On 12 November 2014, Switzerland published new amendments to Swiss measures that were adopted on 12 November 2014 to prevent the circumvention of international sanctions related to the situation in Ukraine (available in German, French and Italian only). The measures are designed to prevent individuals and companies in Russia subject to sanctions by the west from using structures in Switzerland to circumvent the restrictions.
The amendments this week, which are to the Federal Council’s previous Ordinance of 27 August 2014, do the following (in summary):
- Extend Switzerland’s anti-circumvention measures, which create a series of checks and barriers to certain dealings with listed individuals in order to aid compliance with international sanctions, to apply to all individuals and entities that were added by the EU to its latest round of sanctions against Russia in September pursuant to Council Regulation (EU) No 959/2014 and Council Decision 2014/658/CFSP (as we previously reported). Switzerland last made additions to its watchlist in August 2014.
- Give the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) the right to refuse export permits for specific military goods and dual-use goods that are to be used for a military purpose or by a military end user.
- Provide that any provision, directly or indirectly, of financial services or technical services related to military or dual use items to listed entities must be declared to SECO. (This requirement does not apply to the aeronautic or aerospace industries.)
- Make certain services necessary for deep water oil exploration and production, arctic oil exploration and production and shale oil projects in Russia are subject to a duty to notify SECO.
- Require that trade in new financial instruments with a maturity exceeding 30 days and the granting of loans with a maturity exceeding 30 days to certain Russian entities or entities acting on their behalf (Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, VEB, and Rosselkhozbank), receive authorisation from SECO.
- Add twenty-four names to the existing list of persons and companies with whom Swiss financial intermediaries are prohibited from entering into new business relationships, and whose existing business dealings are subject to a duty to notify SECO.
The Swiss federal government announced in a press release on 12 November 2014 that “in view of the situation in Ukraine, and following decisions taken by the EU, the Federal Council today decided to adopt further measures to prevent the circumvention of international sanctions”, and emphasised that it “continues to monitor the situation in Ukraine closely and reserves the right to take further measures depending on how the situation develops”.