UK extends renewed Myanmar sanctions to the Overseas Territories
Hot on the trail of equivalent legislation in the UK, the Myanmar (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) Order 2021 (the Myanmar OT Order) was made on 28 April 2021 and came into force on 29 April 2021. The Myanmar OT Order extends renewed UK sanctions on Myanmar (Burma) to Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands among others. Bermuda has also given effect to the Myanmar OT Order.
In more technical terms the Myanmar OT Order extends the UK Myanmar (Sanctions) Regulations 2021 (the Myanmar UK Regulations) as amended from time to time to each of the British Overseas Territories (including but not limited to the ones mentioned above). The new sanctions order also extends and applies the following provisions of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (SAMLA) to each of the UK Overseas Territories: (a) section 44 (protection for acts done for purposes of compliance), (b) section 53(3) (Crown application) and (c) section 53 (saving for prerogative powers), except that, in its application to a particular British Overseas Territory, the reference in subsection (1) of that section to the United Kingdom is to be read as a reference to that territory. Finally, the Order revokes and replaces the Burma (Sanctions) (Overseas Territories) Order 2020 which previously extended the prior Burma UK sanctions regime to the UK Overseas Territories.
More broadly, the Myanmar UK Regulations were made under Part I of the SAMLA to establish a sanctions regime in relation to Myanmar for the purposes of: promoting the peace, stability and security of Myanmar, promoting respect for democracy, the rule of law and good governance in Myanmar, discouraging actions, policies or activities which repress the civilian population in Myanmar and promoting compliance with international human rights law and respect for human rights in Myanmar.
The UK Regulations Provide that a person designated by the Secretary of State for being, or having been, involved in certain activities is a designated person for the purposes of the modified Myanmar UK Regulations. Designated persons may be excluded from the territory and may be made subject to financial sanctions, including having their funds or economic resources frozen.
They impose trade restrictions on military goods and technology, on dual-use goods and technology, and on specific goods and technology which may be used to repress the civilian population of Myanmar or for intercepting or monitoring their communications. They also impose further trade restrictions in respect of the provision of interception and monitoring services to, or for the benefit of the Government of Myanmar, or the provision of certain services funds or armed personnel to, or for the benefit of, the Tatmadaw (ie the Myanmar Armed Forces).
The Regulations provide for certain exceptions to this sanctions regime (for example to allow for frozen accounts to be credited with interest or other warnings and to allow acts done for the purpose of national security or the prevention of serious crime). The Governor of a British Overseas Territory, may with the consent of the Secretary of State, issue a licence in respect of activities that would otherwise be prohibited under the Myanmar UK Regulations. The Governor will also be required to publish an up-to-date list of designated persons.
The Regulations prescribe (a) powers for the provision and sharing of information to enable the effective implementation and enforcement of the sanctions regime, (b) enforcement powers in relation to suspected ships, aircraft or vehicles or for the issue of a search warrant, and (c) make it a criminal offence to contravene, or circumvent any of the prohibitions set out and the penalties that apply where this happens.
A copy of the Myanmar OT Order can be found here.
Bermuda implements sanctions under its own legislative arrangements and the latest decision on the subject can be found here.
Our recent blog post on the European Union’s sanctions in relation to the military coup in Myanmar/Burma can be found here.