Silje Wollan Einum
Norway has newly implemented the EU's ninth and latest package of economic and individual sanctions intended to step up pressure on the Russian Federation and its government. The new measures include:
Export controls and restrictions
Energy and mining sectors
Additional listings of persons/entities
In order to avoid disruptions in the payment channels for agricultural products and combat food insecurity around the world, a new derogation has been introduced, allowing to unfreeze assets of, and to make funds and economic resources available to, certain already designated persons who held significant roles in international trade relating to agricultural and food products, including wheat and fertilisers.
The Norwegian Regulations has been changed to clarify that transfer and purchase of listed goods internally in Norway is permitted, as well as the purchase, import and transfer of listed goods from EU to Norway. The change will harmonize the practice of import regulations with the EU.
On 3 February 2023, EU countries agreed on the European Commission proposal to set price caps of $100 per barrel on premium Russian oil products such as diesel and a $45 cap per barrel on discounted products such as fuel oil.
Based on our experience from on-going assignments we observe a significant increase in circumvention risk. E.g. we see Russian actors moving assets and property interests to jurisdictions such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also involving shelf companies with "clean history" and straw men acting on behalf of Russian interests. Dealing with entities located in high-risk jurisdictions entail generally an increased risk for sanctions and money laundering (AML) offences.
Navigating sanction risks in an increasingly complex and rapid changing regulative environment is challenging. Norwegian entities that are directly or indirectly exposed to business partners in risk intense jurisdictions should conduct a sanctions risk assessment and implement targeted measures such as screening of counterparties and beneficial owners and negotiating robust compliance clauses in agreements. Having adequate and risk-based internal policies and procedures in place to ensure compliance with sanctions and other compliance risks such as money laundering and tax evasion is more important than ever.
Please note that these updates do not constitute legal advice, nor do they provide an exhaustive description of all sanctions in place and the exemptions. Any person or entity involved in business activities in any way related to Russia, Belarus or Ukraine should carefully assess how they are affected by the sanctions. Schjødt's sanctions team is ready to assist in this regard.