On 30 March 2022, the UK government published the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 7) Regulations 2022 (“Amendment (No. 7) Regulations”), introducing further amendments to the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. In particular, the Amendment (No. 7) Regulations:
- confer a power on the Secretary of State to designate persons by description (instead of identifying them by name);
- extend the existing finance, shipping and trade sanctions relating to Crimea, as well as the relevant exceptions and licensing provisions, to the non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions; and
- impose a prohibition in relation to aviation and shipping technical assistance on aircraft or ships belonging to designated persons or their businesses.
Additionally, the new Amendment also corrects / resolves a number of issues arising from the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 6) Regulations 2022 (S.I. 2022/241).
Designation by description
The Amendment (No. 7) Regulations confer on the Secretary of State a power to provide that persons of a specified description are designated persons, which will enable the UK Government to collectively designate persons who are members of a group, instead of identifying persons by name. As with any person designated by name, a person designated by description may be subject to financial sanctions, as well as shipping or aircraft sanctions.
Technical assistance relating to aircraft and ships
A new prohibition is also introduced on the provision of “technical assistance” – provided directly or indirectly – relating to an aircraft or ship to, or for the benefit of, a designated person. This prohibition is not contravened where: (i) there was no reasonable cause to suspect that the technical assistance was provided to, or for the benefit of, a designated person; or (ii) a failure to provide technical assistance would endanger the lives of persons on board or the safety of the aircraft / ship.
Extension of existing Crimea measures to the non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts
As expected, the Amendment (No. 7) Regulations also extend the existing finance, shipping and trade sanctions relating to Crimea to the non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The Regulations also extend the relevant exceptions and licensing provisions to the relevant Donetsk and Luhansk regions, including an exception permitting the satisfaction of obligations arising under a prior contract concluded before 23 February 2022 in certain situations.