Australia has imposed financial sanctions and travel bans on 843 individuals and 62 entities directly as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

If you are on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade consolidated list, we expect that you already know, as you may find that you can no longer access your bank accounts or your private yacht. However, the reach of Australia’s sanction regimes goes further than sanctioned individuals and entities. In part one of our three-part series on sanctions risk awareness, we look at the sanctions for certain supply, import and export activities.

Are you involved in the export of oil exploration materials such as casings, tubing, line pipe, or mobile drilling derricks? Is it possible that these items are being used in Russian oil exploration in water deeper than 150 metres?

Are you exporting abalone or lobster? Wine or spirits? Pearls or diamonds? Golf clubs or casino games exceeding $500 per item? Are your luxury goods ending up in Russia?

Do you supply items to Crimea, Sevastopol, Donetsk or Luhansk that might be used in transport, telecommunications, energy or the exploitation of oil and gas?

Are you importing any goods at all from the Specified Ukraine Regions of Crimea, Sevastopol, Donetsk or Luhansk?

If you think you might answer ‘yes’ then read on!

If you answer ‘no’ – one more question – do you provide financial or insurance services to any person or entity who might answer yes? Then tune into our update next week.

The Australian Autonomous Sanctions Regime prohibits:

  • supply to Russia of arms or related material, or items of a kind specified that are suited to:
    • oil exploration and production in waters deeper than 150 metres;
    • oil exploration and production in the offshore area north of the Arctic Circle; or
    • projects that have the potential to produce oil from resources located in shale formations by way of hydraulic fracturing.

There is a specified list of items for this category, some examples are casings and tubing, line pipe, liquid elevators, mobile drilling derricks and drill pipe for these purposes.

  • supply to Specified Ukraine Regions specified items related to transport, telecommunications, energy, and the exploitation of oil, gas and mineral reserves.
  • export aluminium ores, oxide or hydroxide from Australia to Russia;
  • export to Russia any items on the ‘luxury goods’ specification list, that – for example – includes wine, pearls, precious and semi-precious stones, personal consumer electronics, pure-bred horses, lobster and abalone, perfume, luxury vehicles (including yachts), works of art and a long list of other luxury goods;
  • import oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas and coal from Russia; and
  • import ‘any goods’ from a Specified Ukraine Region. ‘Any goods’ is a deliberately broad description.

If you are involved in international trade, it is worth taking a few minutes to review the lists of prohibited supply, import and export items to ensure that you are not at risk of breach.

Firstly, because sanctions breach is a criminal offence.

Secondly, because it may also be a breach of supply, import or export contracts that commonly contain sanctions clauses.

Thirdly, because your activity is unlikely to be covered by insurance, that commonly contains sanctions exclusions.