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.
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.
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.
On February 15th, we open the doors for the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Day 2024 in Oslo- with speakers including American sanction authorities (OFAC), American export control authorities (BIS), and the EU Commission.
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.
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 the following recent developments in the EU:
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.
In this article, we summarise the following recent developments relating to UK sanctions:
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
In recent weeks, the EU has established a new sanctions framework in response to the situation in Moldova, and the US has expanded the scope of its Sudan sanctions regime.
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.
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.
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.
On Thursday last week, we kicked off the first anniversary seminar of the year with our Sanctions and Money Laundering Day at the National Museum.
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 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.
We are pleased to announce that Tine Elisabeth Vigmostad, Elise Johansen, Preben Milde Thorbjørnsen and Andreas K. Lund have been appointed partners in Wikborg Rein from 1. January 2023.
On 7 December 2022, president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, outlined a proposal for a ninth package of sanctions.
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Since our update on 14 March 2022, the EU, UK and US have announced additional sanctions following Russia's continued military aggression against Ukraine. In addition, Norway has implemented much of the EU sanctions imposed in the recent months.
On 11 March 2022 the EU, US and G7 made a coordinated announcement of additional sanctions against Russia in response to Russia's military aggression against Ukraine.