The DIT has published an information page on the UK Protection of Trading Interests Legislation, which includes the UK retained version of the EU blocking statute. The laws continue to protect UK persons who trade with countries that are affected by the extraterritorial application of certain laws – currently the US sanctions against Iran and Cuba. The laws:
- make it illegal for protected persons to comply with the relevant foreign laws;
- make it illegal to fail to tell the Secretary of State after receiving information that a person’s interests have been affected by those laws;
- allow the recovery of damages; and
- create an ability to request authorisation to comply with the overseas legislation if not doing so could cause serious damage to the applicant’s interests or the UK’s interests. This would allow application to the US authorities for licences.
“Protected persons” under the retained regulation include any person resident in the UK and UK incorporated entities. The guidance stresses that this includes UK based subsidiaries with overseas parents, but not UK-based branches.
Any licence obtained from the European Commission before the end of the transition period will be recognised and applicable in the UK, but from the end of the transition period, there will be no recognition of EU licenses obtained after that date.