A notice (please see here) updating the HM Treasury’s Consolidated List regarding three entities listed under Council Regulation (EU) 267/2012, which imposes financial sanctions against Iran, was published yesterday.

This notice removes the asset freeze against the below three Iranian entities, following Judgments of the General Court of the European Union (please see here and here for the relevant judgments):

  1. IRISL Club
  2. IRISL Multimodal Transport Company
  3. Leading Maritime Pte Ltd

These three entities were initially listed on 26 July 2010 by virtue of being owned or controlled by Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (“IRISL“). In its first Judgment, the General Court concluded that the European Council did not adduce sufficient evidence to support its reasons for listing IRISL or 17 other companies that had been listed by virtue of being entities owned or controlled by IRISL. The Court held that the Council had failed to establish that these companies provided support for nuclear proliferation, noting that the mere risk of involvement in proliferation in the future is insufficient and that there must be evidence of actual past involvement.

In its second judgment, the General Court annulled the entries of a further 35 companies. The Court noted that since it had annulled IRISL’s listing in the first Judgment (and as this Judgment had not been appealed), the Council could not maintain entries against any entity that had been listed on the sole grounds of being owned or controlled by IRISL. The annulment orders by the General Court in both cases had a retroactive effect.

There has been a delay between the annulment order and de-listing of the above entities as the order takes effect once the period for the European Council to appeal has expired (2 months and 10 days from the date of the judgments).

It is worth noting that the initial listings, undertaken in 2010, of IRISL and of the entities owned or controlled by IRISL occurred when the designation criteria required some form of support for nuclear proliferation. Later criteria have been significantly broader and IRISL and several of its subsidiaries, including IRISL Club and IRISL Multimodal Transport Company, were re-listed on new grounds in late 2013. In addition, despite being removed from the HM Treasury’s Consolidated List as per the above, both IRISL Club and IRISL Multimodal Transport Company are still listed on the UK BIS Iran List (please see here).