

Any other transfer:

  • between EUR 10,000 and EUR 100,000 (or equivalent) require prior notification; and
  • exceeding EUR 100,000 (or equivalent) require prior authorization.

Transfers below EUR 10,000 or equivalent continue to be exempt from the prior notification or prior authorization required.

Crude Oil

The prohibitions relating to the transportation of Iranian Crude Oil and the restrictions relating to the provision of financing and financial assistance as well as insurance and reinsurance for such products have been suspended.

Petrochemicals

Targeted restrictions relating to petrochemical products have been suspended. The amendments have also introduced licensing grounds for the transfer of funds and economic resources to the Ministry of Petroleum, where necessary, for the import or purchase of Iranian petrochemical products.

Gold, Precious Metals and Diamonds

Targeted restrictions relating to gold, precious metals and diamonds have been suspended.