The EU has expanded sanctions against Syria by introducing an investment ban on Syrian persons, entities or bodies (including the State of Syria, any public authority thereof, Syrian nationals, as well as Syrian private entities and entities in or outside of Syria owned or controlled by the Syrian government, authorities, individuals or entities) engaged in exploration, production and refining crude oil.[1] EU companies are banned from granting financial loans or credits to such persons, as well as acquiring ownership, any participation in, or creating joint ventures with, such persons. Execution of obligations arising from contracts or agreements entered into prior to 23 September 2011, including extension of participation, is specifically allowed.

The EU has also banned the sales, supply, transfer or export of Syrian-denominated bank notes and coinage printed or minted in the EU to the Syrian Central Bank. There is no exemption for pre-existing contracts.

In addition, two persons and six entities have been added to the list of the asset freeze and travel ban. These are:

Government officials

  • Tayseer Qala Awwad
  • Dr. Adnan Hassan Mahmoud

Entities

  • Addounia TV (a.k.a. Dounia TV)
  • Cham Holding
  • El-Tel Co. (a.k.a. El-Tel Middle East Company)
  • Ramak Constructions Co.
  • Souruh Company (a.k.a. SOROH Al Cham Company)
  • Syriatel

Finally, the EU has removed CN code 2711 (which includes petroleum gases and other gaseous hydrocarbons, such as propane, butane, ethylene, propylene, butylene, butadiene, ethane, and others) from its oil and petroleum products embargo, imposed in early September, pursuant to which the remaining products on the list, i.e., HS codes 2709, 2710, 2712, 2713, 2714 and 2715 00 00, cannot be imported, purchased or transported from Syria.

These changes entered into effect on 24 September and are directly applicable in all 27 EU Member States.