EU Sanctions against Côte d’Ivoire

16 February 2011

Members are advised that new EU Sanctions against Côte d’Ivoire entered into force on 15 January 2011. The sanctions, which are against various named entities/persons in or from Côte d’Ivoire, are embodied in Council Regulation (EU) No. 25/2011 (which amends Regulation (EC) No. 560/2005) (for the full new Regulation click here). The Regulation applies as follows:-

(i) within the territory of the Union, including its airspace

(ii) on board any aircraft or any vessel under the jurisdiction of a Member State

(iii) to any person inside or outside the territory of the Union who is a national of a Member State

(iv) to any legal person, entity or body which is incorporated or constituted under the law of a Member State

(v) to any legal person, entity or body in respect of any business done in whole or in part within the Union

The effect of the Regulation (set out in Article 2) is to introduce the following sanctions/prohibitions:-

1. Funds and economic resources belonging to, owned, held or controlled by the persons/entities named in Annexes to the Regulation are frozen.

2. No funds, financial assets or economic resources may be made available directly or indirectly to or for the benefit of those persons/entities.

3. Activities which directly or indirectly circumvent the previously mentioned prohibitions are themselves prohibited.

Amongst the entities named in the Annexes are the Port of Abidjan, the Port of San Pedro as well as various banks and oil companies. For a full current list (which as at 11 February 2011 stands at 93 individuals and 13 Entities) click here. Given the listing of the Ports of Abidjan and San Pedro, Members are recommended to take advice even before paying port dues or other expenses as such payments may be in breach of sanctions.

Members should note that Article 3 of the Regulation sets out derogations from the prohibitions in Article 2 as follows:-

1. The relevant national authority may authorise the release of frozen funds, or a payment, in certain limited circumstances.

2. A payment may be made to a frozen account (but will itself be frozen) where that payment was due under a contract, agreement or obligation that was concluded or arose prior to the date of the asset freeze.

3. The prohibition does not give rise to a liability if the natural or legal person which made the funds available did not know, and had no reasonable cause to suspect, that their actions would infringe the prohibition.