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Sanctions against Russia (status 12 April)

News item supervision

Published: 12 April 2022

Schip in de haven met hijskranen

On 8 April 2022, the European Union imposed new sanctions against Belarus and Russia. As this is an extraordinary situation, we are providing a brief explanation in this news release. Below, we discuss the sanctions in force at the time of posting of this news release.

Developments in the situation in Ukraine

The developments surrounding the situation in Ukraine are currently unfolding in rapid succession.  We expect institutions to ensure they keep abreast of the latest developments. We will provide updates on developments should the situation warrant this. We would explicitly draw your attention to the following:

  • It is now prohibited to register, provide a registered office, business address, administrative address or management services to a trust – by which is meant the Anglo-Saxon legal form, rather than a trust office that we supervise – or any similar legal arrangement having as a trustor or a beneficiary: (i) Russian nationals or natural persons residing in Russia, (ii) legal persons, entities or bodies established in Russia, (iii) certain other persons. It is also prohibited to act as or arrange for another person to act as a trustee or beneficiary, if the beneficiary is a Russian citizen, or is a natural person residing in the Russian Federation or a legal person or entity established in the Russian Federation, and for related parties.

Sanctions against Russia

In light of Russia’s continuing war of aggression against Ukraine, and the reported atrocities committed by Russian armed forces in Ukraine, the Council decided to impose a fifth package of economic and individual sanctions against Russia. It was published in the EU Official Journal on 8 April 2022. The agreed package includes a series of measures intended to reinforce pressure on the Russian government and economy, and to limit the Kremlin’s resources for the aggression.

The package comprises:

  • A prohibition to purchase, import or transfer coal and other solid fossil fuels into the EU if they originate in Russia or are exported from Russia, as from August 2022.
  • A prohibition to provide access to EU ports to vessels registered under the flag of Russia. Derogations are granted for agricultural and food products, humanitarian aid, and energy.
  • A ban on any Russian and Belarusian road transport undertaking preventing them from transporting goods by road within the EU, including in transit. Derogations are nonetheless granted for a number of products, such as pharmaceutical, medical, agricultural and food products, including wheat, and for road transport for humanitarian purposes.
  • Further export bans, targeting jet fuel and other goods such as quantum computers and advanced semiconductors, high-end electronics, software, sensitive machinery and transportation equipment, and new import bans on products such as wood, cement, fertilisers, seafood and liquor. The agreed export and import bans account for €10 billion and €5.5 billion respectively.
  • A series of targeted economic measures intended to strengthen existing measures and close loopholes, such as a general EU ban on participation of Russian companies in public procurement in member states, the exclusion of all financial support to Russian public bodies, a prohibition to provide crypto-asset wallets, accounts or custody services if the total value of crypto-assets of the Russian national or natural person residing in Russia or legal person, entity or body established in Russia exceeds €10,000, and a ban on the sale of banknotes and transferable securities denominated in any official currencies of the EU member states to Russia and Belarus, or to any natural or legal person, entity or body in Russia and Belarus.

Furthermore, the Council decided to sanction companies whose products or technology have played a role in the invasion, key oligarchs and businesspeople, high-ranking Kremlin officials, proponents of disinformation and information manipulation, systematically spreading the Kremlin’s narrative on Russia's war aggression in Ukraine, as well as family members of already sanctioned individuals, in order to make sure that EU sanctions are not circumvented.

Moreover, a full transaction ban is imposed on four key Russian banks representing 23% of market share in the Russian banking sector. After being de-SWIFTed these banks will now be subject to an asset freeze, thereby being completely cut off from EU markets.

What institutions supervised by DNB must do

Read this article on what your obligations are for complying with the Sanctions Act and what you should do if you encounter a hit In short, we expects you to act as follows:

  • Check whether these regulations apply, for example, to your clients, members or investments made.
  • If they do, immediately act in compliance with the regulations’ orders and prohibitions.
  • If you find that the identity of a business relation matches that of a person or entity mentioned in the sanctions regulations (a “hit”), you must notify us immediately, using the prescribed notification form. Please email the form to us at sancties@dnb.nl. You can download the report form from this page: Getting around in sanctions regulations.
  • If DNB has any questions about your notification, you should answer them immediately.
  • In certain cases, a “hit” can be regarded as an unusual transaction within the meaning of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act (Wet ter voorkoming van witwassen en financiering van terrorisme – Wwft). If so, report this transaction to FIU-the Netherlands.

This is an additional news service. Institutions retain the responsibility to stay abreast of and comply with sanctions legislation in a timely and accurate manner. We realise that a lot is being asked of you and that the changes in sanctions are taking place in rapid succession.

We also distribute regular email updates on the UN, EU and Dutch sanctions regimes. If you want to subscribe, you can sign up for our news service. We sent out an email update on 11 April. Click to read this message.