Chapter 15: Corporations and US economic sanctions: the dangers of overcompliance
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This paper focusses on the various issues triggered by the notion of ‘overcompliance’ in the field of US economic sanctions. It defines ‘overcompliance’ as a conduct or process that adopts a stricter stance than ‘compliance’ by introducing controls and checks that go beyond what is strictly necessary to comply with the applicable laws and regulations. The paper proposes a typology of patterns of overcompliance with regard to ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ economic sanctions. It then moves on to examine drivers of overcompliance, which include prudence, fear and the creation of ambiguous or unstable policies by US regulators. Finally, this paper analyses the risks of overcompliance, which may come to harm third parties, and attempts to find a solution to the ‘overcompliance problem’.

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