The Sanctions Monitoring Board (SMB) has issued Guidance Notes on the Targeted Financial Sanctions. These Guidelines are mostly concerned with subject persons and the additional services which shall be available to them, as well as the relationship maintained between the subject persons and the SMB.
The economic operators are obliged by these Guidelines to be duly informed about these sanctions, as well as making sure that all sanctions are complied with at all times. In the event of any person violating a particular sanction, there is an obligation to stop any transaction from going through, freeze that person’s assets, and report to the SMB.
The SMB is also now proposing a service in which information pertaining to any amendments of the international sanctions lists can be communicated to subject persons. This service is being offered as an incentive to conduct more outreach activities with subject persons, but only if the subject persons report to the SMB in writing.
Subject persons are also subject to reporting requirements with the SMB and the Authority, even in the case of subject persons who do not rely on automated mechanisms. If the subject person is doubtful that a transaction is exclusively a sanction issue, the subject person may report to the Authority. Any sanction-related issue may be reported to the competent authority, where these sanctions will be investigated.
Furthermore, the National Interest (Enabling Powers) Act has subsequently been amended to allow the SMB to give sanctions in the Republic of Malta under international law. This amendment has been done in a manner that safeguards national interests, but at the same time maintains international standards. This tacitly implies that all subject persons must implement and comply with national and international sanctions legislation.
The SMB also acknowledges the fact that not every subject person may be aware of their freezing and reporting obligations, or that the subject persons may simply refuse to comply with such requirements. It is thus necessary that the economic operator performs the relevant due diligence and advises the SMB accordingly.
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