The 12th package of sanctions against Russia: Additional bans and anti-circumvention measures

On December, 18 2023 the Council of the European Union adopted the 12th package of sanctions against Russia.


I. New registrations on the list of persons and entities subject to sanctions: 140 new persons and entities

Persons and entities targeted belong, in particular, to the following sectors:

  • The Russian army and defense including private military companies;
  • Information technology sector.

Also is covering:

  • The people who orchestrated the recent illegal “elections” in the Ukrainian territories;
  • Those responsible for the forced “re-education” of Ukrainian children;
  • People spreading disinformation/propaganda.


II. Trade measures: new bans and restrictions on import/export

A.  Ban on the importation of Russian diamonds

The start of this ban different depending on the nature of the imported diamonds:

  • By January 1, 2024 at the latest: non-industrial diamonds, mined, processed or produced, in Russia;
  • From March 1, 2024: Russian diamonds polished in a third country;
  • From September 1, 2024: laboratory diamonds, jewelry and watches containing diamonds.

To ensure the effectiveness of these measures, a traceability mechanism will be put in place. This mechanism will, for example, impose a registration obligation.


B.  Prohibition of imports of raw materials intended for the production of steel, processed aluminum products and other metal products

Concerning steel raw materials, the measures will apply in full after a transitional period of 12 months for the execution of existing contracts, or after a period of 2 years during which a certain volume of imports would still be authorized in order to give companies of the EU the time necessary to find alternative sources.


C.  Restrictions on the export of dual-use goods and advanced technological and industrial goods

These restrictions relate to:

  • New export controls on various products (chemicals, engines, spare parts, etc.);
  • New export bans on industrial products from the EU (processed steel, batteries, etc.);
  • Addition of 29 Russian and third country entities to the list of entities associated with the Russian military-industrial complex;
  • Prohibition on providing enterprise and design software to the Russian government or Russian companies.

It will be added at Article 5n of Regulation 833/2014.


III. Strengthening restrictions on freezing assets

  • New criteria for inclusion on the list of persons and entities subject to sanctions: the objective is to prevent a person from benefiting from losses suffered by EU companies when their subsidiaries are acquired by Russian owners/leaders;
  • Authorization to maintain deceased persons on the list of persons and entities subject to freezing;
  • Reinforced obligation of Member States on the traceability of the assets of a listed person with the aim of combating circumvention.


IV. Measures in the field of energy

  • Tightening of the cap on oil prices, in particular through reinforced control of the sale of tankers to third countries and request for more detailed certificates.
  • Ban on the import of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), impacting annual imports worth more than €1 billion.


V. Strengthening anti-circumvention measures

  • Expanding the scope of the ban on transit through Russia;
  • “No Russia clause”: Obligation for operators to contractually prohibit re-export for certain sensitive goods and technologies such as goods in the field of aviation;
  • Added a new measure that will make mandatory “the notification of certain transfers of funds outside the EU, originating from EU entities directly or indirectly owned more than 40% by Russians or entities established in Russia. “.


VI. Other measures: addition of certain exemptions

The objective of these new exemptions is:

  • To take into account cases in which Member States decide to deprive, in the public interest, a person on the list of funds or economic resources;
  • Allow the payment of compensation by an insurance company recently included on the list;
  • Allow the sale of EU companies owned by certain listed individuals or entities.


The DS Avocats Customs and International Trade team is at your disposal to provide you with any additional information.