Sanction status of Middle East Bank, Munich Branch and trading activities in the light of EU and US law
as of 01.10.2022 (last content change 25.11.2020)
The MEB (and therefore MB) is not subject to any sanction restrictions under German or EU law. It is not included on EU sanctions lists.
With regard to traded goods, the examination and compliance with national and EU export control regulations (e.g. EC Dual-Use Regulation 428/2009, Iran Regulation 267/2012) is the responsibility of the respective exporter. In the case of licensing obligations, the exporter must obtain the necessary official approvals and inform MB. A careful examination by the respective exporter is important for MB. For financial services in connection with the trading of such goods (Iran-Regulation 267/2012), MB may be obliged to obtain an approval from Deutsche Bundesbank. Further information is available at: www.bafa.de/DE/Aussenwirtschaft/Ausfuhrkontrolle/Embargos/Iran
By Executive Order 13599 of 05.02.2012, it was ordered by the Presitent of the USA that any Iranian financial institution is subject to U.S. sanctions. Therefore, on 29.08.2014, MEB, along with four other previously unsanctioned Iranian banks, were placed by OFAC on the U.S. Deparment of Treasury´s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN-List). Since the SDN-listing was without “Subject to Secondary Sanctions”, “non-U.S. persons” could continue to maintain business relationships with the MEB.
With the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) negotiations on 16.01.2016, secondary sanctions for “non-U.S. persons” no longer applied. As a result, MEB has been transferred by the Office of Fogeign Asset Control (OFAC) from the SDN-list to the newly created list 13599.
Due to the withdrawal of the United States from the JCPOA agreement, the secondary sanctions regime has been reinstated. As of 11.10.2018 MEB has been transferred from list 13599 back to the SDN-list. As of 05.11.2018, MEB (and thus MB) is listed on the SDN-list with reference to the sanctions program “IRAN” (categorized as an Iranian financial institution).
As of 08.11.2018, the listing was made without “Subject to Secondary Santions”, so that “non-U.S. persons” could maintain business relations with MEB without being exposed to sanction risks.
Until 20.10.2020 the sanction satus remained unchanged. Based on the Executive Order 13902 (Imposing Sanctions With Respect to Additional Sectors of Iran) of 10.01.2020, it was determinded by the U.S. Treasury Department that sanctions are to be applied to the entire Iranian financial sector. As a result, Middle East Bank as part of the Iranian financial system has been added “Subject to Secondary Sanctions”. https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/13902.pdf
Due to the General License L (https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/126/iran_gll.pdf) published at the same time, the changed SDN-listing has no effect on the operating activities of MB. The GL-L states that MB can continue its previous transactions with humanitarian goods on the basis of the programmes mentioned above. The restriction to humanitarian transactions with agricultural commodities, food, drugs and medical equipment has been an integral part of MB’s business and risk strategy since the start of its operations. From a US perspective, this leads to the following significant consequences:
- So-called “US persons” (mainly U.S. (controlled) companies, U.S. citizens, Green Card holders) are not allowed to conduct business activities with MB. However, an exception is made for transactions in the humanitarian field under certain conditions (see above).
- For all other persons and companies that are not “U.S. persons”, the fact that MB is listed on the SDN, including the addition of being “Subject to Secondary Sanctions”, means that only transactions in the area humanitarian goods (agricultural raw materials, food, medicines and medical equipment) can be carried out.
Please note that it is the responsibility of the respective company to check and, if necessary, observe applicable (U.S.) sanction regulations and exceptions, whereby any conflicting national or EU anti-boycott regulation must be observed by the involved parties themselves.
Further information is available at: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/financial-sanctions/sanctions-programs-and-country-information/iran-sanctions
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The presentation of the above information does not constitute advice or recommendation by MB or its employees, even if the information sheet is provided or explained by MB or its employees. The information has been compiled to the best of our knowledge from publicly available sources. MB does not assume any guarantee or liability for the completeness and correctness of the above information. The information reflects the state of information on the date indicated. An update or individual notification of changes will not be made by MB.