By Stephen M. McNabb, Marsha Z. Gerber, Stefan Reisinger and Gwen Shirl Green
President Barack Obama yesterday
signed an Executive Order imposing significant new sanctions against Syria that
will vastly curtail the ability of U.S. companies to conduct any business in,
or provide services to, Syria or Syrian entities. Although existing U.S. export
and sanctions laws already prohibited most exports of U.S.-origin goods to
Syria, the new sanctions now also prohibit U.S. Persons from:
The Executive Order also blocks all
property and interests of the Government of Syria that are under the
jurisdiction of the United States. Such blocked property and interests in
property may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt
in, by any U.S. Persons.
Finally, the U.S. Department of
Treasury simultaneously added the following five Syrian petroleum-related
entities to the Specially Designated Nationals List designating them as Syrian
Government entities: (1) the General Petroleum Corporation; (2) Syrian
Petroleum Company; (3) Syrian Company for Oil Transport; (4) the Syrian Gas
Company; and (5) SYTROL.
European Union diplomats are
scheduled to meet in Brussels today to discuss imposing similar severe new
sanctions against Syria and its energy sector in particular. The expectation is
that the new EU sanctions will be approved and go into effect as early as next
The new sanctions signify the
strongest action the United States has taken to date to pressure the Government
of Syria to end its continuing violence against the Syrian people. Companies
conducting any business with Syria, Syria's petroleum industry or Syrian
Government entities should analyze the effects the Executive Order may have on
their activities and take appropriate steps to avoid sanctions or penalties
under the law. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional
updates as warranted.
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