1. HMT supplement to notice on Iran (nuclear proliferation) of 26 March 2012: Insurance restrictions

HM Treasury has issued a supplement to its Notice on Iran (nuclear proliferation) dated 26 March 2012. The supplement provides further guidance on the restrictions on the provision of insurance and reinsurance relating to the import, purchase or transport of crude oil, petroleum products and petrochemical products from Iran.  

  1. Foreign Affairs Council announces decision to suspend restrictive measures against Myanmar/Burma

The Foreign Affairs Council has agreed to suspend the EU's restrictive measures against Myanmar/Burma whilst maintaining the arms embargo against the country. In its conclusions the Council noted the "remarkable programme of political reform" being undertaken in the country. The Council recognised that there are prospects to develop a relationship between the EU and Myanmar/Burma to which the EU will stand ready to respond accordingly. Legislative amendments to effect the lifting of sanctions are still awaited. The US sanctions, at present, also remain in force.  

  1. Foreign Affairs Council announces decision to strengthen EU sanctions against Syria

The Foreign Affairs Council has agreed to reinforce the EU's restrictive measures in place against Syria. The Council adopted restrictive measures on the export of additional equipment, goods and technology that might be used for internal repression to Syria. The Council has also agreed to ban the sale of luxury goods from the EU to Syria. The Council's conclusions can be found here. The Council has yet to adopt implementing legislation to define the items which will be covered by its conclusions.  

  1. European Supervisory Authorities publish two reports on the Third Money Laundering Directive

The European Banking Authority, European Securities and Markets Authority and European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (together the European Supervisory Authorities) have published two reports on the implementation of the Third Money Laundering Directive (3MLD). The reports can be found below:

Both reports conclude there are significant differences in implementation across the EU Member States and that some of these differences may create undesirable effects on the European Anti Money Laundering Regime. The reports conclude that some of these differences result from national interpretations of the Directive's requirements and call on the EU to consider resolving these problems. The reports are relevant to the EU's current review of the Third Money Laundering Directive, which follows the review of the FATF Recommendations. The EU Report announcing the review was covered in our last update and can be found here.

Transparency International has also published its response to the European Commission's consultation reviewing the terms of the Third Money Laundering Directive.  

  1. MONEYVAL report on Malta

MONEYVAL has published a report on its fourth round assessment visit in Malta. The mutual evaluation report is a follow-up round in which important FATF recommendations were reassessed as well as those for which the state received either "Non Compliant" or "Partially Compliant" ratings in its third round report. Malta is required to submit a follow up report by March 2013.  

  1. Guernsey FIU report on Suspicious Transaction Reporting

Guernsey's Financial Investigation Unit (FIU) has published a report on the Suspicious Transaction Reporting regime covering the period from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2011. The report provides an update on Guernsey's new online Suspicious Transaction Reporting regime as well as an update on the actions that have been taken by the regulator. The report also includes typologies showing the types of transactions that have been reported as suspicious to the FIU.  

  1. FATF mandate renewed

The Ministers of the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) Member Jurisdictions have renewed FATF's mandate which sets out FATF's objectives, functions and tasks from 2012 until 2020. The ministers also endorsed FATF's recommendations which were adopted in February 2012 and urged all countries to implement them fully.  

  1. US Executive Order in relation to non-US persons' transactions with Syria

The US Treasury has published an Executive Order allowing the US Treasury to impose sanctions on non-US persons who facilitate transactions with Syrian or Iranian entities, in contravention of the US sanctions against those nations, by not informing other counterparties of their involvement in transactions. The Order states, amongst other matters, that any foreign person who has facilitated "deceptive transactions" for or on behalf of any person subject to US sanctions concerning Iran or Syria may be subject to sanctions. "Deceptive transaction" is defined as "any transaction where the identity of any person subject to US sanctions concerning Iran or Syria is withheld or obscured from other participants in the transaction or any relevant regulatory authority".

The sanctions set out in the Order, which may be imposed on persons who engage in deceptive transactions, include the prohibition of all transactions with the said person, including exporting, reexporting, importing, selling, purchasing, transporting, swapping, brokering, approving, financing, facilitating or guaranteeing any goods, services or technology intended for the US or provided to persons in the US.