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Sanctions issued following the two-year anniversary of the invasion

In this sanctions alert, we include updates on recent developments following the two-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Expansion of the UK’s corporate criminal liability regime

The UK Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (“the ECCTA”) was formally approved on 26 October 2023. Among the most significant reforms introduced by the ECCTA are the establishment of ‘failure to prevent fraud’ as a new UK corporate criminal offence, and a reform of the UK identification doctrine expanding the extent of corporate criminal liability for economic crimes. In this article, we highlight the details of these two key aspects of the Act, and explain how they will affect Norwegian companies with operations or subsidiaries in the UK.


Are all state-owned ­Russian ­companies controlled by ­President Putin?

This was a question many asked after a recent judgment from the English Court of Appeal. Sanctions target those designated as well as those owned or controlled by designated persons. Understanding the precise scope of what constitutes ‘control’ under UK sanctions can be challenging. In this article we shed some light on this analysis, based on recent case law.


Enforcing an award ­contrary to sanctions, an issue of ’public policy’?

The past few years have illustrated with a vast intensity the relevance of international sanctions for an ever expanding number of businesses and sectors. This backdrop has also led to a significant increase in sanctions related disputes, which in turn has led to discussions regarding enforcement of arbitral awards that contravene applicable sanctions.


The Crackdown on Price Cap Evasion and the BIMCO Russian Oil Price Cap Scheme Clause for Charter Parties

The BIMCO Russian Oil Price Cap Scheme Clause was long-­anticipated when it was published on 2 June 2023. There has since been growing concern that the original Price Cap Measures were easy to circumvent, and in this article we examine the impact of the latest measures to combat such evasion.


Inviterer til sanksjons- og hvitvaskingsdagen 2024

15. februar åpner vi dørene på Nasjonalmuseet for Sanksjons- og hvitvaskingsdagen 2024 - med både amerikanske sanksjonsmyndigheter (OFAC), amerikanske eksportkontrollmyndigheter (BIS), EU-kommisjonen, norske myndigheter og representanter fra næringslivet blant foredragsholderne. Seminaret vil også streames direkte.


EU recent developments

The EU Council established a new sanctions framework targeting Guatemala. A new framework is also established by the EU for imposing restrictive measures against those who support, facilitate or enable violent actions by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.


EU adopts 12th package of sanctions against Russia

The long-awaited 12th package of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine was announced yesterday afternoon on the 18th of December. As expected, the package includes restrictions on additional goods of Russian origin, including diamonds, measures to strengthen the price cap on Russian oil and a significant amount of new designated individuals and entities.


Collaborative report on use of sanctions as a human rights instrument and effectiveness of sanctions against Russia

A report published on 26 October 2023 outlines the increasing use of sanctions as a tool for protecting human rights, while highlighting the gaps in enforcement of sanctions against Russia, with a focus primarily on Europe. The report is a collaborative product by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee and risk analysis company Corisk, with contributions from Wikborg Rein and consultancy agency Rud Pedersen.


EU recent developments – new sanctions framework for Niger, preparation for EU’s 12th package of sanctions targeting Russia

In this Sanctions Alert, we provide an update on recent developments in the EU, more specifically the EU’s new framework for Niger and the preparation for the EU’s upcoming 12th package of sanctions against Russia.


The US introduces Venezuela sanctions relief

On 18 October 2023, OFAC issued three new general licenses and amended three existing general licenses related to Venezuela in response to the signing of an electoral roadmap agreement between the Venezuela Unitary Platform and the Maduro regime. These actions by the US introduces, among other things, a sanctions relief for the Venezuelan oil and gas sector and gold sector in support of the Venezuelan people. OFAC also published related FAQs.


UK recent developments

In this article, we summarise the following recent developments relating to UK sanctions:


EU recent developments – new sanctions framework for Sudan

On 9 October 2023, the Council of the European Union adopted a new sanctions framework to impose sanctions against those undermining the stability and political transition of Sudan.


Recent developments in EU and UK sanctions

Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of developments relating to EU and UK sanctions. In this article, we summarise the following recent developments:


Recent developments: Russia-related sanctions

Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of developments in the Norwegian, EU, UK and US sanctions regimes relating to Russia. In this article, we summarise the following recent developments:


New asset freeze guidance from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Earlier today, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the "MFA") published an updated guidance on asset freeze measures. The guidance was originally published in 2018, and today's update adds additional guidance and reflects recent developments in legislation.


EU adopts 11th package of sanctions against Russia. Developments in UK sanctions against Russia and Belarus

The long-awaited 11th package of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine was announced earlier today, after EU ambassadors reached a consensus earlier this week. As expected, the package seeks to strengthen existing sanctions and crack down on circumvention.


BIMCO Publishes Price Cap Clause for Charterparties

The long-anticipated BIMCO Price Cap Clause was published on 2 June 2023, in response to the price caps on Russian origin crude-oil and petroleum products introduced by G7, EU and others. In this article we take a practical first look at the clause in context.


Charter payments and sanctions – an update from the Commercial Court

In a summary judgment relating to a dispute arising out of the charterers’ failure to make hire payments under bareboat charterparties, the Commercial Court provides guidance on the impact of sanctions on the parties’ obligations to make payment.


Russia sanctions: further US and UK designations, expansion of US authorities, UK announces ban on Russian-origin diamonds, copper, aluminium and nickel

On 19 May 2023, coinciding with the first day of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, both the US and the UK announced several new sanctions designations. In addition, the US has expanded sanctions authorities targeting certain sectors of the Russian economy and banned export of architecture and engineering services to Russia, and the UK has announced coming bans on Russian diamonds, copper, aluminium and nickel.


EU adopts Moldova sanctions regime, US widens sanctions on Sudan

In recent weeks, the EU established a new sanctions regime in response to the situation in Moldova, and the US has expanded the scope of its Sudan regime.


Recent developments in UK sanctions on Russia

In recent weeks, the UK has expanded on its existing trade restrictions on Russia, added further designations to the consolidated sanctions list, published and updated various sanctions related guidance documents, imposed trust services bans in respect of all persons already subject to asset freeze measures and published its Economic Crime Plan for 2023-2026.


EU adopts tenth package of sanctions on Russia

Close to midnight on Friday 24 February, the Council reached a consensus on the tenth package of sanctions on Russia. The new sanctions coincided with the commemoration of one year since the full-scale invasion and war of aggression against Ukraine.


US and UK impose new sanctions on Russia

Earlier today, on 24 February 2023, one year after Russia's full scale invasion of Ukraine began, the US and the UK imposed further sanctions on Russia. As of yet, no consensus has been reached on the EU's tenth package of sanctions.


Fylte Nasjonalmuseet med sanksjoner og hvitvasking på agendaen

Under vignetten «Nye muligheter – Norge mot 2030» arrangerer Wikborg Rein fagseminarer gjennom vårt 100-årsjubileum i 2023 der vi belyser viktige temaer for næringslivet, og staker ut kursen videre. Først ut i år var sanksjoner og hvitvasking.


Agreement on price cap on Russian petroleum products

On 5 February 2023, the price cap policy for Russian petroleum products took effect in the G7 countries, as well as in the EU and Australia (members of the so-called Price Cap Coalition). The price caps have been set to (i) USD 45 per barrel for petroleum products traded at a discount to crude oil, and (ii) USD 100 per barrel for petroleum products traded at a premium to crude.


EU adopts ninth package of sanctions on Russia, UK imposes new financial and trade sanctions on Russia, Norway implements price cap on Russian crude oil

Earlier today, the 16 December 2022, the Council of the EU adopted a new, ninth package of sanctions on Russia. The UK has also adopted new financial and trade sanctions on Russia, and Norway has implemented the price cap policy on Russian crude oil. In addition, both the UK and the US have designated additional entities and individuals.


The year of sanctions – some lessons learnt

The massive and unprecedented sanctions imposed against Russia have required significant efforts to manage the risks and impact of sanctions, particularly in view of creative attempts to circumvent by some parties. In this article we explain why you should update your sanctions clause, and how to ensure that it is fit for purpose.


Fire nye partnere fra 2023

Vi er stolte over å kunne presentere Tine Elisabeth Vigmostad, Elise Johansen, Preben Milde Thorbjørnsen og Andreas K. Lund som nye partnere i Wikborg Rein fra 1. januar 2023.


European Commission announces ninth package of sanctions on Russia

On 7 December 2022, president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, outlined a proposal for a ninth package of sanctions.


Agreement on price cap on Russian crude oil

Today, the fifth of December 2022, the G7 price cap policy for Russian crude oil takes effect. The price cap has been set to 60 dollars per barrel.


New EU sanctions regime on Haiti and EU Council adds sanctions violations to list of 'EU crimes'

On 25 November 2022, the EU introduced for the first time a sanction regime on Haiti, aimed in particular at gang leaders and their financiers held responsible for the current security and humanitarian crisis in Haiti. In addition on 28 November 2022, the EU Council adopted a decision to add the violation of restrictive measures to the list of 'EU crimes'.


New Russia-related sanctions

In light of Russia's escalating war against and illegal annexation of Ukraine, there have recently been developments to the Norway, UK and US sanctions regimes on Russia, as well as further sanctions designations from the EU, since our last update. In addition, G7 members have updated on the upcoming price cap exemption for the maritime transportation of Russian oil and oil products to third countries.


Changes to sanctions regimes on Haiti, Nicaragua and Iran, new export controls on China, and other development

Below we summarise the developments in EU, UK and US sanctions regimes that are not Russia-related.


EU imposes new round of sanctions on Russia

Earlier today, 6 October 2022, the EU adopted another package of sanctions on Russia, in the wake of escalated Russian aggression against Ukraine, and in particular the in particular the organising of the "sham referenda" and the illegal annexation of Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia.


Developments in Russia-related sanctions

The recent weeks has seen a high level of activity from EU, US and UK sanctioning authorities, in response to escalated Russian aggression against Ukraine. In this WR Sanctions Alert, we briefly summarise some key developments.


MUR Shipping v RTI: "reasonable endeavours" in the age of sanctions

If a contract requires payment in a certain currency and, as a result of sanctions, payment cannot be made in that currency, does the obligation to use "reasonable endeavours" to overcome a force majeure event (such as payment issues relating to sanctions) require payment in a different currency? The English Commercial Court recently held that it does not.


Norway adopts the EU's sixth sanctions package against Russia

Today, on 17 June 2022, Norway adopted additional Russia related sanctions, by largely implementing sanctions equivalent to the EU's sixth sanctions package (which was adopted by the EU on 3 June 2022).


The UK introduces new enforcement powers for breaches of financial sanctions

New enforcement powers for sanctions breaches and accompanying guidance indicate a strengthening of UK sanctions enforcement going forward. Civil liability for breach of UK sanctions can as of today be imposed on a strict liability basis.


Additional Russia-related sanctions from the EU, UK, US and Norway and developments in Russian countermeasures

Since our last update on 21 April 2022, the EU has adopted its sixth Russia related sanctions package, while Norway has aligned its sanctions regime with the EU's fifth sanctions package. Furthermore, the UK and US have introduced additional sanctions, and Russia has developed its countermeasures.


Further UK and US sanctions against Russia and developments in Russian countermeasures

Since our last update on 11 April 2022, the UK has introduced new sanctions, the US has designated additional individuals end entities, and Russia has announced developments to its counter-measures. Furthermore, the EU and US have introduced certain exemptions to its sanctions regimes relating to humanitarian activities.


Russian countermeasures on intellectual property rights

Russia has announced and implemented several countermeasures against so-called "unfriendly states". Some of these countermeasures involve intellectual property rights (IPR), meaning that entities of so-called "unfriendly states" now face countermeasures limiting the protection of their IPR in Russia. Entities of such states that do not anticipate continuing to do business in Russia can expect to see their intellectual property utilised in Russia without compensation.


Additional US, EU and UK sanctions against Russia

In view of the gravity of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the US, the EU and the UK have adopted additional sanctions against Russia since our previous update on 5 April 2022.


Increasing US, EU and UK sanctions against Russia; Norwegian alignment with EU sanctions; new Russian countermeasures

Since our previous update on 21 March 2022, the US and UK have implemented additional sanctions in response to Russia's continued military aggression against Ukraine, and Norway has aligned its regime with the latest EU sanctions. Russia has responded with additional countermeasures. We outline the main points of these developments below.