On 25 September 2015, the European Commission published an updated Commission Guidance Note on the application of restrictions imposed on the Russian financial sector pursuant to Council Regulation (EU) No. 833/2014 as amended by Council Regulation (EU) No. 960/2014 and Council Regulation (EU) No. 1290/2014 (“Regulation 833”).

Regulation 833 (see Issue 32 of the Sanctions Alert) limits access to EU capital markets and long-term loans for certain listed Russian State-owned financial institutions, defence industry companies and oil companies; restricts the provision of certain military and dual-use goods and related services; and restricts the supply of certain oilindustry related goods and services to Russia.

The guidance note, which is an updated and consolidated version of that originally published on 16 December 2014 (see Issue 33 of the Sanctions Alert), is written in the form of answers to questions that have been brought to the Commission’s attention. Among other things, it adds new clarifications on the scope of the loan restrictions (including that loans cannot be rolled over for longer than 30 days and pre-existing loans cannot be forgiven) and the status of promissory notes, bills of lading and depository receipts in relation to the capital markets restrictions.