Newsletter

Update: Norwegian sanctions against Russia

Published:

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On 18 March 2022, Norway strengthened its restrictive measures against Russia in response to Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. The new sanctions are large-scale and wide-ranging.

The new measures have been incorporated into Norwegian law through the amendments to the Regulation of 15 August 2014 no. 1076 on restrictive measures concerning actions that undermine or threaten Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty, independency, and stability (Forskrift 15. august 2014 nr. 1076 om restriktive tiltak vedrørende handlinger som undergraver eller truer Ukrainas territorielle integritet, suverenitet, uavhengighet og stabilitet).

A copy of amending regulation (in Norwegian only) is accessible here. The regulation enters into force immediately. The regulation covers the restrictive measures adopted and published by the EU up to and including 2 March 2022, with the exception of the ban on media sector (such as broadcasting content from Russian media outlets RT and Sputnik).

The adopted sanctions target the financial, energy, transport, technology and defence sectors, and also impose asset freezes and travel bans on hundreds of individuals and entities.

The Government has also stated that it will continue to consider the adoption of further sanctions in line with the EU sanctions adopted after 2 March 2022.

FINANCE SECTOR

Increased restrictions on dealing with transferable securities and money market instruments

With effect from 4 May 2022 the prohibitions against dealing with certain transferable securities and money market instrument as issued by specific entities will be extended. It will then generally be prohibited to deal with any transferable securities and money market instruments issued by any of the previously listed entities and by the following entities (including companies owned, controlled by, or acting on behalf of the same):

Similarly, from 19 March 2022, the prohibition against making or being part of certain arrangements to make new loan or credit to specific entities, will generally apply to all loans or credit to such persons and to the above listed entities (i.e. without any minimum maturity threshold).

New prohibition regarding SWIFT services

As of 28 March 2022, it is prohibited to provide SWIFT services to the following Russian banks, or any legal person, entity or body established in Russia whose proprietary rights are directly or indirectly owned for more than 50% of these Russian banks:

Increased restrictions targeting the Russian Central Bank

Transactions related to the management of reserves as well as of assets of the Central Bank of Russia, including transactions with any legal person, entity or body acting on behalf of, or at the direction of, the Central Bank of Russia, are prohibited.

New prohibition regarding investment services

It is prohibited to directly or indirectly purchase or sell investment services or provide assistance in the issuance of, or any other dealing with transferable securities and money-market instruments issued after 1 April 2022 by:

New prohibition regarding new loans or credit

It is prohibited to directly or indirectly make, or be part of any arrangement to make, any new loans or credit after 18 March 2022 to 

This prohibition does not apply to loans or credit that have a specific and documented objective to provide financing for non-prohibited imports or exports of goods and non-financial services between Norway and any third State, including the expenditure for goods and services from another third State that is necessary for executing the export or import contracts.

New prohibition regarding the Russian Direct Investment Fund

It is prohibited to invest, participate or otherwise contribute to future projects co-financed by the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs may authorise, under such conditions as they deem appropriate, an investment participation in, or contribution to, projects co-financed by the Russian Direct Investment Fund if the investment participation or contribution is due under contracts concluded before 18 March 2022 or ancillary contracts necessary for the execution of such contracts.

New prohibition regarding euro denominated banknotes

As of 18 March 2022, it is prohibited to sell, supply, transfer or export euro denominated banknotes to Russia or to any natural or legal person, entity or body in Russia, including the government and the Central Bank of Russia, or for use in Russia, except if it is necessary for:

New prohibition regarding acceptance of certain deposits from Russia

It is prohibited to accept deposits from Russian nationals or natural persons residing in Russia, or legal persons, entities or bodies established in Russia, if the total value of deposits of the natural or legal person, entity or body per credit institution exceeds 100 000 EUR.

However, the prohibition does not apply:

ENERGY SECTOR

New prohibition regarding goods and technologies for use in oil refining

It is prohibited to sell, supply, transfer or export, directly or indirectly, to Russia specific goods and technologies for use in oil refining. It also prohibited to provide technical assistance and other related services as well as financing and financial assistance in relation to the goods and technology subject to this prohibition.

However, the prohibition does not apply:

AVIATION AND SPACE INDUSTRY SECTOR

Prohibition regarding aircraft operated by Russia

It is prohibited for any aircraft operated by Russian air carriers, or for any non-Russian-registered aircraft which is owned or chartered, or otherwise controlled by any Russian natural or legal person, entity or body, to land in, take off from or overfly the territory of Norway, except for:

New prohibition regarding goods and technologies for use in aviation and the space industry

It is prohibited to sell, supply, transfer or export, directly or indirectly, to Russia certain goods and technologies suited for use in aviation and the space industry, as well as to provide insurance and reinsurance and maintenance services in relation to those goods and technology. It also prohibited to provide technical assistance and other related services as well as financing and financial assistance in relation to the goods and technology subject to such prohibition.

DEFENCE AND SECURITY SECTOR

It is prohibited to sell, supply, transfer or export, directly or indirectly, to Russia certain goods and technology which might contribute to Russia’s technological enhancement of its defence and security sector. It also prohibited to provide technical assistance and other related services as well as financing and financial assistance in relation to the goods and technology subject to such prohibition.

INDIVIDUAL RESTRICTIVE MEASURES

The list of persons and entities covered by asset freezes and travel restrictions is updated in line with the EU's listings, including but not limited to :

IMPORT RESCTICTIONS

It is prohibited to import into Norway goods originating in Donetsk and Luhansk. It is also prohibited to provide, directly or indirectly, financing or financial assistance, as well as insurance and reinsurance, related to the import of goods originating in Donetsk and Luhansk.

FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs invited to an information meeting for businesses on 21 March 2022 concerning the implications of the adapted sanctions. The Ministry confirmed the continuance of the government's policy on adapting similar sanctions as the EU, and that recent EU-sanctions not yet in force under Norwegian law will be subject to enactment within one-two weeks. In particular, this concerns the EU-sanctions that were adapted on 15 March 2022.

From our perspective, we note that there is still a general need for further clarifications related to several of the Regulation's provisions, as the extent of many provisions are unclear. Schjødt will continue to analyse the provisions of the Regulation, and share the analysis and new developments with clients.

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Please note that these updates do not provide an exhaustive description of all sanctions in place, and they may not be construed as legal advice. It is a criminal offence for Norwegian citizens and companies, and other people and enterprises in Norway to violate these sanctions. Any person or entity involved in business activities in any way related to Russia, should carefully assess whether and how they are affected by the new sanctions. Schjødt's sanctions team is ready to assist in this regard.

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