In our May 2018 briefing, we explained the process by which the US would re- impose on Iran the secondary sanctions it had lifted as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”) process, noting in particular the two- phased approach: those sanctions re-imposed after 6 August 2018, and those scheduled to be re-imposed after 4 November 2018. We further explained how the EU had launched a formal process to re-activate its “Blocking Statute” (Council Regulation (EC) No 2271/96).
On 7 August 2018, both the first wave of re-imposed US secondary sanctions, and the EU Blocking Statute took effect, creating the potential for a significant conflict: how to comply with two incompatible laws at the same time? Compliance with US law might mean infringing EU law, and vice-versa.
This briefing examines how the conflict arises for the shipping industry and its implications.