By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Experts from law firm Baker McKenzie said it is clear that UAE companies are taking a more conservative approach to dealings with Iran
A significant number of UAE companies are “very concerned” about unwittingly breaching US sanctions against Iran, according to global law firm Baker McKenzie.
To address these concerns, the law firm recently held an event for nearly 200 executives from corporates, financial institutions and government entities to discuss the business implications of the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, as well as the impact of sanctions.
“With the constantly-evolving international sanctions regimes, companies in the Middle East are balancing the risks and rewards of doing business with Iran, sometimes facing an irreconcilable dilemma around which sanctions regimes to comply with,” said Borys Dackiw, UAE head of compliance at Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla.
Dackiw added that “although there is no outright prohibition in the UAE of trading with Iran, it is evident that UAE companies are taking a more conservative approach.”
“Accordingly, companies will need to frame a risk assessment of their entire business model and consider the potential compliance and sanctions-related risks,” he said.
Similarly, Kerry Contini, a Washington DC-based international trade partner with Baker McKenzie said that many UAE and GCC companies are particularly concerned about their exposure under secondary sanctions and the contractual and third party relationship issues that can arise from that.
“Examining contracts with US suppliers, customers and intermediaries closely will be key and can help protect companies from sanctions-related risks,” Contini said.