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Sanctions against Russia (status 4 March)
Published: 04 March 2022
On 28 February and 2 March 2022, the EU imposed new sanctions against Russia. As this is an extraordinary situation, we are providing a brief explanation in this news release. Below, we discuss the sanctions in force on 4 March 2022 at the time of dispatch.
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:
- Sanctions evasion through, for example, concealment or engaging intermediaries, is a risk that financial institutions should take into account. This risk cannot be mitigated by relying solely on the information provided by the customer. We are also receiving signals from various quarters that a flight into cryptos by sanctioned parties is a real risk. We request that you take these signals into account when assessing the risk that your institution directly or indirectly does business with sanctioned parties and to take appropriate measures against this; and
- if you find that the identity of a relationship matches that of a natural or legal person, entity or body mentioned in the sanctions regulations (a “hit”), you must notify us immediately. Read this article on what your obligations are for complying with the Sanctions Act and what you should do if you encounter a hit
If you doubt whether a specific instance is an actual "hit", you must make further investigations to determine or exclude the possibility of a match with the sanctions lists. You may encounter many potential hits when screening against the sanctions lists. You must check them all for matches with the various lists before you report them to us. You should only report actual hits. You must not report “false positives”.
We only assess the reports we receive for completeness. As a supervisor, we cannot give any advice or opinion on whether a specific instance is an actual hit.
Sanctions against Russia
Under the package of 2 March, the European Union (EU) bans seven Russian banks from the SWIFT system. The prohibition will enter into force on the tenth day after the publication in the Official Journal of the EU.
In addition, it is prohibited to sell, supply, transfer or export euro-denominated banknotes to Russia or to any natural or legal person, entity or body in Russia, including the government and the Central Bank of Russia, or for use in Russia.
There is also a ban on investing in, participating in or otherwise contributing to projects co-financed by the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
The EU bans the broadcasting in the EU of the Russian media channels Russia Today and Sputnik, and their subsidiaries. This is prohibited until Russian aggression against Ukraine ceases and until Russia and its media outlets stop their disinformation campaigns and information manipulation against the EU and its Member States.
On 28 February, the EU decided to close EU airspace to all aircraft owned by Russians or, registered in or controlled by Russia. These aircraft will no longer be allowed to land in, take off from or fly over the territory of the EU.
In addition, targeted measures are imposed on another 26 politically exposed persons (PEPs) and 1 entity.
The EU is also tackling the Lukashenko regime in Belarus with a new package of sanctions, notably through restrictive measures against the country's key industries to stop it from exporting products. The EU is also extending to Belarus the restrictions on the export of dual-use goods to Russia, and imposing sanctions on Belarusian citizens who support Russia's war effort.
All these measures are in addition to the package of measures agreed with our international partners, which was presented on 26 February. You can find a timeline of restrictive EU measures in response to the crisis in Ukraine here.
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 customers, 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 email@example.com. You can download the report form from this page: Getting around in sanctions regulations (dnb.nl).
- 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 3 March. Click here to read this message.
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