On February 28, 2022, the Federal Council of Switzerland ( “Federal Council”) decided to adopt the European Union’s (EU) sanctions against Russia. Therefore, the existing regulation was subject to a total revision on March 4, 2022 (Verordnung vom 4. März 2022 über Massnahmen im Zusammenhang mit der Situation in der Ukraine (SR 9188.8.131.52)). The Federal Council enacted further sanctions against Russia and Belarus on April 27, 2022. This implements the Federal Council’s decision of April 13, 2022 to largely adopt the EU’s latest sanctions package.
The Swiss sanctions can be divided into trade restriction measures and financial restriction measures.
The Swiss Sanctions impose various prohibitions in connection with the import and/or export of specific goods (e.g. military and dual use goods, goods for aerospace and maritime use, fuels and energy, goods of industrial importance) and/or to or from designated areas (in particular: Crimea, Sevastopol as well as areas of the Ukrainian oblast of Donetsk and the Ukrainian oblast of Luhansk not controlled by the Ukrainian government).
The financial restrictions primarily focus on the blocking of funds and economic resources owned or controlled by sanctioned natural persons, enterprises and entities as well as the prohibition of transactions with specified state-owned enterprises. Furthermore, the Swiss sanctions prohibit the registration of trusts for Russian nationals or natural or legal persons resident in Russia as well as the provision of various services for such trusts.
Currently, it can be difficult to get an overview of the numerous sanctions provisions and to clarify which transactions are covered by the sanctions provisions and which business opportunities can continue to be pursued. In addition, the EU Sanctions (EU Regulation (EU) 833/2014) extend its applicability extraterritorially, in particular in relation to nationals of Member States of the EU. Therefore, we highly recommend to clarify whether and to what extent the EU sanctions affect the specific case.
Do you have further questions? The HütteLAW team will be happy to advise you.
Author: Gregor Jeker
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