This was a big year for sanctions. Although 2012 isn’t over yet and there is some pending legislation threatening to impose more sanctions against Iran and a forthcoming set of regulations from OFAC on some of the additional Iran sanctions we saw in the late summer/early fall, I thought I would recap some of the big sanction developments of 2012. I may update this list if additional events do come to pass.
December 31, 2011: President Obama signs into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012 (NDAA), which includes Section 1245, calling on the President to block all Iranian banks and the Central Bank of Iran.
January 23, 2012: Bank Tejarat is designated under Executive Order 13382 for its involvement in Iran’s weapons of mass destruction proliferation efforts. Tejarat was frequently used to initiate payments for U.S. exports of agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical devices. That same day the European Union (EU) institutes an oil embargo against Iran and targets the Central Bank of Iran for sanctions.
February 6, 2012: President Obama issues Executive Order 13599, effectively blocking all Iranian financial institutions.
February 23, 2012: Designations under the Transnational Criminal Organizations sanctions program applied to a number of individuals believed to be members of Brother’s Circle and Yakuza.
February 27, 2012: The EU applies sanctions to the Central Bank of Syria.
February 28, 2012: The first NDAA deadline passes.
March 15, 2012: EU prohibits SWIFT from providing financial messaging services to EU designated banks.
March 20, 2012: First NDAA exemptions are announced. Eleven (11) countries receive sanctions waivers.
April 23, 2012: The Grave Human Rights Abuses by the Governments of Iran and Syria Via Information Technology (GHRAVITY) executive order is issued.
May 1, 2012: Foreign Sanctions Evaders Executive Order is issued.
May 16, 2012: Yemeni Sanctions Executive Order is issued. EU suspends sanctions targeting Burma.
May 22, 2012: Belarus based JSC CredexBank is targeted as a financial institution of primary money laundering concern under Section 311 of the USA PATRIOT Act.
June 6, 2012: The United States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announces $619 million sanctions settlement against ING Bank. The announcement marks the largest settlement in the history of OFAC.
June 11, 2012: 2nd NDAA exemptions are announced.
June 28, 2012: 2nd NDAA deadline concerning oil activity and public/private banks.
July 1, 2012: EU Oil Embargo against Iran goes into effect.
July 11, 2012: OFAC issues two general licenses which significantly ease U.S. sanctions targeting Burma.
July 17, 2012: U.S. Senate releases report and holds hearing on the activities of HSBC which includes evidence of money laundering and sanctions violations.
July 31, 2012: First designations under the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Accountability, Divestment Act of 2010 (CISADA). Kunlun Bank and Elaf Islamic Bank added to the new Part 561 List. President Obama also issues Executive Order 13622 implementing further sanctions against Iran, specifically targeting the National Iranian Oil Company, and Naftiran Intertrade Company.
August 6, 2012: New York Department of Financial Services announces violations of banking laws and sanctions by Standard Chartered Bank.
August 10, 2012: The Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 (“TRA”) is signed into law.
October 9, 2012: Executive Order 13628 issued. U.S. parent companies become liable for their foreign subsidiaries dealings with Iran.
October 11, 2012: MS-13 is designated under the Transnational Criminal Organizations sanctions program.
October 15, 2012: EU bans dealings between EU financial institutions and Iranian banks.