​US Iran Sanctions Snapback

The US has decided to reintroduce sanctions on Iran.

Reintroduction of US ‘Iran’ sanctions

These sanctions are targeted against, among others, the Iranian financial sector (banks, insurers, capital market), civil aviation, car industry, shipbuilding and shipping, port companies, petrochemicals, the energy sector and the trade in crude oil, various minerals and semi-finished products, precious metals and the food industry.

In general, a transitional period of 90 or 180 days will apply in which companies can dissolve their current obligations. This certainly has an effect on the Dutch business community.

US Blacklisting will also be activated again on specific persons and companies that were previously listed by the US.

European sanctions

The current EU sanctions remain unchanged. There is no reason for changes in EU export control policies; export licenses issued by the Netherlands remain valid, and new applications shall be assessed according to the existing frameworks.

Note: Iran still has a European arms embargo in effect. Sanctions due to the missile program and the poor human rights situation also continue to apply.


The US export control law has an extraterritorial effect. The EU (and therefore the Netherlands) is against this in principle. Dutch companies are hit while they comply with EU (and Dutch) legislation. At various levels, work is being done to limit the impact of this through protective constructions and possible countermeasures.

Moreover, the use of the 'blocking statute' is discussed; a European law that has to nullify the effects of US sanctions. It is being investigated how the law could actually offer protection. In addition, work is being done on expanding the loan mandate of the European Investment Bank to stimulate investment in Iran. However, both measures cannot be realized in the short term.

Possible short term solutions (under investigation) are sector-wide exemptions, indemnifications and guarantees that European companies can continue their business under current contracts without a new 'US risk'.

However, there is still a lot of uncertainty.

Consequently you must make your own risk assessment in order to decide whether or not you should continue your export business to Iran. The Dutch government is not liable for any economic damage.

Source: VNO NCW - Echo nr. 29

22 May 2018 at 3:08 pm