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Swiss Sanctions Against Russia – Further Maintenance And Alignment Measures – Export Controls & Trade & Investment Sanctions



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The Swiss Federal Council continues aligning the Swiss
sanctions regime to the EU sanctions against Russia. On August 31,
2022, the Swiss Federal Council implemented the remaining technical
EU maintenance and alignment measures, which mainly consisted of
adjustments of existing measures, such as the ban on accepting
deposits or the bans on credit rating services. Also, as
anticipated, the EU prohibitions on awarding public contracts to
Russian nationals or to entities or bodies established in Russia
have also been adopted in Switzerland

1. Introduction

On August 31, 2022, the Swiss Federal Council adjusted certain
sanctions measures against Russia and thus implemented the
remaining EU maintenance and alignment measures.

In particular, the adjustments include an extension of the scope
of the restriction on accepting deposits to specifically cover
entities established outside Switzerland and the EEA that are
majority owned (directly or indirectly) by Russian nationals or
residents.

Contrarily to the restriction on accepting deposits and similar
to the EU, the scope of the restriction on accepting crypto-assets
and provision of related services remained the same.

The scope of the asset freeze has also been extended to
expressly cover assets and economic resources owned or controlled
directly or indirectly by natural persons, enterprises and entities
acting on behalf of or at the direction of persons listed in Annex
8, as well as enterprises and entities that are owned or controlled
by such persons.

Further, similar to the EU, Switzerland has introduced a
prohibition on awarding public contracts to Russian nationals or to
entities or bodies established in Russia.

The corresponding amendments to the Ordinance on measures in
connection with the situation in Ukraine (“UKRO”) entered
into force on August 31, 2022 at 18:00 CEST1

Also, on August 31, 2022, the State Secretariat for Economic
Affairs (SECO) published an amended version of its clarifications
in the form of “frequently asked questions” (FAQ)
document2 , inter alia to reflect the extension of the
scope of the restriction on accepting deposits. Indeed, the
previous official guidance in this regard was that accounts of
entities established outside Russia whose beneficial owner is a
Russian person do not fall under the restriction on accepting
deposits. SECO has already changed its position once to bring it in
line with the previous EU interpretation. This time, SECO has
reversed its position again.

The below provides a summary overview of the most notable
restrictions in force today. The corresponding changes introduced
since our last update are highlighted in red.

2. Summary overview of the most notable Swiss sanctions against
Russia in force as of August 31, 2022 @ 18:00 CEST














UKRO / Annex

Subject matter3

Status (in force since)

Transitional provisions

Exemptions / Practical considerations

Art. 6

Amendment of the scope of the exemptions
from Art. 4 (Goods for civil and military use) and Art. 5 (Goods
for military and technological reinforcement)

March 4, 2022 at 18:00

Update: August 31, 2022 at 18:00

N/A

Now goods and services intended to be
used to ensure cybersecurity and information security for natural
and legal persons, entities, and organizations in the Russian
Federation, with the exception of its government and enterprises
that the government directly or indirectly controls fall under the
restriction and are no longer exempt from the ban.
However, these goods and services may be subject to an
exemption granted by SECO

Art. 9

Introduction of a new exemption to the
ban on sale and export of goods for the aeronautical and space
industry

March 4, 2022 at 18:00

Update: August 31, 2022 at 18:00

N/A

The prohibition to provide services,
including technical assistance or brokering services, related to
the problematic goods or in connection with the provision,
manufacture, maintenance and use of such goods to any person or
entity in, or for use in, the Russian Federation does not
apply
to the exchange of information for the purpose of
establishing technical standards within the International Civil
Aviation Organization

Art. 9a (Annex 16)

A ban on export4 of maritime navigation goods and
technology
and provision of any services, including
technical assistance or related financial support

March 25, 2022 at 23:00

N/A

SECO may authorize exemptions from this
prohibition (i) for non-military purposes and (ii) for a
non-military end-user, (iii) if such goods or technologies or the
technical assistance or the related financial aid are intended for
maritime safety

Art. 9b (Annex 19)

A ban on export of jet fuel and additives and
provision of any services, including technical assistance or
related financial support

April 27, 2022 at 18:00

N/A

 

Art. 10 (Annex 4)

A ban on export of goods for petroleum refining was supplemented
with a ban on export of goods for natural gas
liquefaction
and provision of the services related
thereto

April 27, 2022 at 18:00

The ban does not apply to transactions governed by contracts
entered into prior to March 5, 2022 and executed
until June 3, 2022

SECO may, after consultation with the competent
services of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA),
authorize derogations from these prohibitions
insofar as (i) this is urgently necessary to prevent or (ii)
mitigate an event likely to have serious and significant effects on
human health and safety or on the environment. In urgent
and duly justified cases
, the export of goods listed in
Annex 4 may take place without prior
authorization
, provided that the exporter informs SECO
within 5 working days of the export and explains the reasons for
such activities without prior authorizatio

Footnotes

1 A free English translation and a redline against the
version of August 3, 2022 are available, respectively
here
and
here
.

2 A free English translation and a redline against the
version of July 5, 2022 are available, respectively
here
and
here
.

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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