• Fair, Anderson Langerman

Ukraine Crisis - Sanctions Overview

Across the globe, governments including the 27 member states of the European Union, Switzerland, and the United States of America have taken decisive action by issuing stringent sanctions against Russia, following its military invasion of Ukraine.

You may be wondering if these sanctions apply to your business. We have created a guide to help you determine what to consider when updating your company policies and operations.

Background

All companies involved in the cross-border movement of goods and services must have a robust trade compliance program with comprehensive internal controls and processes for managing import and export compliance obligations. Businesses need to understand the applicable regulatory and commercial requirements involving the cross-border transfer of merchandise and services including those of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Treasury and equivalent regulatory agencies in foreign jurisdictions.

An effective trade compliance program must include export compliance training materials and a corporate-wide approach to support company efforts in managing risk. A company that does not have an effective trade compliance program with appropriate processes and procedures in place including comprehensive training of personnel and effective customer and vendor management faces the risk of significant monetary penalties, potential criminal proceedings, loss of export privileges, and reputational harm.

Moreover, companies must remain current and up to date on all rules and regulations implemented by regulatory agencies such as the recently imposed sanctions by the United States and other countries in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Such changes may occur with little or no advance warning and must be adhered to.

Am I affected?

To establish the potential impact on your business, BDO’s global response team has prepared a set of key questions your organization may consider in the light of current developments:

  • Do you have operations in Russia, Belarus or Ukraine?

  • Do you conduct any activities with any Government of Russia, Belarus or Ukraine?

  • Is Russia, Belarus or Ukraine integral to your supply chain?

  • Do you know all of the end users of your products and where they are located?

  • Do you receive or conduct any payments from or to Russia, Belarus or Ukraine?

  • Do you facilitate movement of funds / goods / services to Russia, Belarus or Ukraine?

  • Do you produce, import, export or deal in any goods or technologies that are subject to sanctions or U.S. Export Administration Regulations?

  • Do you produce, import, export or deal in any goods or technologies that are considered dual-use?

  • Do you operate or plan to operate in the precious metals, petrochemical, airports, insurance, travel agents, aircraft, petroleum, oil or gas industries or the military or defense sectors?

  • Do you know the beneficial owners of the companies with whom you do business?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be subject to compliance with new sanctions imposed since February 2022.

The Sanctions

What follows is a brief summary of the sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus.


Banking & Finance

Financial sector sanctions on Russia and Belarus:

  • Transaction restriction for Central Bank of Russia and Belarus and major Russian financial institutions (VTB, Sberbank, VEB, Promsvyabank, Rossiya, etc.), including owned/controlled entities such as:

  • Asset freezes

  • Loan and credit arrangements restrictions

  • Correspondent banking sanctions

  • Sectoral and sovereign debt sanctions

  • SWIFT disconnection and restrictions for many Russian and Belarussian banks and their subsidiaries

  • Prohibition of provision of public financing for trade with and investment in sanctioned regions

  • Prohibiting provision of euro denominated banknotes to sanctioned regions

  • Deposit limit for nationals or residents of sanctioned regions

Imports

Restrictions on goods from sanctioned regions, such as:

  • Fish, seafood, and preparations thereof

  • Alcoholic beverages

  • Non-industrial diamonds

  • Restrictions and bans on all imports of crude oil from Russia

Additionally:

  • Restrictions on import of goods which originate in Crimea

  • Restrictions on import of iron and steel, and services relating to a relevant infrastructure sector in Crimea

  • Restrictions on services relating to tourism in Crimea

Energy

  • Restrictions and / or banning all imports of crude oil from Russia

  • New investment restrictions in the Russian energy sector

  • New export restriction on equipment, technology and services for the energy industry

  • Expansion of export controls on the Russian oil refinery sector posing limitations for the export, reexport and in-country transfer of critical oil refining equipment.

Global Mobility

Significant number of transportation and aviation restrictions, including:

  • Russian airlines banned from European airspace, UK, Canada plus others

  • Countries advising citizens not to travel to Russia (in part due to flight availability)

  • Blocking designations

  • Visa restrictions

Individuals, including Politically Exposed Persons (“PEPs”) and Oligarchs

Targeting of key individuals and entities — oligarchs, members of the Russian Duma, etc.

Major expansion of personal asset freezes:

  • Far-reaching designation of senior Russian individuals

  • Hundreds of members of the Russian State Duma (parliament)

  • Hundreds of prominent businesses people, oligarchs and entities

In addition to personal asset freezes, further measures introduced and expected targeting wealthy Russians:

  • Restrictions on the acceptance of any deposits from Russian nationals and residents or entities established in Russia

  • Bank account limitations for designated individuals

  • A new register of overseas entities is to be introduced in UK to stop the foreign owners of property from hiding their identity

Exports

Embargoes and Export Controls

  • Export restrictions for U.S. technology

  • There are broad technology sanctions banning export of U.S. technologies to Russia as well as more targeted sanctions at military end users and certain sectors of the Russian economy such as aviation

  • Maritime sector sanctions

  • Restrictions on export of maritime navigation goods and radio communication technology by Russia

  • Export ban on luxury goods to Russia and Belarus

  • Restrictions on the export, reexport or in-country transfer of luxury goods such as certain spirits, tobacco products, perfumes, skincare products, leather used in handbags and luggage, fur, fabrics and textiles, clothing, diamonds and other gemstones, precious metals, vehicles and antique goods

  • Embargos have been imposed on the non-government-controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine.

Media

Sanctions directed towards several legal entities providing media information, including:

  • Sputnik

  • RT branches (RT English; RT UK; RT Germany; RT France; and RT Spanish)

Under the measures, the broadcasting and distribution of content produced by these outlets — via any means of transmission, including cable, satellite and internet platforms, amongst others — are prohibited within the EU and other regions.

Military

Sanctions primarily targeting the Russian defense, maritime and aviation sector

  • Prohibitions and / or restrictions on export of military goods and military technology to sanctioned regions

  • Prohibition of exports of sensitive technology including semiconductors, sensors, navigation, encryption, security, avionics, microelectronics, and aircraft components to sanctioned regions

  • Restriction on export of aviation and space goods and technology

  • Prohibition of technical assistance, armed personnel, financial services or funds, or associated brokering services enabling sanctioned regions to conduct military activities

  • Restrictions on export of maritime navigation goods and radio communication technology by Russia[1]

For the latest sanctions updates, we recommend visiting the below listed websites of sanctions issuing bodies internationally:

  • European Union (EUR-Lex)

  • Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)

  • U.S. Department of Treasury - Office of Foreign Assets Control

  • U.S. Department of Commerce - Bureau of Industry and Security

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