The Swiss Federal Council continues aligning the Swiss sanctions regime to the EU sanctions against Russia. Switzerland has adopted the 6th package of EU sanctions on June 29, 2022. The new measures include the ban on the purchase, import, transit and transport to or within Switzerland of crude oil and petrol products of Russian origin. Restrictions were also extended to the provision of accounting, auditing, bookkeeping and tax consulting services to the companies established in Russia, with the exception of Russian subsidiaries of Swiss and EU companies.

1. Introduction

On June 10, 2022, the Federal Council took the decision to adopt the EU's sixth package of sanctions. The corresponding amendments to the Ordinance on measures in connection with the situation in Ukraine ("UKRO") were published on June 29, 2022 and entered into force the same day at 18:00 CEST.

As a result, Switzerland has now implemented most of the new EU measures against Russia. Nevertheless, there are still "gaps" between the European and Swiss sanctions and certain provisions will require interpretation.

The EU bans on the award of public contracts to Russian nationals, organisations or entities established in Russia are expected to be implemented only by the end of August.

Switzerland also does not (yet) prohibit trading activities concerning oil and petrol products of Russian origin that are not intended to be imported or transit in Switzerland. The changes to bans on coal and other fossil fuels, as well as certain goods of Russian origin, seem to suggest a similar approach, i.e., that trading between Russia and third countries is now permitted (this needs to be formally confirmed by SECO).

The changes to trust-related provisions raise a number of questions and will require further clarifications. Unanswered questions of interpretation remain outstanding since the introduction of those sanctions. The timeline of applicable restrictions is also complex, with some restrictions entering in force over time (e.g., Art. 28d (2) and (5) UKRO) with various conditional exceptions which may be granted in certain cases.

The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is expected to shortly publish an official clarification in the form of "frequently asked questions" (FAQ) document in relation to trust restrictions. This will be welcomed by the industry to ensure legal certainty.

The below provides a summary overview of the most notable restrictions in force today. The corresponding changes introduced on June 29, 2022 are highlighted in green.

2. Summary overview of Swiss sanctions against Russia in force as of June 29, 2022 @ 18:00 CEST

UKRO / Annex

Subject matter1

Status (in force since)

Transitional provisions

Exemptions / Practical considerations

Art. 9a (Annex 16)

A ban on export2 of maritime navigation goods and technology and provision of any services, including technical assistance or related financial support

March 25, 2022 at 23:00


SECO may authorize exemptions from this prohibition (i) for non-military purposes and (ii) for a non-military end-user, (iii) if such goods or technologies or the technical assistance or the related financial aid are intended for maritime safety

Art. 9b (Annex 19)

A ban on export of jet fuel and additives and provision of any services, including technical assistance or related financial suppor

April 27, 2022 at 18:00



Art. 10 (Annex 4)

A ban on export of goods for petroleum refining was supplemented with a ban on export of goods for natural gas liquefaction and provision of the services related thereto

April 27, 2022 at 18:00

The ban does not apply to transactions governed by contracts entered into prior to March 5, 2022 and executed until June 3, 2022

SECO may, after consultation with the competent services of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), authorize derogations from these prohibitions insofar as (i) this is urgently necessary to prevent or (ii) mitigate an event likely to have serious and significant effects on human health and safety or on the environment. In urgent and duly justified cases, the export of goods listed in Annex 4 may take place without prior authorization, provided that the exporter informs SECO within 5 working days of the export and explains the reasons for such activities without prior authorization

Art. 11 (Annex 5)

A ban on export of goods for the energy sector and provision of related services

March 25, 2022 at 23:00

The ban does not apply to transactions governed by contracts entered into prior to March 26, 2022 and executed until September 17, 2022

SECO may, after consultation with the competent offices of the FDFA and, if financial services or energy supply are involved, with the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) or the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC), authorize exemptions from this ban if:

  • this is necessary to guarantee the energy supply of Switzerland or an EEA member state in the event of a serious, declared or imminent shortage, or
  • the goods or services are exclusively for the use of entities owned or controlled, in whole or in part, by an organization established or incorporated under Swiss law or the law of an EEA member state


1 Commercial restrictions in relation to the goods, technologies and related services intended for Ukraine or for use in Ukraine are not covered here.

2 The term "export" includes the sale, delivery, export, transit or transport of the listed goods and/or technologies intended for Russia or for use in Russia.

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.