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Document 32018R1542

EU restrictive measures against the proliferation and use of chemical weapons

EU restrictive measures against the proliferation and use of chemical weapons

 

SUMMARY OF:

Decision (CFSP) 2018/1544 — restrictive measures against the proliferation and use of chemical weapons

Regulation (EU) 2018/1542 — restrictive measures against the proliferation and use of chemical weapons

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE REGULATION AND THE DECISION?

Together, the decision (adopted in the context of the EU’s common foreign and security policy) and the regulation (adopted on the basis of Article 215 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)) introduce a new ‘thematic’ EU sanctions regime, to counter the threat posed by the use and proliferation of chemical weapons*.

  • The decision obliges EU countries to impose an EU-wide travel ban and provides for an asset freeze targeting individuals, entities or bodies involved in the development and use of chemical weapons.
  • The regulation implements those measures falling under the TFEU, in particular the asset freeze.
  • These measures contribute to the EU’s efforts to tackle the proliferation and use of chemical weapons and its efforts to support the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and its Technical Secretariat.

KEY POINTS

Decision (CFSP) 2018/1544

The decision requires EU countries to prevent entry to or transit through their territory of target persons and entities who are directly responsible for the development and use of chemical weapons, as well as those who provide financial, technical or material support, and those who assist, encourage or are associated with them.

Some exceptions are permitted including, for example:

  • an EU country is not obliged to refuse its own nationals entry to its territory;
  • an EU country which is bound by an obligation of international law, such as being a host of an international intergovernmental organisation;
  • an EU country that is host country of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

EU countries must freeze any funds and economic resources* belonging to, held or controlled by target persons or entities. Exceptionally, they may authorise the release of some of these funds if, for example, they are necessary:

  • for the basic needs of the target individual or entity;
  • to pay for legal services;
  • to pay fees or service charges for the routine holding or maintenance of the frozen funds or economic resources;
  • to satisfy a court or arbitral decision that predates the asset freeze.

EU countries must notify the other EU countries and the European Commission in these cases.

The Council is responsible for drawing up and amending the list of target individuals and entities in the annex to the decision. The Council acts by unanimity based on a proposal either from an EU country or from the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The Council then communicates its decision to the targeted individual(s) or entity(ies) either directly (if their address is known) or indirectly through the publication of a notice.

Regulation (EU) 2018/1542

The regulation:

  • complements the decision and sets out a series of definitions;
  • requires that all funds and economic resources belonging to, held or controlled by any target individual or body identified by the Council and listed in Annex I be frozen;
  • sets out the exceptional instances where certain frozen funds may be released and the conditions to be met — see above in regard to Decision (CFSP) 2018/1544.

Financial or credit institutions that receive funds transferred by third parties to the account of a listed individual or body may credit the frozen accounts, but any additions to such accounts will also be frozen. The institution must inform the relevant competent authority about any such transaction without delay.

The freezing of funds and economic resources or the refusal to make funds or economic resources available, carried out in good faith on the basis that such action is in line with this regulation, must not give rise to liability of any kind on the part of the individual or body implementing it, or its directors or employees, unless it is proved that the funds and economic resources were frozen or withheld as a result of negligence.

Any knowing or intentional involvement in activities to circumvent the measures (travel ban and/or asset freeze) is prohibited.

The regulation applies:

  • within the EU territory, including its airspace;
  • on board any aircraft or any vessel under the jurisdiction of an EU country;
  • to any individual inside or outside the territory of the EU who is a national of an EU country;
  • to any individual or body, inside or outside the EU territory, which is incorporated or constituted under the law of an EU country;
  • to any legal person, entity or body in respect of any business done in whole or in part within the EU.

FROM WHEN DO THE DECISION AND REGULATION APPLY?

The decision and regulation have applied since 16 October 2018.

BACKGROUND

The new regime of restrictive measures, or sanctions, was adopted by the EU on 15 October 2018 as a follow-up to the conclusions of the June 2018 European Council, which called for the adoption as soon as possible of a new EU regime of restrictive measures to address the use and proliferation of chemical weapons.

The first sanctions under the new regime were introduced in January 2019 resulting in the amendment of the decision and regulation (see ‘Related documents’).

KEY TERMS

Chemical weapons: chemical weapons as defined in the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), are the following, taken together or separately:

(a) toxic chemicals and their precursors, except where intended for purposes not prohibited under this Convention, as long as the types and quantities are consistent with such purposes;

(b) munitions and devices, specifically designed to cause death or other harm through the toxic properties of those toxic chemicals specified in subparagraph (a), which would be released as a result of the employment of such munitions and devices;

(c) any equipment specifically designed for use directly in connection with the employment of munitions and devices specified in subparagraph (b).

Economic resources: assets of any kind, whether tangible or intangible, movable or immovable, which are not funds, but may be used to obtain funds, goods or services.

MAIN DOCUMENTS

Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1544 of 15 October 2018 concerning restrictive measures against the proliferation and use of chemical weapons (OJ L 259, 16.10.2018, pp. 25-30)

Successive amendments to Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/1544 have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Council Regulation (EU) 2018/1542 of 15 October 2018 concerning restrictive measures against the proliferation and use of chemical weapons (OJ L 259, 16.10.2018, pp. 12-21)

See consolidated version.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Council Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/84 of 21 January 2019 implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1542 concerning restrictive measures against the proliferation and use of chemical weapons (OJ L 18I, 21.1.2019, pp. 1-3)

Council Decision (CFSP) 2019/86 of 21 January 2019 amending Decision (CFSP) 2018/1544 concerning restrictive measures against the proliferation and use of chemical weapons (OJ L 18I, 21.1.2019, pp. 10-12)

Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union — Part Five — The Union's external action — Title IV — Restrictive measures — Article 215 (ex Article 301 TEC) (OJ C 202, 7.6.2016, p. 144)

last update 05.04.2019

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