September 28, 2021

EU initiative to amend Blocking Statute enters public consultation phase

The European Commission has requested public input for its initiative to amend the Blocking Statute, Council Regulation (EC) No. 2271/96 of November 1996, based on the strategy introduced in the EC’s January 19, 2021 communication, “The European economic and financial system:  fostering openness, strength and resilience.”  The amendment seeks would include additional mechanisms to deter the extra-territorial application of third-country sanctions on EU operators, and streamline the application of existing regulations in order to achieve a reduction in compliance costs for EU persons and businesses.  As part of the public consultation phase, which extends from September 9 to November 4, 2021, the Commission invites EU citizens and international stakeholders, including EU public authorities and non-governmental organizations from within and outside of the EU, to complete a questionnaire to share their views and interests in a possible Blocking Statute amendment before it is drafted. 

The initiative, which was announced by the Commission on August 2, 2021, was launched in response to an increased use of sanctions and other regulatory measures by certain third countries, limiting the ability of individuals and entities in the EU to engage in legitimate business transactions that are not prohibited by EU law, and causing a negative impact on the EU economy.  All feedback and suggestions received during the roadmap phase of the initiative have been published on the Commission’s website for review.

European Commission Blocking Statute Amendment Initiative Timeline | Public Consultation Notice