Gibraltar is a member of the EU by reason of Article 355(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. As such, legislative acts of the EU apply to Gibraltar, with Regulations being directly applicable without the need for local transposition.
EU Sanction Regime
The EU implements all sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council (“UNSC”). When it comes to counterterrorist sanctions against individuals or entities, the EU has taken over the listing of terrorist suspects on behalf of Gibraltar. The EU implements the 1267 sanctions regime by instituting asset freezes, travel bans and arms embargoes against those included on the UNSC list. Moreover, the EU may impose autonomous sanctions against suspected individuals and entities, in line with its obligations under UNSCR 1373. Like the UNSC, the EU insists on the preventative/ administrative nature of the restrictive measures.
The EU gave effect to the UNSC 1267 sanctions regime by means of Common Position 2002/402/CFSP, implemented by Council Regulation (EC) No 881/2002, both adopted on 27 May 2002. The Annex to Regulation 881/2002 includes all the names on the 1267 Sanctions List to which EU restrictive measures will apply. The EU has amended the Regulation each time the UNSC or the Sanctions Committee has modified its sanctions list. In addition, Council Common Position 2003/140/CFSP of 27 February 2003 incorporates UNSC Resolution 1452(2002) allowing for humanitarian exceptions.
In 2011, when the UNSC created a separate sanctions regime for the Taliban, Council Common Position 2002/402/CFSP was amended accordingly to apply only to the individuals/entities associated with Al-Qaeda (Council Decision 2011/487/CFSP).
Following the adoption of UNSCR 2253(2015), the Council adopted Decision (CFSP) 2016/368 on 14 March 2016 amending the Common Position 2002/402/CFSP to extend the scope of application of restrictive measures to certain persons, groups, undertakings and entities associated with ISIL/Da'esh. Regulation 881/2002 was amended by Council Regulation (EU) 2016/363 accordingly.
On 20 September 2016, the Council adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/1693 concerning restrictive measures against ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaeda and persons, groups, undertakings and entities associated with them, and repealing Common Position 2002/402/CFSP. Since the Council decision establishes additional restrictive measures, a new Council Regulation (EU) 2016/1686 was adopted, instituting an asset freeze against the persons and entities to be listed in its Annex I.
Council Decision (CFSP) 2016/1693 fulfils two objectives. The first is to continue to implement/transpose the sanctions against ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaeda associates and supporters as designated on the UNSC Sanctions List. Secondly, it institutes the possibility of 'autonomous' restrictive measures against persons associated with ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaeda or any group deriving thereof, in addition to those listed by the UNSC, to be designated in an annex to the Council Decision. The Council decides unanimously on the composition of the list and modifications to it on a proposal from any Member State or from the HR/VP.
As regards EU sanctions implementing the UNSC Sanctions List, each time the UNSC list is modified, the Regulation implementing the asset freeze at EU level – its annex listing the individuals and entities – is amended accordingly. The Commission was given the power to amend the annexes, 'for reasons of expediency'.
The Terrorist Asset Freezing Regulations 2011 (‘TAFR’) transposed Council Regulation (EC) No. 2580/2001 on specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism into Gibraltar law and thereby supplements the EU framework in respect of UNSCR 1373.
A designation under TAFR results in the freezing of the funds or economic resources owned, held or controlled by the designated person. Moreover, TAFR prohibits making funds, economic resources or financial services available directly or indirectly to or for the benefit of a designated person where the person making them available knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that they are doing so (and, in the case of economic resources, that the designated person would be likely to exchange the economic resources, or use them in exchange, for funds, goods or services).
A registration process through the below link must be completed in order to obtain access to the EU sanctions listings:
Institutions are requested to check whether they maintain any accounts for the entities and/or individuals listed and, if they do, are asked to freeze the accounts and report their findings to -
Gibraltar Financial Intelligence Unit
Suite 832 Europort
Tel: (+350) 200 70211/200 70380
Fax: (+350) 200 70233
These checks are also to be undertaken as part of the client take-on process, at other intervals and on trigger events throughout the duration of a client relationship, as determined by an institutions risk based approach.
Should you have any queries, you may contact the AML/CFT team on email@example.com or on +350 20040283.