On 3 August 2022, the Swiss Federal Council decided on the partial implementation of the substantive amendments to the EU sanctions (i.e. the seventh sanctions package), revising the Ordinance on Measures connected with the Situation in Ukraine (the “Ordinance“) accordingly. The amended Ordinance entered into force on 3 August 2022 at 18:00 CET.
In summary, these latest amendments include:
- A new prohibition to purchase as well as to import, transfer or transport, directly or indirectly, into Switzerland gold and gold products, if they originate in Russia and have been exported from Russia after 4 August 2022.
- Carve-outs for agricultural and food products and oil supplies.
- A further amendment to the Swiss list of sanctioned persons.
Further amendments and adjustments contained in the seventh EU sanctions package will still have to be reflected in the Ordinance and will thus enter into force at a later date.
The latest version of the Ordinance is here.
The updated list of sanctioned individuals and entities is here.
Ban on gold and gold products
According to new Article 14d, the purchase of as well as the import, transit and transport (directly or indirectly) into Switzerland of gold and gold products listed in Annex 26 and 27, respectively, originating in and exported from Russia after 4 August 2022, are prohibited. This prohibition also covers jewellery.
Prohibited are also services of any kind, including financial services, brokering and technical assistance, as well as the granting of financing in connection with the purchase, and the import, transit and transport to and through Switzerland, as well as with the provision, manufacture, repair or use of such gold or gold products.
The prohibition does not apply, i.a., to gold products intended for personal use by persons entering Switzerland or an EEA member state, which are owned by these persons and not intended for sale.
The amendments include exemptions in Article 15 from the asset freeze / ban on making available assets or economic resources to designated persons, i.a., where necessary for:
- the sale or transfer of ownership rights in companies domiciled in Switzerland or an EEA member state;
- the purchase, import or transport of agricultural and food products, including wheat and fertilizers (with regards to certain designated persons); and
- the orderly wind-down of operations, including corresponding banking relations, and the sale or transfer of ownership rights in companies domiciled in Switzerland or an EEA member state with regards to Sberbank.
The amendments also include exceptions in Article 24a of the Ordinance from the ban on dealing with state-owned enterprises, i.a,. for transactions which are necessary for:
- the direct or indirect purchase, import or transport of oil, including refined oil products, from or through the Russian Federation, to the extent not prohibited by Articles 12a or 12b of the Ordinance; or
- the purchase, import or transport of pharmaceutical and medicinal products, agricultural and food products, including wheat and fertilizers, to the extent not prohibited by the Ordinance.
Amendment of Switzerland’s list of sanctioned persons
The amendment only concerns the addition of Sberbank, the largest Russian bank, which had not already been listed on 29 July 2022, and a slight modification of the listing of The Alexander Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Fund.
Switzerland’s list of sanctioned individuals and entities in connection with the situation in Ukraine is now fully in line with that of the EU.