International Society of Primerus Law Firms

European Blocking Legislation Against US Legislation

Brödermann Jahn
Hamburg, Germany

Since August 7, 2018, the EU regulation 2018/1100 is effective. It is a reaction to the statement of U.S. President Donald Trump on May 8, 2018 that the U.S. would (i) unilaterally withdraw the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and (ii) reinstate the temporarily suspended or still suspended acts and sanctions which existed prior to the conclusion of the JCPOA, triggered an EU reaction.

EU regulation 2018/1100  extends the EU Blocking Regulation 2271/96 to sanctions of the USA against Iran, including reintroduced and partially still forthcoming sanctions. The following U.S. acts and regulations have been included in the Annex to the Blocking Regulation:


  • National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1993, title XVII — Cuban Democracy Act 1992, Sections 1704 and 1706
  • Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996
  • Iran Sanctions Act of 1996
  • Iran Freedom and Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012
  • National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012
  • Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012


  • Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations
  • C1 1. 31 CFR chapter V (7-1-95) Part 515 — Cuban Assets Control Regulations, subpart B, E and G.

Thereby, the EU maintains its foreign policy approach towards Iran and is not joining the U.S. in its withdrawal. Therefore, the above-mentioned US extraterritorial measures against Iran are now listed in a new Annex to the Blocking Regulation.

As a result, conflicts between European and U.S. law may arise in the future. In this context, affected person(s) should note the following:

  1. If a decision (including court judgments and arbitral awards) is rendered by or in a third country (like the USA) on the basis of acts listed in the Annex to the Blocking Regulation or acts or provisions adopted pursuant to them, these are declared invalid in the EU (see Art. 4). Pursuant to Article V No. 2.b, the recognition or enforcement of an award based on acts listed in the Annex to the Blocking Regulation would be contrary to the public policy of all EU member states.
  1. If an EU operator suffers damage as a result of the application of the extraterritorial acts listed in the Annex to the Blocking Regulation, it has the possibility of claiming compensation from the natural or legal person who caused the damage (see Art. 6).
  1. To ensure compliance with the prohibition of boycott declarations pursuant to Section 7 of the German Foreign Trade Regulation, an application may be made for permission to comply in whole or in part with the listed extraterritorial acts. The precondition is that otherwise the interests of the EU operator or those of the Union would be seriously harmed (see Art. 5 para. 2).

As a result of the conflicting legal situation on the two sides of the Atlantic, compliance management has become more complex. Further information can be obtained from Eckart Brödermann or Christoph Oertel, both partners in the law firm of Broedermann Jahn in Hamburg, Germany.

In his practice, Prof. Dr. Prof. Dr. Broedermann has concentrated both on international business law (including distribution schemes, M&A, trade, international construction) and on international litigation and arbitration for 25 years.  In his teaching at Hamburg University and in his publications, Prof. Dr. Broedermann concentrates on international contract law (including risk management) and on international arbitration.  His education includes University of Paris, Harvard Law School, and the University of Hamburg.  He is fluent in German, English, French, and Italian.  Prof. Dr. Broedermann is a German Bar “Certified Specialist of International Economic Law.”

Dr. Christoph Oertel studied law in Cologne, Paris and Berlin and completed his legal clerkship in Hamburg and Brussels. Dr. Oertel received his doctorate from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. In his practice, Dr. Oertel focuses on compliance and international trade law and just published a commentary on the INCOTERMS® 2010.

Broedermann Jahn is also a member of The International Society of Primerus Law Firms.


Prof. Dr. Eckart Broedermann
ABC-Straße 15
Hamburg, 20354   Germany
+49 40 37 09 05 0

The general information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances.

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