Iran sanctions – state of play: Lift expected in 2016

The diplomatic breakthrough in the conflict concerning the Iranian nuclear program, as widely reported through the news media lately, has only little effect on the existing sanctions against Iran for the time being. The European sanctions are still in force until they are lifted by corresponding regulations of the European Union (EU). The same is the case for the US sanctions against Iran, which can also be of importance for enterprises having their seat in Germany. Probably a gradual lift of the sanctions will begin in the first months of 2016. High time to get ready for the Iran business!

Extensive Iran sanctions remain in force for the time being

The prohibitions and the duty to obtain permits resulting from Regulation (EU) no. 267/2012 remain in force with the eased restrictions according to Regulation (EU) no. 42/2014. As before, it is not only not allowed to export the sanctioned goods, but neither allowed to sell them. Also the financial sanctions are still to be applied and, as in the past, it is not allowed to  make funds available (so-called “Bereitstellungsverbot”). In this connection it is not allowed to provide funds or economic resources, direct or indirect, to listed persons, institutions and enterprises.

In addition, the sanctions as to Regulation (EC) no. 359/2011, that came in force on account of the situation of human rights in Iran, as well as other restrictions in the field of export controlare still valid.

Certain Iran sanctions suspended till 14 January 2016

On 24 November 2013 China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States came to a Joint Plan of Action with Iran with a concept for an extensive long-term solution for the Iranian nuclear question. In this connection certain sanctions, e.g. in the field of the import, purchase and transport of Iranian petrochemical products and of services in this regard or in the field of the trade with gold and precious metals were suspended. A further effect of the Joint Plan of Action was that the maximum limits for permissions of money transfers from and to Iran were raised by a factor of ten.

In the course of the last agreement the suspension was extended up to 14 January 2016.

Lift of the Iran sanctions, probably step by step, beginning in the year 2016

On the basis of the Joint Plan of Action the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was worked out with Iran on 14 July 2015. This Plan provides for a long-term and comprehensive solution in the Iranian nuclear question. It is provided for in this contract that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEO) shall confirm in a report that Iran has implemented the first important steps to reduce the nuclear program in accordance with the Agreement. Only then the EU and the USA are obliged to ease the sanctions considerably. Should the Agreement be incorporated as scheduled, the sanctions will be gradually lifted and we can expect that this will start in the first months of the year 2016.

Our lawyers should be pleased to advise you and you can rely on them if you wish them to  act on your behalf in customs questions and matters of export control. Should you have questions concerning the Iran sanctions, please do not hesitate to contact us!
Rechtsanwalt Dr. Tristan Wegner

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