The Council of the European Union has recently published two further Regulations which extend the EU’s sanctions regime against Iran.

Council Implementing Regulation 1016/2012

This Regulation adds the National Iranian Oil Company Nederland (aka NIOC Netherlands Representation Office) to the asset freeze list in Annex IX of Regulation 267/2012.

It came into force on 7 November 2012.

Council Regulation (EU) 1067/2012

This Regulation adds a new provision to Regulation 267/2012, containing exceptions to the freezing of funds and economic resources owned, held or controlled by the entities listed in Annex IX to that Regulation.

The asset freeze will not apply to entities listed in Annex IX:

(a) which hold rights derived from a government award (before 27 October 2010) of a production sharing agreement, insofar as the acts or transactions relate to participation in that agreement; and

(b) insofar as necessary for the execution (until 31 December 2014) of obligations arising from certain contracts concluded before 23 January 2012. The contract must specifically provide that the supply of Iranian crude oil or petroleum products (or proceeds of their supply) are for the reimbursement of outstanding amounts due to persons/entities under the jurisdiction of Member States.

Further, the relevant acts/transactions must have been authorised by Member States. The other Members States and the Commission must have been notified of that authorisation.

This exception to the asset freeze provisions is likely, in reality, to be of relatively limited application.

This Regulation came into force on 15 November 2012.