The new package includes increased restrictions related to maritime transport to third countries of crude oil or petroleum products originating in or exported from Russia. As from June 2022, the regulations included a prohibition against provision of technical assistance, financial services etc. With the recent amendment, the regulations now generally prohibit such transport, including through ship-to-ship transfers, of crude oil (as of December 2022) and petroleum products (as of February 2023), but introduces an exemption based on a price cap derogation. The price cap derogation essentially allows such maritime transport (as related services) if the crude or petroleum product is purchased at or below a pre-established price cap.
The aforementioned price cap aims to stabilise the global energy prices, as well as drastically reduce the revenues Russia earns from oil after the war has inflated the global energy prices. The cap has however not yet been introduced (nor stipulated). The cap will be agreed in a Price Cap Coalition, which will consist of members from the G7 countries. The EU has stated that this coalition will conduct a technical exercise to consider a range of factors to reach international consensus on the level at which the price cap is set. The new prohibition against maritime transport does not enter into force until and if the EU Council unanimously agree to include such a cap in the appendix to Council Decision 2014/512/CFSP.
The price cap may be subject to later adjustments. In case of such adjustments, there will be a 90 days' grace period to carry out transport based on contracts concluded before the amended cap enters into force, and which were compliant with the then-prevailing price cap.
Furthermore, the previous prohibition against providing, directly or indirectly, technical assistance, brokering services or financing or financial assistance, related to maritime transport of Russian oil/petroleum products to third countries, generally remains in place. However, the exemptions from the prohibition have been amended, as it does not apply to the execution of contracts concluded before 4 June 2022, or of ancillary contracts necessary for the execution of such contracts until (a) 5 December 2022, for crude oil and (b) 5 February 2023, for petroleum products.
Finally, a significant new prohibition is introduced in the new regulations. This prohibition essentially entails that if a vessel has transported crude oil or petroleum products with a purchase price exceeding the applicable price cap, then it is thereafter prohibited for others to provide any of the aforementioned services (technical assistance, financial assistance, etc.) related to the transport of crude oil or petroleum products by that vessel. Hence, the prohibition effectively places part of the burden of enforcing the price cap restrictions on to the service companies, who will be responsible for "punishing" other persons' previous breach of the regulations.