Russia/Ukraine Sanctions

On April 24, 2024, President Biden signed HR 815, “Making emergency supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2024, and for other purposes,” into law (the “National Security Supplemental” or the “NSS”). The National Security Supplemental appropriates funds to provide security assistance to Ukraine, Israel, and US partners in the Indo-Pacific and humanitarian aid for Gaza. Alongside the appropriations measures, the National Security Supplemental includes the “21st Century Peace through Strength Act”, a collection of fourteen sanctions, export controls, and related regulatory measures targeting Iran, Russia, and China, in addition to areas of concern including narcotics trafficking, terrorist financing, and misuse of information and communications technology and services (“ICTS”).

In this post, we assess these new developments and the areas where they will likely have the greatest impact.Continue Reading President Signs Expansive Sanctions Bill Into Law; Doubling of Limitations Period for IEEPA Violations Likely to Have Major Impact

On April 12, 2024, in a coordinated action the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) in the United States and the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office, HM Treasury, and Department for Business and Trade (“DBT”) in the United Kingdom announced expanded sanctions targeting certain Russian metals, including limiting the use of in-scope metals on the two largest global metal exchanges and in over-the-counter derivatives trading by imposing new regulations on the activities of U.S. persons and persons subject to UK sanctions jurisdiction. The United States also added restrictions related to the importation of certain Russian metals produced after a certain date (but not items made from those metals).Continue Reading United States and United Kingdom Take Coordinated Action Against Russian Federation Metals

On February 23, 2024, the United States issued a broad set of new Russia-related sanctions and export controls in response to the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the February 16, 2024, death of opposition leader, Aleksey Navalny, in Russian custody.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), and the State Department all issued new designations.  The agencies also issued an inter-agency advisory warning non-Russian companies from doing business in or with Russia.Continue Reading US Government Imposes New Russia Sanctions, Designating Over 500 Parties and Issuing Interagency Russia Business Advisory

The UK government introduced new reporting requirements under The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (“Russia Regulations”) in December 2023, with the goal of strengthening transparency in relation to assets frozen under the regime and assisting HM Treasury’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (“OFSI”) to monitor compliance with, and detect evasion of, financial sanctions administered under the Russia regime.  The two new reporting measures are the immobilized assets reporting measure and the designated persons asset reporting measure.  On February 12, 2024, OFSI’s Director, Giles Thomson, published a new blog explaining the practical implications of these new measures.  OFSI also has updated its Russia sanctions guidance to include new FAQs addressing the implementation of the second new reporting obligation.Continue Reading OFSI Publishes Update on New Russia Sanctions Reporting Requirements

On December 22, 2023, President Biden issued a new Executive Order (“EO”) 14114 “Taking Additional Steps With Respect to the Russian Federation’s Harmful Activities” which amended EOs 14024 and 14068. These amendments introduce the authority to impose secondary sanctions with respect to foreign (i.e., non-US) financial institutions determined to have engaged in any significant transaction for or on behalf of certain entities designated under EO 14024, or to have engaged in any significant transaction or provided any service involving the Russian military-industrial base (which is broadly defined). The amendments also expand upon the ban on the importation and entry into the United States of Russian-origin fish and seafood, alcoholic beverages, non-industrial diamonds, and gold.Continue Reading New Secondary Sanctions Target Non-US Banks That Engage in Transactions with Russia’s Military-Industrial Base

On December 11, 2023, the UK’s Department for Business & Trade (“DBT”) published a General Trade Licence of indefinite duration concerning measures related to third-country processed iron and steel, pursuant to The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (the “Russia Regulations”) (the “GL”).  The GL has been introduced to provide additional clarity in key areas for traders navigating these sanctions.Continue Reading UK’s Department for Business & Trade Issues New General Trade Licence for Third-Country Processed Iron and Steel Measures

On December 14, 2023, the UK government issued new Russia sanctions legislation under The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No.4) Regulations 2023 (“Amendment No. 4”) and The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No.5) Regulations 2023 (“Amendment No. 5”).  The new sanctions make good on commitments made by the United Kingdom as part of the G7 earlier in 2023 such as sanctions targeting Russian diamonds and metals.  The package also includes new financial sanctions restrictions on the provision of correspondent banking and payment processing by UK credit and financial institutions and measures designed to support businesses that decide to divest from Russia.  With respect to trade sanctions, the items falling within the scope of a number of existing sanctions measures have been significantly broadened.  Finally, new reporting obligations have been imposed on both relevant firms and designated persons to provide greater transparency on assets held in the UK and to improve compliance with the existing sanctions regime. Continue Reading UK Issues New Package of Russia Financial and Trade Sanctions

On December 6, 2023, the UK’s National Economic Crime Centre (“NECC”) issued a red alert concerning the export of high-risk goods that Russia is using on the battlefield in Ukraine.  The red alert outlines sanctions evasion red flags for the financial services, transportation, and logistics sectors, including features of suspicious transactions, customers, requested services, and items.  In addition, HM Treasury’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (“OFSI”) has designated 46 individuals and entities based in Russia, Belarus, China, Serbia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”), and Uzbekistan suspected of supplying the Russian military with sanctioned goods and technology. 

On December 11, 2023, Industry and Economic Security Minister, Nusrat Ghani, also announced the creation of the Office of Trade Sanctions Implementation (“OTSI”), a new unit focused on the civil enforcement of UK trade sanctions that will launch in early 2024.  OTSI’s remit will include the investigation and enforcement of sanctions evasion.

These developments underscore the UK government’s continued commitment to cracking down on the evasion of sanctions (particularly under the Russia sanctions regimes), as well as an increased focus on using designation powers to target behavior outside the scope of UK sanctions enforcement jurisdiction that the UK government considers undesirable from a foreign policy perspective.Continue Reading UK Publishes Red Alert on Sanctions Evasion, Makes New Designations, and Announces the Creation of Trade Sanctions Civil Enforcement Body

On September 14, 2023, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”), the Department of State, and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) announced new sanctions designations and export control guidance related to Russia.  These developments are the latest updates in the U.S. government’s ever-evolving response to Russia’s war in Ukraine through economic sanctions and export controls.Continue Reading U.S. Government Issues New Russia-related Sanctions Designations and Export Controls Guidance

On September 8, 2023, the UK Departments for Business and Trade and International Trade jointly published guidance on the scope of the sanctions on certain Russian iron and steel products processed in a third country that will come into effect under Part 5, Chapter 4CA of The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (“Russia Regulations”) on September 30, 2023 (“Guidance”).  The measure seeks to reduce circumvention of sanctions on the covered Russian iron and steel products by limiting market participants’ ability to conceal the Russian origin of these items through third country processing.  The Guidance confirms that there will be no exceptions or transitional period in relation to the goods covered by the prohibition that was introduced in The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) Regulations 2023 in April 2023, making it important for impacted companies to promptly assess the Guidance to determine the likely impact of the sanctions on their business activities and put in place controls to ensure compliance with the new restrictions timely.Continue Reading UK Publishes Guidance on the Scope of Sanctions Targeting Russian Iron and Steel Products Processed in Third Countries