Executive Order No. 13536 – Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in Somalia

April 16, 2010

Executive Order No. 13536 and Annex

President Barack Obama entitled Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Conflict in Somalia (the “Order”), attached hereto. The Order declares a national emergency to address the threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States resulting from events in Somalia including “acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia.” The Order prohibits U.S. persons from contributing funds, goods, or services (and from receiving same) from any of the twelve persons/entities identified in the annex to the Order (“blocked person(s)”) as engaging in acts that directly or indirectly threaten the peace, security or stability of Somalia. The Order authorizes the U.S. Treasury Department, in consultation with the State Department, to promulgate regulations in furtherance of the Order.

Although the Order does not specifically prohibit ransom payments to blocked persons, that prohibition can be reasonably interpreted from the language of the Order, which prohibits “the making of any contribution or provision of funds” to a blocked person. To the extent that a pirate is identified as a blocked person, and persons 6 and 7 on the Annex are known pirates, any payment to such pirate by a U.S. person would be prohibited pursuant to the terms of the Order. The Order does not require an intentional violation for the imposition of liability and does not specify the applicable penalties. No regulations or any interpretative guidance have yet been issued and we will continue to monitor any developments.

If you have any questions or concerns about the Order, please contact one of the attorneys listed below.