On 19 November 2015, the CJEU annulled the relisting of North Drilling Co. (“NDC”) on the EU’s Iran sanctions list in Case T-539/14 North Drilling Co. v Council of the European Union (judgment not yet available in English) on the grounds that there was no evidence to support the Council’s revised reasons that NDC had provided financial support to the Iranian government or its nuclear programme.
NDC was relisted in 2014 on amended grounds following a successful challenge to its original listing, which was based on its connections with the National Iranian Oil Company (see Issue 18 of the Sanctions Alert). The judgment annuls NDC’s relisting pursuant to Council Decision 2014/222/CFSP amending Decision 2010/413/CFSP and Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 397/2014 implementing Council Regulation (EU) No. 267/2012. NDC is a listed entity on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal (“JCPOA”) (see Issue 44 of the Sanctions Alert) and would therefore have been delisted after Implementation Day in any event.