Major countries, including the United States, European Union member states, and Japan, have enacted and enforced sanctions laws regulating economic activities in order to achieve their own national security and foreign policies. Economic sanctions consist of those pursuant to resolutions at the United Nations Security Council, those agreed upon by major countries, and those invoked solely by a particular country.
In particular, U.S. economic sanctions have become an important compliance issue for companies engaged in international economic activities (including international financial institutions) due to their breadth, complexity, extraterritorial application due to U.S. Dollar settlement, and secondary sanctions applied to transactions conducted outside U.S. jurisdiction.
Economic sanctions have been imposed not only from the perspective of preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and deterring terrorism but also from the perspective of technological competition and prevention of human rights violations, affecting a wide range of companies, not only those related to the military. Recently, economic sanctions have been imposed in response to conflicts between the U.S. and China, the military coup in Myanmar, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Countries affected by the sanctions of other countries sometimes take countermeasures such as prohibiting compliance with the sanctions. Companies are required to make difficult business decisions when caught between sanctions and countermeasures.
Our firm advises on a wide range of economic sanctions issues, such as sanctions-related risk assessments for transactions, voluntary self-disclosures to the authorities, responses to enforcement actions by the authorities, and internal controls by utilizing a network of U.S. and European law firms specializing in sanctions laws in their respective jurisdictions.
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