US SANCTIONS DEVELOPMENTS: NEW OPPORTUNITIES AND RISKS IN CUBA, IRAN AND SUDAN
A company’s European subsidiary is considering engaging a distributor in Iran. Can the company go ahead? This company does not just want to know if one deal can be done, but if it can have peace of mind down the road. In this situation, the short answer is probably, and the longer answer is that the company might not want to, even if it is legally possible.
In the last few years, there has been drastic liberalisation in US sanctions against Iran and Cuba. The US has maintained comprehensive sanctions against both countries for decades. Iran sanctions have been in place since 1979 (with the broad secondary sanctions for foreign subsidiaries only in place since 2012). Cuba sanctions have been in place since 1960. Garnering less fanfare, the US also largely lifted sanctions against Sudan in January of 2017.
However, this liberalisation of sanctions does not mean ‘all systems go’. There continue to be restrictions and requirements to doing business in all three of these countries, and strict liability for non-compliance.
With respect to Cuba, the new regulations, which became effective on 16 March 2016, revising both the export administration regulations (EAR) and the Cuban assets control regulations, chip away at the travel limitations, transport limitations, finance restrictions and other aspects of the Cuban embargo. Some of the key changes introduced with these rule changes are as follows.
Jul-Sep 2017 Issue