UK Amends Designation of Arkady Rotenberg: On September 16, 2022, the UK replaced the designation entry for Arkady Romanovich Rotenberg. The new entry description focuses on Mr. Rotenberg’s role in the construction of the Kerch Bridge, and the railway line on the bridge, which stretch from Russia to Crimea. Mr. Rotenberg was originally designated by the UK on July 31, 2014, and is still subject to an asset freeze.
U.S. Adds Three Iranian Cargo Airlines to List of Export Controls Violators: On September 19, 2022, the Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) added three Iranian-owned and -operated aircraft to its list of aircraft that have appeared to violate U.S. export controls. The three aircraft are subject to the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) and are alleged to have flown into Russia and transported goods, including electronic items. The aircraft are operated by Mahan Air, Qeshm Fars Air, and Iran Air, which have been previously designated by the U.S. for blocking sanctions. A total of 183 aircraft have been identified to date for apparent violation of U.S. export controls. Transactions with any of the listed aircraft are subject to General Prohibition Ten of the EAR, which prohibits proceeding with transactions with the knowledge a violation of the EAR has occurred, is about to occur, or is intended to occur. This prohibits refueling, maintenance, repair, or the provision of spare parts or services, to the listed aircraft, among other restrictions.
EU Updates FAQs to Address Food and Energy Security: On September 19, 2022, the EU revised two FAQs to allow the transfer of certain goods listed in Annex XXI and XXII to third countries “to combat food and energy insecurity around the world.” This applies to the transfer of the goods to third countries and to financing or financial assistance related to a transfer by EU operators or via the EU territory (including in transit) of:
- Fertilizers falling under CN codes 310420, 310520; 310560; ex31059020 and ex31059080 -related, as listed in Annex XXI;
- Animal feed falling under CN code 2303, as listed in Annex XXI;
- Certain hydrocarbons falling under CN codes ex2901 and 2902, as listed in Annex XXI;
- Essential goods falling under CN codes 44 (wood); 2523 and 6810 (cement products), as listed in Annex XXI; and
- All the items listed in Annex XXII (coal and related products).
UK Adds Food and Fertilizer FAQs to Russia Sanctions Guidance: On September 21, 2022, the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (“OFSI”) added questions 24 to 26 to its Russia Guidance. Questions 24 and 25 discuss the provision of insurance and financial services for food and fertilizer exports from Russia and Ukraine to a third country. Question 26 states that the production and distribution of fertilizer is within the scope of the food security licensing purpose.
U.S. Senators Introduce Framework for Secondary Sanctions Related to Russian Oil: On September 20, Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Patrick Toomey (R-PA) announced a framework for a bill that would expand sanctions on Russian oil exports, and punish any foreign financial institution that failed to comply with a global price cap on Russian oil. Their proposal on the global cap on the price of Russian oil would take effect no later than March 2023, at a price determined with allies. The cap would then be lowered by one third annually until Russia no longer made profit from its oil exports. The proposed framework would subject to sanctions (1) any foreign financial institution assisting in the import of Russian oil exceeding the price cap, and (2) any country determined to be importing Russian oil in excess of the country’s pre-invasion imports. These oil-related sanctions would last for seven years or until Ukraine and Russia reach a diplomatic agreement, as certified by the President. The Senators said, “In order to successfully enforce the [G7’s] price cap, it’s clear the administration requires new authority from Congress, which is exactly what our framework will provide.”
EU Members Agree to Prepare New Sanctions: According to press reports, on September 21, 2022, EU foreign ministers agreed to prepare a new round of sanctions against Russia after President Vladimir Putin ordered additional mobilization in Russia. According to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, the EU’s eighth sanctions package would target “more relevant sectors of the Russian economy and continue targeting people responsible for the war of aggression in Ukraine.” “Additional restrictive measures against Russia will be brought forward immediately, as soon as possible in cooperation with our partners,” Borrell said during a press conference on September 21, 2022. The next formal meeting of EU ministers will be in mid-October 2022, and the sanctions package could be formalized then. However, according to press reports, Hungary is already opposing any additional restrictions against Russia.
U.S. Warns of Use Mixers to Use Cryptocurrencies to Evade Sanctions: During a September 20, 2022, Senate hearing on Russia, a representative from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes (“TFFC”) warned that digital assets could be used to evade U.S. and other sanctions, including those relating to Russia. The representative went on to say that certain cryptocurrency technologies and tools can be used to provide anonymity and to hide digital transactions, and could complicate the enforcement of sanctions.