U.N. Resolution 2170 (2014) concerning extremist groups in Iraq and Syria

August 2014

On 15 August 2014, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2170 (2014) placing sanctions on individuals associated with extremist groups in Iraq and Syria.

Of particular interest to the shipping community are sections 11 to 21 of the Resolution, and the content of a Statement released by the President of the UN Security Council, commenting on the fact that many oilfields and related infrastructure in Iraq and Syria are now under the control of terrorist groups that are listed by the UN for asset freeze, namely ‘Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’ (“ISIL”) and ‘Jabhat Al-Nusra’. 

The Statement cautions UN Member States that they are required to ensure that their nationals and any persons within their territory do not engage in any commercial or financial transactions with or for the benefit, directly or indirectly, of ISIL or Jabhat Al-Nusra, notably with respect to oil in Syria and Iraq.

The Statement makes it clear “that any trade of oil with these entities would be inconsistent with the Council’s resolutions and that all States are required to ensure that their nationals and any persons within their territory do not trade in oil with these entities.”

While there is no current specific U.S. or EU prohibition on the trade of such oil, Jabhat Al-Nasrah in all their guises are designated by the US, and by the EU under Regulation 583/2014 of 28 May 2014 amending Regulation 881/2002.

Engagement in direct or indirect trades involving designated entities could constitute financial support for such entities.  In the case of Jabhat Al-Nasrah which is already designated by the EU and US, such activities could expose those participating in them to penalties.

In light of the UN Resolution, it would not be surprising if specific new US and EU legislation and restrictive measures were introduced against the purchase, import, transport, financing, insurance and reinsurance of activities related to oil originating in ISIL and Jabhat Al-Nasrah controlled areas.