The Chemical Weapons (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) Order 2018 (the OT Order) was made on 12 December 2018 and came into force on 9 January 2019. The OT Order is directly relevant to, and applies in Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands.
The OT Order gives effect to the sanctions regime created by the European Union:
- in Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1544 of 15 October 2018 concerning the restrictive measures against the proliferation and use of chemical weapons; and
- in Council Regulation (EU) 2018/1542 of 15 October 2018 concerning the restrictive measures against the proliferation and use of chemical weapons.
The promulgation of the OT Order was as a result of the decision taken by the European Union ambassadors on 16 January to impose sanctions on persons for carrying out alleged chemical attacks using a nerve agent known as Novichok, in the United Kingdom, in 2018.
The sanctions imposed under the OT Order include an asset-freeze mechanism on persons who are designated by the Council of the European Union (CEU) as persons who are responsible for, involved in, or promote the proliferation and use of chemical weapons, as well as persons associated with such persons. At present, no names are listed in Annex 1 to the Council Decision or the Council Regulation but this is being kept under constant review.
It should be noted that for the purpose of the sanctions regime under the OT Order, chemical weapons have the meaning associated with it in Article II of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (signed in Paris on 13 January 1993).
The Governor of the relevant Overseas Territory has the authority to grant a licence to certain activities that are in line with exemptions and derogations under the sanctions regime.
A copy of the OT Order can be accessed here.
Service providers should:
- conduct due diligence checks to determine if any person who they act for is designated by the CEU;
- any results should be documented to the know-your-client files; and
- to the extent there is a positive hit then legal advice should be taken.
Note for Bermuda: Bermuda is not expressly included within the OT Order. However, UK-Bermudian constitutional arrangements require that Bermuda implement the OT Order domestically instead. The Bermuda implementing order, published in their Gazette on 21 December 2018 can be found here.
If you have any questions, please contact a member of Harneys Regulatory practice or your usual Harneys contact.