The Australian Government has released for comment draft regulations and a specification instrument to implement expanded sanctions relating to Russia and Ukraine (announced 1 September 2014).

Submissions on the draft instruments are invited by 9 December 2014. Details of the draft instruments can be found here.

Businesses need to understand the details of the proposed instruments and their practical application. Particular issues include:

  • working through the lists of sanctioned subject-matter and activities;
  • assessing how the part country application of sanctions would work in practice; and
  • for contracts already concluded, determining what needs to be done to comply with the new sanctions.

If enacted, the draft regulations would primarily implement the new sanctions by:

  • listing sanctioned goods for Russia, Crimea and Sevastopol (in addition to the goods identified in the Regulations, the specification instrument lists 30 items for Russia and 32 items for Crimea and Sevastopol);
  • including rules and several clarification amendments to apply sanctions to part of a country (Crimea and Sevastopol);
  • adding sanctioned services for Russia for specified oil project activities;
  • adding sanctioned commercial activity for Russia, Crimea and Sevastopol for different activities (in addition to the activities detailed in the Regulations, for Crimea and Sevastopol, 202 items of mineral resources subject to sanctioned commercial activity are listed in the specification instrument);
  • making provision to list entities for a category of sanctioned commercial activity (the specification instrument lists several entities by category); and
  • inserting new definitions of “money-market instruments” and “tradeable securities” which are included to expand what is a “sanctioned commercial activity”.

Australia's initial designated persons and entities  sanctions relating to Russia commenced on 19 June 2014.  On 1 September 2014 the Australian Government expanded the designated persons and entities list and announced additional autonomous sanctions relating to Russia (in coordination with sanctions being imposed in the United States, Canada and Europe). The draft instruments contain those additional sanctions.