On 18 June 2018, the Council of the European Union (EU) adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/880, extending the restrictive measures introduced by the EU in response to the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation in 2014. The restrictive measures targeting Crimea and Sevastopol will remain in place until at least 23 June 2019.
Council Decision (CFSP) 2018/880 extends the measures as established by Council Decision 2014/386/CFSP and in respect of which the detailed provisions are contained in Council Regulation (EU) No. 692/2014 (as amended) (Regulation 692/2014).
Regulation 692/2014 imposes broad ranging restrictions targeting economic and financial activity with Crimea and Sevastopol. Most significantly, companies should be aware that there is an absolute prohibition on the import into the EU of any goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol, and similarly a prohibition on providing financial assistance or (re)insurance with respect to the importation of such goods. Further measures include:
- A ban on investment in real estate located in Crimea and Sevastopol
- A ban on investment in the shares and other securities of entities in Crimea and Sevastopol, and a prohibition on providing any loan, credit or wider financing to any entity in Crimea and Sevastopol
- An embargo on the export of certain goods and technology for use in a number of specific sectors to Crimea and Sevastopol. Such sectors include transport, telecommunications, energy, oil, gas and mineral resources. There is also a ban on the provision of certain services related to the infrastructure required for those sector
- A ban on the provision of certain services to the tourism sector in Crimea and Sevastopol
These specific measures targeting Crimea and Sevastopol form part of a wider set of sanctions imposed against Russia. Additional measures include an asset freeze and prohibition on making funds and economic resources available to certain blacklisted persons and entities, whom the EU deem responsible for the Ukrainian crisis and/or the annexation of Crimea (EU Regulation 269/2014). Further, the EU imposes sectoral sanctions in the form of financing restrictions on the largest state-owned Russian banks, oil and defence companies, as well as export restrictions targeting Russia’s oil and defence sectors (EU Regulation 833/2014).
Whilst there is much speculation as to the future direction of EU sanctions targeting Russia, not least in light of the election of the Conte-led government in Italy which has signalled a desire to review such measures as a matter of urgency, it is imperative that companies operating in the EU (including the UK) continue to seek legal advice if they are considering conducting business in or with the Crimea and Sevastopol region. Our global sanctions team, including dedicated experts located in Brussels, London and Washington DC, advises a wide range of European and other international clients on implementation of – and compliance with – sanctions targeting Russia, Crimea and Sevastopol as well as other sanctions regimes (including e.g. Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, Libya).
To find out more, please contact the authors.
Compliments of DLA PIPER , a member of the EACCNY