Switzerland applies new sanctions following sixth EU package | White & Case srl
Written by our Global Sanctions Team
On June 10 and 29, 2022, Switzerland extended existing sanctions and implemented new measures in response to the ongoing Russian military aggression in Ukraine. This new set of sanctions is in line with the sixth EU sanctions package adopted on June 3, 2022. The latest sanctions entered into force at 6:00 p.m. CET on June 29, 2022. Switzerland also reinforced the existing sanctions against Belarus on June 10, 2022. June 2022.
Prohibition of crude oil and petroleum products
The purchase of crude oil and petroleum products listed in Annex 24, originating in or coming from the Russian Federation, when Switzerland is the place of destination, or their import, transit and transport in Switzerland and through Switzerland are forbidden. Related services are also prohibited.
There are three exceptions to this new restriction:
- The restriction does not apply to crude oil transported by sea and petroleum products, when these goods only transit through the Russian Federation and their owner is not Russian or when they come from the Russian Federation but are legally imported into a member of the European Union.
- In addition, contracts relating to the purchase, import, transit and transport of crude petroleum oils or oils obtained from bituminous minerals (tariff 2709 00) and related services concluded before June 30 2022 can be executed until December 5, 2022, provided that the contracts are notified to the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (the “SECO”) no later than July 21, 2022. Short-term one-off delivery operations of the same nature may also be executed until 5 December 2022, provided that they are notified to SECO within ten days.
- A similar exception applies to contracts relating to the purchase, import, transit and transportation of petroleum oils or oils obtained from bituminous minerals other than crude (tariff 2710) and related services entered into before June 30, 2022, which can be executed until February 5, 2023, provided that the contracts are notified to SECO no later than July 21, 2022. Short-term one-off deliveries of the same nature can also be executed until December 5, 2023, provided that they are notified to SECO within ten days.
The ban on crude oil and petroleum products also applies to related technical, brokerage and financial services, as well as financing, except when crude oil and petroleum products transit only through the Russian Federation and their owner is not Russian. Contracts concluded before June 30, 2022 may be executed until December 2022.
Prohibition on providing accounting and tax advisory services
It is prohibited to provide, directly or indirectly, accounting, auditing services, including statutory audit, bookkeeping or tax advice, or business and management consulting or public relations services to the Government of the Russian Federation or to legal persons, companies or entities established in Russia. There is a liquidation period until July 31, 2022 for the termination of contracts entered into before June 30, 2022.
This restriction does not apply to the provision of services strictly necessary for the exercise of the right of defense in legal proceedings and the right to an effective remedy and the provision of services intended for the exclusive use of legal persons, companies or entities established in the Russian Federation that are owned by, or controlled solely or jointly by, a Swiss or EEA legal person, company or entity. SECO may also authorize exceptions for humanitarian and democratic purposes.
Ban on advertising in some Russian media
It is prohibited to advertise products or services produced or broadcast in radio and television programs or on other electronic content by the legal persons, companies or entities listed in Annex 25, including several channels Russia Today, Sputnik, Rossiya RTR, Rossiya 24 and TV Center International, regardless of the mode of transmission or broadcast. The Federal Office of Communications (“OFCOM”) monitors the enforcement of this restriction.
Reinforcement of existing sanctions
Addition to Asset Freeze/Transit Restrictions for Russian Individuals and Companies and New Exceptions
On June 10, 2022, Switzerland imposed an asset freeze/additional transit restrictions on a number of individuals and entities (listed in Annex 8 of the Ukraine Order). The newly registered entities are: JSC Garnizon, JSC Oboronenergo, OJSC Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant, JSC Voentelecom, Voentekstilprom LLC, INDEPENDENT INSURANCE GROUP, JSC Kronshtadt Tekhnologii Group of Companies, Management Company Tatneft-Neftekhim LLC, Nizhnekamsk All-Steel Tire Plant, LLC, LLC TD KAMA, JSC Remdizel, JSC Sukhoi Company, JSC “121 Aircraft Repair Plant”, and National Settlement Depository (“NSD”).
Switzerland has also introduced new exceptions to the asset freeze restrictions for telecommunications services. The freezing of assets does not apply when the release of frozen assets or economic resources, the transfer of funds or the making available of such assets or economic resources is necessary for an operator based in Switzerland or in the Economic Area (“EEA”) for the provision of telecommunications services (i) in the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Switzerland or in a member state of the EEA, (ii) between the Russian Federation or Ukraine and the Switzerland or a member state of the EEA, or (iii) for the resources and associated services necessary for the operation, maintenance and security of these telecommunications services. Data center services in Switzerland and EEA member states are also exempt.
Supplement to the ban on providing specialized messaging services (SWIFT)
Three banks were added to SWIFT’s list of prohibited entities (Annex 14) on June 10, 2022: Sberbank, Credit Bank of Moscow and Joint Stock Company Russian Agricultural bank, JSC.
Added ban on importing a wide range of industrial products
Two additional goods deemed to generate significant revenue for Russia joined the Annex 20 list on June 10, 2022. The sale, delivery, export, transit and transportation of undenatured ethyl alcohol with an alcoholic strength volume less than 80%; spirits, liqueurs and other spirituous beverages (tariff 2208) and starch residues and similar residues, beet pulp, bagasse and other sugar refinery waste, brewery or distillery lees and waste, whether or not in the form of pellets ( tariff 2303) is prohibited.
New exceptions to penalties
Prohibition of direct and indirect transactions with certain Russian public entities (“SOE”)
Switzerland has added further exceptions to the prohibition on direct and indirect transactions with public enterprises listed in Annex 15. This restriction does not apply to payment receipts due from the public enterprises listed for contracts executed before on May 15, 2022, as well as transactions involving sales that are necessary. before October 22, 2022 for the liquidation of a joint venture or a similar legal form formed before March 26, 2022 involving a listed public company.
This restriction also does not apply to transactions related to the provision of telecommunications services or services and equipment necessary for the operation, maintenance and security of telecommunications services, including the provision of firewall services. -fire and call center, to banks, companies or listed entities.
Ban on managing trusts for Russian beneficiaries
The ban on managing trusts for Russian beneficiaries is still present in the updated order. However, there is now a liquidation period until July 31, 2022 for the termination of contracts concluded before April 28, 2022.
In addition, Switzerland has removed the prohibition on acting as, or causing another person to act as, a trustee, nominee shareholder, director, secretary or similar position, for a reporting trust or a similar legal form.
Activities promoting democracy and the operation of a trust or similar legal form for the purpose of managing occupational pension funds, insurance contracts or employee participation plans, or the operation of charitable organizations , amateur sports clubs and funds for minors or vulnerable adults have been added as situations that may give rise to derogations from SECO.
Prohibition on accepting deposits and providing cryptocurrency services
The ban on accepting deposits from Russian natural or legal persons remains unchanged. However, the acceptance of deposit or the provision of cryptocurrency services necessary for the payment of commissions or fees corresponding to the day-to-day custody or management of frozen assets or economic resources has been added as a situation that may give rise to waivers by SECO.
Reinforcement of existing sanctions against Belarus
Prohibition on providing specialized messaging services (SWIFT)
Belinvestbank (Belarusian Bank for Development and Reconstruction) was added to the banks listed in Schedule 15 of the Belarus Ordinance on June 10, 2022.
Addition to asset freeze / transit restrictions of Belarusian individuals and companies
On June 10, 2022, Switzerland imposed an asset freeze/additional transit restrictions on a number of individuals and entities (listed in Annex 13). The newly registered entities are: Open Joint Stock Company “Belaruskali”, Joint Stock Company “Belarusian Potash Company”, Inter Tobacco” LLC, Open Joint Stock Company “Naftan”, Open Joint Stock Company “Grodno Tobacco Factory Neman, Beltamozhservice, Open Joint Stock Company “Managing Company of Holding ‘Belkommunmash'” and Belteleradio Company / National State Television and Radio Company of the Republic of Belarus.