On 1 December 2019, it was announced that six more countries – Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden – had signed up to the clearing house, Instex, joining France, Germany and the UK. Based in Paris, Instex functions as a clearing house that allows Iran to continue to sell oil and import other products or services in exchange. A joint statement by the existing shareholders, France, Germany and the UK, welcomed the development stating the addition “further strengthens Instex and demonstrates European efforts to facilitate legitimate trade between Europe and Iran”.
The Instex (Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges) was introduced as a Special Purpose Vehicle (see our blog post here), in January 2019, to facilitate legitimate trade between the EU and Iran. In the long term, it is also aiming to be open to economic operators from non-EU countries. It became operational in May 2019 (see our update here) but it has not yet enabled any transactions.